‘Rust’ armorer files motion to block new special prosecutor appointment

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Newly-filed court documents reveal new drama and more potential headaches for prosecutors in the “Rust” set shooting case.

Former special prosecutor Andrea Reeb worked with the Santa Fe County District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies for months, before she stepped down from the position earlier this month. Now the district attorney wants to prosecute the case with a new special prosecutor.

Attorneys for the film’s armorer, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, say the Santa Fe County District Attorney’s Office should not be able to appoint a second special prosecutor after the first special prosecutor resigned.

Gutierrez-Reed and “Rust” actor and producer Alec Baldwin are both charged with involuntary manslaughter for the shooting death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins in October 2021.

Gutierrez-Reed’s attorneys argue that in order to secure a special prosecutor, the Santa Fe County district attorney must prove her office cannot prosecute the case. They say the fact the district attorney’s office was working on the case with the former special prosecutor shows the office can prosecute the case.

The attorneys are also claiming state law does not allow a district attorney to prosecute with a special prosecutor, once one has been appointed.

According to the district attorney, her office currently has a 32% vacancy rate, and she needs the help to allow her team to focus on other cases. She argues that the court allows district attorneys and special prosecutors to handle cases as they see fit.

A hearing on this issue is scheduled for Monday morning.