Warrant issued for Alec Baldwin’s mobile phone in ‘Rust’ investigation

Warrant issued for Alec Baldwin’s mobile phone in ‘Rust’ investigation

December 17, 2021

Taos, New Mexico: Police have obtained a search warrant for actor Alec Baldwin’s mobile phone in the investigation of October’s fatal shooting of a cinematographer on the New Mexico set of his Western movie Rust, court documents showed.

Police investigating the shooting want Alec Baldwin’s iPhone.Credit:AP

The search warrant and accompanying affidavit were filed in Santa Fe County Magistrate Court on Thursday (Friday AEDT) nearly two weeks after a prosecutor overseeing the probe said that some people who handled guns on the film set may end up facing criminal charges stemming from Halyna Hutchins’ death.

The warrant authorised investigators to seize Baldwin’s iPhone to examine text messages, email correspondence, social network communications, browser activity and other information stored on the device, according to the documents.

A sheriff’s detective, Alexandria Hancock, said in her affidavit that she sought a court order requiring Baldwin to turn over his phone after she had requested it from the actor and his lawyer on a voluntary basis and “was instructed to acquire a warrant”.

Neither the warrant nor the seven-page affidavit cited any particular material that investigators were looking for on Baldwin’s phone.

But suspects, victims and witnesses “often make and/or receive telephone calls and/or messages before, during and/or after the commission of crime(s). Such information, if it exists, may be material and relevant to this investigation,” the affidavit stated.

Actor Alec Baldwin was using the gun that killed Halyna Hutchins.Credit:AP/Getty

It added: “There were several emails and text messages sent and received regarding the movie production ‘Rust’ in the course of (police) interviews” following the October 21 shooting.

Baldwin has acknowledged he was holding a Colt .45 revolver pistol on the film set when it went off during rehearsal, discharging a live round that struck Hutchins in the chest and killed her. Director Joel Souza was wounded.

But the actor said during a television interview that he never pulled the trigger, and he denied responsibility for the shooting. He also said then that he had no idea how a live round got onto the set of the film.

According to detective Hancock’s warrant, the film’s “armourer”, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, who was in charge of weapons on the set, said under questioning that she had loaded the gun with what she believed were six “dummy rounds” before the ill-fated rehearsal earlier that day.

Gutierrez-Reed also recounted having trouble inserting the sixth round into the gun’s cylinder, managing to fit it only after she “cleaned ‘it’ out”, the affidavit said.

Reuters

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