Alec Baldwin ‘Rust’ Case DA Steps Away, Appoints New Special Prosecutors

Bill Pan
By Bill Pan
March 29, 2023US News
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Alec Baldwin ‘Rust’ Case DA Steps Away, Appoints New Special Prosecutors
Alec Baldwin speaks onstage at the 2022 Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Ripple of Hope Gala at New York Hilton in New York on Dec. 6, 2022. (Mike Coppola/Getty Images for 2022 Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Ripple of Hope Gala)

Santa Fe District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies announced on Wednesday she will no longer handle the prosecution of Alec Baldwin for the fatal October 2021 shooting on the “Rust” movie set.

The decision comes two weeks after New Mexico state Rep. Andrea Reeb, the special prosecutor in the “Rust” case, resigned on the premise that she didn’t want questions over her dual roles as a lawmaker and prosecutor to “cloud the real issue at hand.”

In their place, attorneys Kari Morrissey and Jason Lewis will take over as special prosecutors on the case against “Rust” actor Alec Baldwin and armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, who are accused of involuntary manslaughter in the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.

“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,” a spokesperson for the district attorney’s office said.

“Carmack-Altwies will continue her record of prosecuting drunken drivers, collaborating with local law enforcement, increasing diversion efforts and securing convictions against the most dangerous and prolific offenders.”

The appointment of Morrissey and Lewis comes a day after Carmack-Altwies was denied her request to select a new special prosecutor alongside an assistant district attorney from her office to prosecute the “Rust” case. Judge Mary Marlowe Summer ruled that the DA’s office had to choose to either prosecute the case itself or recuse itself entirely and select a special prosecutor as a replacement.

The appointment of Morrissey and Lewis also comes a day after Carmack-Altwies was denied her request to bring in an outside lawyer to fill the position left vacant by Reeb.

“We need extra manpower on this case. All the money in the world doesn’t help prosecute a case if we can’t find the bodies in our office,” Carmack-Altwies argued at a virtual hearing on Monday. “We have to be able to look outside of our offices in order to find people.”

The attempt was blocked by District Judge Mary Marlowe Summer, who told Carmack-Altwies that under the special prosecutor statute, her office may either prosecute the case itself or recuse itself entirely and let outside lawyers handle the prosecution.

“You cannot use it unless you’re not going to prosecute,” said Summer.

The prosecution previously dropped a firearms enhancement charge originally brought against the defendants after Baldwin’s legal team filed a motion arguing that the current version of the gun law had not taken effect at the time of Hutchins’ death. This dramatically reduced the prison time they could each possibly face by five years.

The remaining involuntary manslaughter charge carries a much less severe punishment of up to 18 months in prison.

From The Epoch Times

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