LOS ANGELES (AFP) – US detectives said on Thursday (Jan 13) they are still waiting for Alec Baldwin’s cellphone, despite obtaining a warrant for it last month, as they gather evidence concerning the fatal shooting of a cinematographer on the Rust movie set.
Baldwin was brandishing a Colt gun during a rehearsal for the low-budget Western being filmed in New Mexico in October when it discharged a live round, killing Halyna Hutchins.
Police are looking into how live ammunition could have been present on set, which is strictly prohibited in the film industry precisely to avoid such an accident.
Investigators obtained a warrant in mid-December for Baldwin’s phone, saying “there may be evidence on the phone” that could be “material and relevant to this investigation,” citing various text messages and emails sent to and from Baldwin regarding the production of Rust.
Baldwin, 63, was both the star and a producer of the movie.
The warrant said Baldwin had exchanged emails with the film’s armorer about the type of gun to be used in the scene.
“To date, the cellphone has not been turned over to authorities,” the Santa Fe county sheriff’s office said in a statement.
Investigators contacted Baldwin’s lawyers to obtain the phone, but without success. The sheriff’s office then sought assistance from the Santa Fe district attorney, who began negotiating to have the actor turn over his phone voluntarily, “due to jurisdictional concerns,” the statement said.
Baldwin posted a rambling video over the weekend in which he insisted he was complying with the investigation into Hutchins’ death.
“Any suggestion that I am not complying with requests or orders or demands or search warrants about my phone, that’s bull****, that’s a lie,” he said.