ET can confirm that the actor’s cell phone was turned over to Suffolk County law enforcement authorities in New York. They will gather information off the phone and provide the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office with that evidence. The Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office does not yet have physical possession of the data to be retrieved off the Baldwin phone, but this is in process.
“Alec voluntarily provided his phone to the authorities this morning so they can finish their investigation. But this matter isn’t about his phone, and there are no answers on his phone. Alec did nothing wrong,” Aaron Dyer, Baldwin’s civil attorney, told NBC News in a statement.
Dyer added that while Baldwin was holding the gun that killed Halyna Hutchins on the set of “Rust”, the horrific incident was not his fault. “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.”
Earlier this week, the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office told ET in a statement that they had made multiple attempts to retrieve Baldwin’s phone, to no avail. Authorities said that when Baldwin “had not immediately provided his phone pursuant to the initial search warrant” that was approved by a Santa Fe County Magistrate judge on Dec. 16, the Sheriff’s Office then reached out for assistance from the Santa Fe District Attorney’s Office.
The D.A.’s Office, the statement continued, then “began working with Mr. Baldwin’s attorney to retrieve the phone.” Due to jurisdictional concerns, the Sheriff’s Office says it was advised by the D.A’s Office that the District Attorney “would be facilitating the retrieval of the phone on a consent basis.”
The Sheriff’s Office goes on to say that, on Dec. 20, the D.A.’s Office “was in negotiations with Mr. Baldwin’s attorney to obtain consent to retrieve the phone and its contents,” but, “to date, the cell phone has not been turned over to authorities.”
In court docs obtained by ET, authorities wanted to seize Baldwin’s phone along with his emails, social media accounts, deleted content, text messages, internet history, access to cloud drives, contacts, phone numbers, addresses, call logs and more.
In an affidavit that was provided along with the warrant, Detective Alexandria Hancock said investigators were seeking Baldwin’s phone along with any evidence that may help complete a full investigation. According to the docs, Hancock claims that when she asked Baldwin and his attorney to voluntarily turn over the phone, she was told to get a warrant.
Baldwin was the one who discharged the prop gun that killed cinematographer Hutchins and injured the film’s director, Joel Souza. In searching Hutchins’ phone, Hancock said she found conversations about the production dating back to July 14 and various business receipts in Santa Fe that may allow them to uncover more about the atmosphere on set of the Western.
The affidavit also included details of Baldwin’s initial interview with detectives. In the interview, Baldwin stated the he and Hannah Gutierrez Reed, the armorer on set of the film, exchanged emails discussing what type of gun to use. In the emails, she showed him an array of guns before he selected the Colt .45 which he was to use for the project.
The Dec. 16 search warrant came just weeks after Baldwin’s first sit-down interview since the fatal October shooting. The 63-year-old actor spoke with “Good Morning America”‘s George Stephanopoulos, for a detailed special in which he denied pulling the trigger of the prop gun after the ABC anchor pointed out that it wasn’t in the script for the trigger to be pulled.
“Well, the trigger wasn’t pulled. I didn’t pull the trigger,” Baldwin said during the sit-down.
When Stephanopoulos clarified, “So you never pulled the trigger?,” Baldwin responded, “No, no, no. I would never point a gun at anyone and pull the trigger at them, never.”
Baldwin said he has no idea how a real bullet got on set. “Someone put a live bullet in a gun, a bullet that wasn’t even supposed to be on the property,” he claimed.
Reed, the film’s armorer, has since sued the man who supplied the ammunition, claiming he mixed live and dummy rounds.
Baldwin later called the incident the worst thing that’s ever happened to him. “Because I think back and think, ‘What could I have done?'” he tearfully reflected.
The investigation into the shooting remains ongoing and, in addition to the warrant, a lawsuit has been filed against Baldwin and others in regard to the fatal event.
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