Police will search Alec Baldwin’s iPhone in Rust fatal shooting investigation

Sheriffs say they believe there could be material evidence on the device

Io Dodds
San Francisco
Thursday 16 December 2021 23:47
We both assumed the gun was empty, says Alec Baldwin

Police in New Mexico will search Alec Baldwin’s iPhone to investigate his role in the the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of the movie Rust in October.

In an order on Thursday, Judge David Segura approved the Santa Fe Sheriff’s Department’s request to seize and scan the 63-year-old actor’s phone, including his texts, phone calls, emails, location data, social media accounts, and more.

Sheriffs told the judge they believed there could be material evidence on the device, adding that Mr Baldwin’s lawyer had refused to hand over the phone without a warrant.

The application from Detective Alexandria Hancock says: "[Det Hancock] is requesting a warrant for the seizure and search of Alec Baldwin’s cell phone to search for any evidence relating to the death investigation of Halyna Hutchins.

"[Det Hancock] believes there may be evidence on the phone due to individuals using cellular phones during and/or after the commission of crime. [Det Hancock] was also made aware there were several emails and text messages sent and received regarding the movie production ‘Rust’ in the course of interviews."

Mr Baldwin has not been charged with any crime, and has said that he "did not pull the trigger" of the gun and had "no idea" how a live bullet had been put in it. The old-fashioned gun was being used as a prop in Rust, a Western film. The gun fired while Mr Baldwin was holding it on set, killing Ms Hutchins and wounding the movie’s director, Joel Souza.

Asked by a TV host about the moment the gun went off, he said: “The trigger wasn’t pulled. I didn’t pull the trigger. I would never point a gun at anyone and point a trigger at them – never.

"Believe me, I would do anything in my power to undo what was done. But I don’t know how that bullet arrived in that gun. I don’t know. I’m all for doing anything that would take us to a place where this won’t happen again...

“Someone put a live bullet in a gun – a bullet that wasn’t even supposed to be on the property.”

The 30 Rock and Glengarry Glen Ross star said he now has "constant" dreams about the moment and has been struggling to sleep.

Following Hutchins’s death, he said: “There are no words to convey my shock and sadness regarding the tragic accident that took the life of Halyna Hutchins, a wife, mother and deeply admired colleague of ours.

“I’m fully cooperating with the police investigation to address how this tragedy occurred and I am in touch with her husband, offering my support to him and his family. My heart is broken for her husband, their son, and all who knew and loved Halyna.”

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