Alec Baldwin Must Surrender Cell Phone in 'Rust' Death Probe: Judge - Rolling Stone
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Alec Baldwin Must Surrender Cell Phone for ‘Forensic Search’ in ‘Rust’ Death Probe, Judge Says

New search warrant gives detectives the right to perform a “forensic download” of Baldwin’s text messages, images, videos, and more as they probe the fatal shooting of Halyna Hutchins

Alec Baldwin performs emcee duties at the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Ripple of Hope Award Gala at New York Hilton Midtown on Thursday, Dec. 9, 2021, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)Alec Baldwin performs emcee duties at the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Ripple of Hope Award Gala at New York Hilton Midtown on Thursday, Dec. 9, 2021, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

Santa Fe County Sheriff’s investigators were granted a search warrant Thursday to seize Alec Baldwin’s personal iPhone as they continue their investigation into the fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, officials said. Hutchins was killed on the set of the western movie Rust two months ago.

The warrant issued by the Santa Fe County Magistrate Court gives detectives the right to perform a “forensic download” of Baldwin’s text messages, images, videos, “deleted” items and any “cloud drives” which might contain evidence related to the ill-fated production, the paperwork states.

In an interview with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos that aired earlier this month, Baldwin said he was told it’s “highly unlikely” he’ll face any criminal charges for the accidental shooting of Hutchins that also wounded the production’s director, Joel Souza. But the new affidavit suggests he is still at least an active player in the probe.

The paperwork, obtained by Rolling Stone, recounts many of the details already released about the shooting, including how the movie’s rookie armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed purportedly told investigators that she loaded Baldwin’s “period” Colt revolver with what she thought were five cosmetic “dummy” rounds before the lunch break that preceded the fatal shooting.

After returning from lunch, Gutierrez-Reed “didn’t really check (the gun) too much,” she told investigators, because the firearm had been locked up during the break, the filing states. “Hannah said after she did the check, she put in the last round,” so the firearm would appear fully loaded with six rounds, the affidavit reads.

The movie’s assistant director, Dave Halls, was the crew member who purportedly handed the gun to Baldwin inside the wooden church at the Bonanza Creek Ranch shortly before the deadly accident and hours after the production’s union camera crew walked off the set amid a dispute that involved safety concerns, prior affidavit documents revealed.

Baldwin confirmed to Stephanopoulos that he was told the gun was “cold,” meaning not loaded with live rounds. He said he was working with Hutchins, setting up a close-up shot of the revolver, when he pulled the hammer back, released it, and the gun fired the bullet that struck Hutchins in the chest, killing her.

According to the new search warrant, Baldwin told investigators during his interview the day of the tragedy that he “slowly” took the gun from its holster and “then very dramatically turns it and cocks the hammer, which is when the gun goes off.”

Investigators say in the search warrant that Baldwin told them “there were emails transferred back and forth between Hannah and him where she showed him different styles of guns” as the production got up and running. Baldwin told detectives he requested “a bigger gun” for the movie, and that he ultimately chose the Colt.

The Sheriff’s Department previously asked Baldwin to voluntarily hand over his phone, but the actor and his lawyer instructed detectives to get a warrant, the affidavit claims.

“I would go to any lengths to undo what happened,” Baldwin told Stephanopoulos during the emotional interview that included him breaking down multiple times.

Asked if he feels any “guilt” over the shooting, the actor said he did not.

“I feel that there is, that someone is responsible for what happened. And I can’t say who that is, but I know it’s not me. I mean, honest to God, if I felt that I was responsible, I might have killed myself,” he said. “And I don’t say that lightly.”

In This Article: Alec Baldwin, Halyna Hutchins, Rust

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