The New Mexico manslaughter case against Alec Baldwin over the Rust set shooting took another unexpected turn on March 14, when special prosecutor Andrea Reeb announced that she was stepping down from her role.
In a statement, Reeb explained that she had decided to step down because she believed that it was the best way to ensure justice was served in the case, given the evidence and facts that clearly showed a disregard for basic safety protocols that led to the death of Halyna Hutchins.
Reeb also stated that she did not want questions about her serving as a legislator and prosecutor to cloud the real issue at hand.
Reeb’s departure from the case comes at a time when there have been other legal developments that seem to be in Baldwin’s favor. Last month, Baldwin’s lawyers filed paperwork arguing that Reeb should be removed from the case because she works as a state lawmaker, contending that it was unconstitutional for her to serve in another branch of government.
There was a hearing scheduled for later this month to hear arguments over whether Reeb could serve, but by leaving before the hearing, a legal defeat wasn’t handed down to Reeb. Nonetheless, the move is seen as a victory for Baldwin and his team, who now have more control over the course of this case.
The prosecution’s current state has been described as being in “full retreat mode” by Neama Rahmani, president of West Coast Trial Lawyers and a former federal prosecutor, who added that “you want to be on the offense and putting pressure on Baldwin and his lawyers.
The tables are turned, and it’s the other way around.” Baldwin’s team seems to be adopting a strategy of “the best defense is a good offense” and is currently on the offensive in the case.