Alec Baldwin hands over phone to Rust shooting investigators

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Law enforcement have not ruled out criminal charges against Alec Baldwin  (2021 Invision)
Law enforcement have not ruled out criminal charges against Alec Baldwin (2021 Invision)

Alec Baldwin has handed over his phone to officials investigating the fatal shooting on the New Mexico set of the film Rust in October, the actor’s attorney and law enforcement said on Friday.

A search warrant for Baldwin’s iPhone was issued in December but with the Sante Fe County sheriff’s office in New Mexico stated earlier this week that it was still trying to obtain the device from the 30 Rock actor.

Aaron Dyer, an attorney for Baldwin, confirmed the actor had provided his phone to authorities on Friday.

“But this matter isn’t about his phone, and there are no answers on his phone. Alec did nothing wrong,” Dyer said in a statement.

“The real question that needs to be answered is how live rounds got on the set in the first place,” he added.

The sheriff's department spokesperson Juan Rios said via email that Baldwin's phone had been turned over to authorities in Suffolk County, New York, who were in the process of downloading relevant data to send to investigators in Santa Fe.

Baldwin was rehearsing a scene on the set of the Western movie Rust when the gun he was holding fired a live bullet that killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins. The actor has said he did not pull the trigger and is heartbroken by the incident.

New Mexico authorities have not ruled out the possibility of him facing criminal charges in the shooting, but the sheriff’s office conceded it was too early to say whether charges were warranted as the investigation continues.

In a tell-all interview last month, the 63-year-old actor said he had no idea a live round was in the weapon he was carrying on the set of the film Rust, or as he practised aiming it.

Speaking to ABC News, Baldwin said Hutchins, the film’s director of photography, had told him to point the gun in her direction, somewhere he indicated was “right below her armpit”.

“I said to her, ‘In this scene, I’m going to cock the gun, do you want to see that’,” Baldwin said. He said that Hutchins told him to cock the gun.

“I let go of the hammer and the gun goes off. I never pulled the trigger,” he said.

The search warrant authorized investigators to seize Baldwin's phone in order to examine text messages, email, social network communications, browser activity and other information stored on the device, according to court documents.

Baldwin last week said that any suggestion that he was not complying with the investigation was “bulls**t” and “a lie”.

He wrote on Instagram that specifying exactly what is needed is a timely process, adding: “They can’t just go through your phone and take your photos, or your love letters to your wife, or what have you.

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