'Rust' Investigators Have a Warrant For Alec Baldwin's Cell Phone

'Rust' Investigators Have a Warrant For Alec Baldwin's Cell Phone

Santa Fe investigators are now targeting Alec Baldwin’s cell phone. They issued a warrant for the actor’s iPhone on Thursday, December 16, 2021. Baldwin is the subject of an ongoing investigation into the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of his Western Rust. New documents shed light on what authorities are looking for and what they expect to do once they have the phone. 

The accidental shooting happened in October 2021

Alec Baldwin’s accidental shooting while filming Rust at Bonanza Creek Ranch continues to rock the industry. On October 21, 2021, he pointed a firearm at cinematographer Halyna Hutchins. The weapon discharged unexpectedly. Hutchins later died.

Director Joel Souza additionally sustained an injury. However, Baldwin flatly denies responsibility for the tragedy, saying that he never pulled the trigger. A firestorm of controversy erupted in the days and weeks following the accident. Moreover, an investigation is ongoing. 

Baldwin, for his part, doesn’t believe authorities will criminally charge him as a result of the incident. “I’ve been told by people who are in the know, in terms of even inside the state, that it’s highly unlikely that I would be charged with anything criminally,” he told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos during an intense sit-down interview in early December 2021.

Furthermore, his comments regarding the shooting point responsibility elsewhere — though Baldwin says he doesn’t know who is responsible. 

“Someone put a live bullet in a gun, a bullet that wasn’t even supposed to be on the property,” Baldwin told Stephanopoulos, per ABC News. “Someone is ​responsible for what happened, and I can’t say who that is, but I know it’s not me.”

Documents detail what police want from Alec Baldwin’s cell phone 

Insider reports that they obtained search warrant documents detailing what police want from Alec Baldwin’s cell phone. According to the publication, authorities seek to comb through text messages, images, and location data from Baldwin’s phone because it may help them investigate Hutchins’ death. 

The documents also call for a “forensic download.” This would evidently harvest Baldwin’s private messages, social media accounts, cache histories, any deleted images or videos, contacts, recent calls, and even passwords. 

The invasive measures are the latest attempt to determine precisely what happened on October 21. Assistant director Dave Halls and set armorer Hannah Gutierrez Reed are also under scrutiny in the matter. 

Alec Baldwin‘s cell phone could shed more light on the incident

The fallout from the incident continues, with two lawsuits against Baldwin filed in November. One by script supervisor Mamie Mitchell and another by gaffer Serge Svetnoy. Both claim injuries and seek compensation. 

According to Sky News, Mitchell gave an emotional statement during a November 2021 news conference. “I will never forget what happened on the set of Rust that day,” she said tearfully. “I relive the shooting and the sound of the explosion from the gun over and over again.”

In the same conference, Mitchell’s attorney Gloria Allred accused Baldwin of “reckless” behavior. “Mr. Baldwin chose to play Russian roulette when he fired a gun without checking it and without having the armorer do so in his presence,” Allred said. “His behavior and that of the producers on Rust was reckless.”

In short, Alec Baldwin’s cell phone may or may not provide useful new information on the tragic events of October 21. However, it certainly does escalate an already intense investigation into what happened. 

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