Santa Fe District Attorney to ‘step aside’ from prosecuting Alec Baldwin case
The Santa Fe District Attorney has announced she will “step aside” from Alec Baldwin’s US lawsuit in order to “focus on broader public safety needs” in the state of New Mexico.
Mary Carmack-Altwies announced the appointment of attorneys Kari Morrissey and Jason Lewis to serve as new special prosecutors in the case on Wednesday.
The Hollywood actor faces two counts of involuntary manslaughter over the fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the Rust movie set in October 2021.
He has pleaded not guilty to both charges.
“Morrissey’s and Lewis’s extensive experience and trial expertise will allow the state to pursue justice for Halyna Hutchins and ensure that in New Mexico everyone is held accountable under the law,” a statement from the Santa Fe District Attorney’s Office read.
“With the appointment of new special prosecutors, Carmack-Altwies will step aside from personally prosecuting the ‘Rust’ case, allowing her to focus on the broader public safety needs in New Mexico’s First Judicial District.”
It comes after the previous special prosecutor in the case, Andrea Reeb, also stepped down, following objections to her involvement from Baldwin’s legal team.
At the time Ms Reeb said she did not want her involvement in the case to “cloud the real issue at hand” and that the decision was “the best way I can ensure justice is served in this case”.
Baldwin’s lawyers argued that Ms Reeb’s involvement in the case was “unconstitutional” due to her elected position in the New Mexico House of Representatives.
They said that her position was a violation of the state constitution’s separation of powers provision and that she could “make prosecutorial decisions that serve her legislative interests”.
Following the announcement about Ms Carmack-Altwies on Wednesday, it was decided that a hearing concerning state legal representation in the matter, due to take place on Friday, would no longer go ahead.
A filing from the DA’s office described the issue as “moot”.
Baldwin is next set to appear in court on May 3 for a two-week preliminary hearing, during which it will be decided whether there is enough evidence for the case to proceed to trial.