New Mexico district attorney steps aside from ‘Rust’ criminal case

The New Mexico District Attorney overseeing the criminal investigation into Alec Baldwin and gunsmith Hannah Gutierrez Reed for the “Rust” shooting has resigned from the case, marking the latest twist in the ongoing legal saga.

On Wednesday, 1st Judicial District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies announced that she had turned over prosecution of the high-profile case to two experienced New Mexico attorneys, Kari Morrissey and Jason Lewis.

The two will become special prosecutors in the Rust case, Carmack-Altwies’ office said.

The embattled prosecutor was given a deadline on Friday to come up with a plan after Gutierrez Reed’s Albuquerque-based attorneys challenged Carmack-Altwies’ request that she be allowed to appoint a special prosecutor and remain involved in the high-profile case.

At a hearing Monday, Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer indicated that she intended to deny Carmack-Altwie’s motion.

Carmack-Altwies is the second-in-command prosecutor stepping down from the case, which began after Baldwin accidentally shot cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of Rust, which was filmed near Santa Fe, NM

Former special prosecutor Andrea Reeb resigned this month amid controversy over her dual role as prosecutor and member of the New Mexico legislature. Baldwin’s attorneys had argued that the Republican legislature’s involvement in the case was politically motivated. Baldwin, who famously mocked former President Trump on NBC’s Saturday Night Live, is being reviled in some conservative circles.

“My responsibility to the people of the First Circuit is greater than any individual case, which is why I have decided to appoint a special prosecutor in the Rust case,” Carmack-Altwies said in a statement. “Kari Morrissey and Jason Lewis will act unabashedly in the death of Halyna Hutchins on behalf of the people of the First Judicial District.”

In late January, the Santa Fe prosecutor charged Baldwin and Gutierrez Reed with involuntary manslaughter in the October 2021 shooting of Hutchins. Both Baldwin and Gutierrez Reed have pleaded not guilty.

Reeb’s retirement was a win for Baldwin and Gutierrez Reed. Just weeks before a crucial hearing in May, it left a huge gap in the prosecution team. Both Carmack-Altwies and Reeb have been involved in the case for months and have conducted key interviews to strengthen the case for trial.

This is an evolving story. New Mexico district attorney steps aside from ‘Rust’ criminal case

Alley Einstein

Alley Einstein is a USTimesPost U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Alley Einstein joined USTimesPost in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing

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