In this image from video released by the Santa Fe County Sheriff's Office, Alec Baldwin stands in costume and speaks with investigators following a fatal shooting on a movie set in Santa Fe, N.M. In a motion filed Tuesday, Feb. 07, 2023, in Santa Fe-based district court, defense attorneys for Baldwin are seeking to disqualify the special prosecutor in the case against him stemming from the shooting of a cinematographer on the film set. (Santa Fe County Sheriff's Office via AP, File)
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A district attorney in Santa Fe fought back Monday against efforts to disqualify the special prosecutor pursuing manslaughter charges against actor Alec Baldwin in the fatal shooting of a cinematographer on a New Mexico film set.

Baldwin’s legal team in February sought to disqualify special prosecutor and Republican state Rep. Andrea Reeb of Clovis based on constitutional provisions that safeguard the separation of powers between distinct branches of government.

Defense attorneys argued that Reeb’s role as a state lawmaker and prosecutor are incompatible and could distort legislative and judicial actions, including state spending on the prosecution of Baldwin over the 2021 shooting on the set of the Western movie “Rust.”

Santa Fe District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies on Monday called the objection a “novel theory that has no support in new Mexico statutes or case law.”

She said the state constitution provides a variety of safeguards against legislators interfering with the outcome of ongoing court cases.

“Any attempt by Ms. Reeb as a legislator to influence the outcome of this trial would be completely ineffective,” Carmack-Altwies said in a court filing.

Since joining the legislature in January, Reeb has steered clear of voting on public spending to prosecute Baldwin and film-set weapons supervisor Hannah Gutierrez-Reed. She was excused from a House floor vote in February on a proposed state budget that includes $360,000 for special prosecution expenses in the fatal film-set shooting.

Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed have pleaded not guilty to charges of involuntary manslaughter in the shooting death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins. The charges carry a maximum penalty of 18-months in prison and fines.

Hutchins died shortly after being wounded Oct. 21, 2021, during rehearsals at a ranch on the outskirts of Santa Fe. Baldwin was pointing a pistol at Hutchins when the gun went off, killing her and wounding the director, Joel Souza. A likely preliminary hearing is still months away to decide whether evidence is sufficient to proceed to trial.

Prosecutors say assistant director David Halls, who oversaw safety on set, has signed an agreement to plead guilty in the negligent use of a deadly weapon. A judge is scheduled to consider approval of the plea agreement later this month.

Prosecution in the death of Hutchins is currently underwritten by an emergency state grant, approved in September 2022 by the State Board of Finance that is led by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham.

Reeb is listed as a sponsor or cosponsor on several criminal justice initiatives, including enhanced punishments for firearms violations, as legislators explore ways to rein in surging violent crime. She previously served as district attorney for a judicial district on the eastern plains of New Mexico.

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  1. Looks like when a popular Democrat is facing prison time, they’ll try anything to avoid taking responsibility for their actions. I still doubt he’ll actually do any time, but I’ll send him a Trumpy Bear and a jar of Vaseline if he does.

  2. Amazing, ain’t it. If one of us little folk had pulled that trigger the usual suspects would be howling for blood. But let the rich and famous do it and all you hear is tons of nothing.

    • This isn’t quite true. If you or I had pulled the trigger, we might get prosecuted (although we probably would not have faced the 5-year enhancement that the judge threw out), but the legislature would not appropriate a third of a million dollars to do it.

      I agree with most of the posters who contend that he was negligent, but I have my doubts about whether he was “criminally” as opposed to “civilly” negligent, the former generally requiring a higher degree of culpability than the latter.

      • The legislature would not have to give extra money to prosecute one of us. They would grind us down with the full weight of the state. baldwin can afford a whole other level of defense. How many of us would have been simply civilly negligent and not face a criminal charge for accidently shooting some one? Or running them over with a car?

        As for negligent. baldwin ran that movie. Every thing that happened there was on him.

      • Manslaughter: “the crime of killing a human being without malice aforethought, or otherwise in circumstances not amounting to murder.”

        If you unintentionally kill someone through your own negligence.

    • Jethro, I like to think that one of us would have know better than to point the gun at her, would not have had our finger on the trigger, and would have attended the safety meetings

    • And, Jethro, you would be languishing in the local jail with bail set at several million dollars and I guarantee you would be charged with voluntary manslaughter instead of the lesser charge involuntary manslaughter — at a minimum.

  3. “Baldwin was pointing a pistol at Hutchins when the gun went off, killing her and wounding the director, Joel Souza.”

    Lovely phrasing, that. If it were someone not as super McSpecial as Baldwin, the word “shot,” would be used instead of “… pointing … went off…”

      • Well, yeah…they did state “the gun went off”…which is what they want to try and sell that guns are the dangerous thing and not the ones actually using the tool.

        Funny how inanimate objects can suddenly become sentient and do things, sometimes….

  4. Involuntary manslaughter.

    Baldwin pulled the trigger. He allegedly did not wish for any harm to come to the victim, but harm nevertheless did come as a direct result of his actions. The victim was killed by the bullet that exited the gun he fired. No matter how one chooses to slice it, it is by definition involuntary manslaughter. Not Murder 1. And yet he insists it isn’t applicable?

    The core issue seems to be not so much a motive for harm, but who is responsible for allowing the conditions that led to the victim’s death. But as for who pulled the trigger and involuntary slaughtered her, Baldwin’s continued defiance of the obvious is getting annoying.

