New Mexico District Attorney Dismisses Rust’s Criminal Case

The New Mexico District Attorney who oversaw the prosecution of Alec Baldwin and the gunsmith Hannah Gutierrez Reed, who oversaw Rust, pulled out of the case, the latest twist in an ongoing legal saga.

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

The pair will become special prosecutors in the Rust case, the Carmack-Oltvis office said.

The prosecutor faced a deadline Friday to come up with a plan after attorneys for Gutierrez Reed of Albuquerque disputed Carmack-Oltvis’ request that she be allowed to appoint a special prosecutor as well as continue to participate in the high-profile case.

At Monday’s hearing, Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer indicated she planned to deny Carmack-Oltvis’ request.

Carmack-Oltvis becomes the second top prosecutor to resign in a case that began after Baldwin accidentally shot and killed cinematographer Halina Hutchins on the set of Rust, which was filming near Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Former Special Counsel Andrea Rib resigned this month amid controversy over her dual role as prosecutor and member of the New Mexico Legislature. Baldwin’s lawyers argued that the Republican MPparticipation in this case was politically motivated. Baldwin, who famously poked fun at former President Trump on NBC’s Saturday Night Live, is coming under fire in some conservative circles.

“My responsibility to the people of the First Judicial District is greater than any single case, which is why I have decided to appoint a special counsel for the Rust case,” Carmack-Oltwis said in a statement. “Carey Morrissey and Jason Lewis will relentlessly pursue justice for the death of Halina Hutchins on behalf of the people of the First Judicial Circuit.”

At the end of January, the Santa Fe Attorney accused Baldwin and Gutierrez Reid with manslaughter in October 2021 death shooting from Hutchins. Both Baldwin and Gutierrez Reid pleaded not guilty

Reba’s resignation was Baldwin’s victory and Gutierrez Reed. This left a huge gap in the prosecution team just a few weeks before the pivotal hearing in May. Both Carmack-Oltvis and Reeb have been involved in the case for several months and have conducted key interrogations to strengthen their case before the court.

This is an evolving story.