Weeks after a search warrant was issued for Alec Baldwin’s cell phone, the Rust star has given the device to police for their probe into the fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins last October in New Mexico.
Sought by the Santa Fe Sheriff’s Office to help determine what actually occurred on the Bonanza Creek Ranch set of the indie Western, the iPhone has been handed over to Suffolk Country police in New York state, near one of the multi-Emmy winner’s residences.
After much back and forth during the Christmas break with Santa Fe D.A.’s office over some of the private contents of the phone, Baldwin’s iPhone was delivered today. Now possessing the necessary password to unlock the phone, the Empire State police and other law enforcement will examine the device for what I’m told is “relevant information” before it is sent to the Land of Enchantment.
“Alec voluntarily provided his phone to the authorities this morning so they can finish their investigation,” the actor’s lawyer Aaron Dyer, told Deadline. “But this matter isn’t about his phone, and there are no answers on his phone,” the civil attorney at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP added. “Alec did nothing wrong. It is clear that he was told it was a cold gun, and was following instructions when this tragic accident occurred. The real question that needs to be answered is how live rounds got on the set in the first place.”
Officials in the Suffolk County cop shop declined comment today on whether or not they had the phone, citing that the investigation was under the primary jurisdiction of Santa Fe law enforcement. “The Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office does not yet have physical possession of the data to be retrieved off the Baldwin phone,” Public Information Officer Juan Rios said Friday, noting that evidence was being “gathered” by Suffolk County cops. “This is in process.”
Even with the nearly monthlong delay after the December 16 search warrant was approved by a New Mexico judge, camera chatty Baldwin in a January 8 Instagram post proclaimed his right to privacy. “Any suggestion that I am not complying with requests or orders or demands or search warrants about my phone, that’s bullsh*t, that’s a lie,” the actor said.
Insisting to ABC in early December that he never actually pulled the trigger on what he thought was a safe weapon, Baldwin’s gun fired and killed DP Hutchins and wounded Rust director Joel Souza on October 21 while the actor was practicing a “quick draw” move during a rehearsal in a church location on the set. Baldwin was interviewed by the Santa Fe Sheriff’s Office in the immediate aftermath of the shooting. He was released with no conditions or restrictions.
Even as the civic lawsuits start to pile up and the search for how live rounds got on the set of the troubled $7 million-budgeted film continues, there have been no arrests or charges in the matter. Previous search warrants executed by Santa Fe police at the Rust set have found a number of weapons and, according to Sheriff Adan Mendoza, “500 rounds of ammunition … a mix of blanks, dummy rounds and what we are suspecting are live rounds.”