    • As for responsibility? I thought this movie was being made and run by baldwin. Doesn’t that make it his responsibility above and beyond actually pulling the trigger?

      • Yeah it does. My wife was an actress & a SAG member. She knows he was. Executive producer is responsible for EVERYTHING that goes on in a movie production. Will a-hole Alec do time? Doubt it but it damaged the he!! out of carreer…

  5. “Baldwin was pointing a pistol at Hutchins when the gun went off, killing her and wounding the director, Joel Souza.”

    Lets fix that to be accurately true…

    Baldwin was pointing a pistol at Hutchins when he pulled the trigger causing the gun to fire, killing her and wounding the director, Joel Souza.

    • News media continually refers to the weapon as a “prop gun”, as well. If ANYBODY in the area had the slightest knowledge of the subject, it would be noted that it was, very obviously, *not* a prop gun, and repeatedly calling it one is not helping anyone in the movie industry to learn the difference.

      • Is a prop lamp not a lamp? Or a prop hat not a hat? The term is confusing, because people think prop means fake, like made out of rubber, but it just means it was part of the production (company “prop”erty) and not a beretta tomcat he pulled out of his purse.

        It was a prop gun.

        • A prop gun can be a real gun that someone cannot tell if it is capable of being fired or not.

          I.E., a real gun with a striker or firing pin removed.

          But yeah, it’s a word with a very flexible meaning in the movie biz…

      • I think plenty of people in the movie industry know the difference. I think Alec Baldwin knows the difference. I also think he knows he was supposed to check the gun himself to verify it was unloaded even if the armorer had already checked.

        • Is it written down somewhere that an actor is supposed to check if it is loaded before pulling the trigger? I imagine there is a lot of paperwork to be signed before joining a film crew. But is an “executive producer” to big to sign?

      • Larry:
        The (real) gun was being utilized as a movie prop. Therefore, calling it a “prop gun” is appropriate. “Prop” is defined in the American Heritage College Dictionary as, “A theatrical property.” The revolver in question certainly qualifies as such, regardless of whether ownership vests in the production company or a prop rental contractor.

  6. How is it a “novel theory” when the law specifically says sitting legislators can’t have a role in executive functions?

    I haven’t dug into this, but it smacks me as being as big a blunder as the ex post facto charge.

    • mountocean:
      Maybe one of our lawyer friends can weigh in on this as regards a state (as opposed to the fed).

      • Yes, why does no-one talk about the actual question at issue here? I looked up Article III section I of NM Constitution:

        The powers of the government of this state are divided into three distinct departments, the legislative, executive and judicial, and no person or collection of persons charged with the exercise of powers properly belonging to one of these departments, shall exercise any powers properly belonging to either of the others, except as in this constitution otherwise expressly directed or permitted. ….

        Instead of just waiving her hands and claiming the claim has “no support in NM status or case law”, why can’t Carmack-Altwies say, ‘oh, yeah, common misconception, here’s why this is allowed’?

        No shit this isn’t addressed in statute or case law, it is right there in the constitution.

        • Sounds like the Ruling Class in New Mexico is purposely throwing the case–although in a very clever way that the masses would never notice nor understand. Saying it another way, this is a very clever way of realizing the Ruling Class mantra, “Rules for thee and none for me.”

          Another example of political theater at its finest.

  7. Well he did not commit premeditated murder. However the woman would be alive and well today had he not been a self serving moron who was too stupid to check a real firearm for real bullets knowing full well he would be pointing a real firearm at real people. The excuse someone else was to do it for him is as pathetic as it sounds.

    Furthermore firearm incompetence does not begin and end with a. baldwin. Firearm incompetence is alive and well among far too many Gun Owners. Hopefully no close calls have ever occurred among those doing the criticizing.

  8. Richard Cranium, aka Alec Baldwin, did say in 2018, that he wondered what it feels like to accidentally kill someone. I should think that should count for something. I think he did it on purpose.

    • Think again…He may be a spoiled brat scumbag but really do you think that accidental someone was to be a wife, mother and asset to complete his film project? Such thinking would be laughed out of court and only serve to assist him.

      • ” he wondered what it feels like to accidentally kill someone.”

        He said it out loud to someone. Why then should it be laughed out of court?

  9. The truth is, there should be no special prosecutor in this case… The DA should tee him up if it calls for it… DA was elected by the people to do that very thing..

  10. Honestly, she should be replaced if only for the stupid Ex Post Facto charge. Hire someone competent to prosecute this case.

  11. Like I said before. You need to spend a great deal of money, in this case taxpayer money, in order to convict a rich criminal.

  12. “DA Stands Behind Special Prosecutor …”

    smart DA, just in case Baldwin demonstrated how the gun somehow fired all by its self.

  13. All I know is I bought a gunm like Alec Baldwin and I cant pull the SOB out of the holster without it going off. Me and a friend were out shuteing the other day and he said “Aren’t you going to ever unholstein that gunm?” I said “No, the SOaB is like a GD ninja sword, if I pull it out of the holstein it’s just going to have to cut somebody. “

    • He pulled the trigger on a gunm that he had paid someone else to insure that it was safe to pull the trigger on.

  14. So the Special Prosecutor rightfully refused herself from voting on legislation that could be of impact in Baldwin and Reed’s Trial. Seems to me she’s doing a good job avoiding anything that could be a considered a conflict of interest, and she should be commended for that.


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