(SANTA FE, N.M.) — Santa Fe District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies is stepping away from prosecuting the fatal on-set “Rust” shooting, her office announced Wednesday.
The move comes after state Rep. Andrea Reeb announced she would be stepping down as special prosecutor in the case as well.
In their place, Carmack-Altwies appointed long-time New Mexico attorneys Kari Morrissey and Jason Lewis to serve as special prosecutors in the case over the fatal October 2021 shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, her office said. Actor Alec Baldwin was charged with involuntary manslaughter for Hutchins’ death, though the gun enhancement charges for Baldwin were later dropped.
“My responsibility to the people of the First Judicial District is greater than any one case, which is why I have chosen to appoint a special prosecutor in the ‘Rust’ case,” Carmack-Altwies said in a statement. “Kari Morrissey and Jason Lewis will unflinchingly pursue justice in the death of Halyna Hutchins on behalf of the people of First Judicial District.”
With the appointment of the new special prosecutors, Carmack-Altwies will step aside from prosecuting the case, “allowing her to focus on the broader public safety needs in New Mexico’s First Judicial District,” Heather Brewer, a spokesperson for the district attorney’s office, said in a statement.
There will be no further comment on the case at this time, Brewer said.
Reeb announced she would resign from the case on March 14. The decision came weeks after Baldwin’s attorneys moved to disqualify her, claiming in a motion filed last month that as a member of the New Mexico House of Representatives, she cannot simultaneously exercise legislative and judicial power.
Reeb said in a statement issued by the district attorney’s office at the time that she will “not allow questions about my serving as a legislator and prosecutor to cloud the real issue at hand.”
In a recent court filing, Baldwin’s attorneys have also accused Reeb of using the case to advance her career and claimed that public statements made in the case have violated his constitutional rights.
Baldwin has pleaded not guilty to his charges. He has also denied pulling the trigger and said he was told the gun did not contain live ammunition. The film’s armorer, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, was also charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter over Hutchins’ death. Her attorney has said she intends to plead not guilty and has said she has no idea how live rounds ended up in the gun.
Both are scheduled to appear in court for a preliminary hearing on May 3.
Gun enhancement charges for both Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed were dropped in late February.
First assistant director David Halls took a plea deal after being charged with negligent use of a deadly weapon in connection with the shooting. The plea agreement is pending a judge’s approval, prosecutors have said. He is scheduled to make his first court appearance on Friday.
ABC News’ Vera Dryman contributed to this report.
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