Alec Baldwin has filed to disqualify a special prosecutor from trying his manslaughter case in New Mexico over the fatal shooting of “Rust” cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.
Baldwin was officially charged on Jan. 31 and could face up to five years if found guilty.
However, his legal eagles say prosecutor Andrea Reeb must step down after she was elected to the state House of Representatives in November.
Baldwin’s lawyers argued in a motion filed on Tuesday that Reed should not continue because of New Mexico law prohibiting a state lawmaker from also being a prosecutor.
“Representative Reed is therefore either the executive power or the judicial power, and her service as a special prosecutor is unconstitutional,” Baldwin’s attorneys wrote in the motion.
“She must be disqualified.”
The film’s armorer, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed — who was in charge of weapons during filming — also faces involuntary manslaughter charges. Both defendants are scheduled to make their initial appearance on Feb. 24.
Assistant director David Halls has already taken a plea deal for a lesser charge of a misdemeanor — but may still appear in court as a witness at the explosive trial.
The prosecution recently announced a 44 person witness list for the next preliminary hearing, scheduled before the end of the month. It features director Joel Souza, camera assistant Lane Luper, who quit the film over safety issues, and Serge Svetnoy, the film’s gaffer who blamed “negligence and unprofessionalism” for Hutchins’ death.
The latest on the film set shooting of Halyna Hutchins
If Souza testifies, it could lead to some awkward scenes further down the line — as he is still slated to finish working on the movie, which is set to go back to shooting and complete filming soon.
Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed have both insisted they were not to blame for Hutchins’ death and said they will fight the charges. Prosecutors have said they will disprove Baldwin’s repeated claims he never pulled the trigger on the gun which killed Hutchins, which had somehow been loaded with a real bullet instead of a blank.
In October, Baldwin reached a settlement with Hutchins’ family in a wrongful death claim against him and others for an undisclosed amount.
“I have no interest in engaging in recriminations or attribution of blame (to the producers or Mr. Baldwin),” said Hutchins’ husband, Matt, in a statement regarding the settlement. “All of us believe Halyna’s death was a terrible accident. I am grateful that the producers and the entertainment community have come together to pay tribute to Halyna’s final work.”
As part of the settlement, Matt will be made a producer on the movie once it’s finished.
Baldwin is accused of firing a bullet that killed Hutchins and wounding “Rust” director, Joel Souza, on Oct. 21 at the Santa Fe, New Mexico set.
The “30 Rock” star continues to maintain he is not to blame for Hutchins’ death.
“Someone put a live bullet in a gun. A live bullet that wasn’t even supposed to be on the property,” he said in a TV interview. “Someone is responsible for what happened, and I can’t say who that is, but I know it’s not me.”