Actor Alec Baldwin turned in his phone to Suffolk County, New York police on Friday morning, his attorney said, starting a process that will allow investigators to collect data related to the fatal shooting of a cameraman on the set of the film. Rust” last year in New Mexico.
Mr. Baldwin has agreed to a process whereby he will share his iPhone and his password, and the phone data will be verified by officials from the Suffolk County Police Department and the District Attorney’s Office before the data is released to New York City authorities. Mexico, according to a search agreement provided by Mr. Baldwin’s lawyer. According to his lawyer Aaron Dyer, Mr Baldwin, who has a house in Suffolk, himself turned over the phone to the police.
Neither the Suffolk County Police Department nor the sheriff’s office immediately acknowledged receipt of the device.
Under the terms of the search agreement, Suffolk County officials will check phone messages, including texts, emails, call records, voicemail messages, digital images, and internet browser history, between June 1 and December 5 of last year and will exclude any connections with his lawyers or his wife, Hilaria, which are protected by confidentiality.
“Mr. Baldwin has the right to privacy with respect to the contents of the iPhone, as well as with respect to communication with his lawyers and spouse, who are protected by the privilege of attorney-client and the privilege of spousal communication, respectively,” – said in the agreement.
What happened on the set of Rust
According to the agreement, Suffolk County Police must create a “forensic download” of the iPhone “completely” before the device is returned to Mr. Baldwin.
The fatal shooting occurred on October 21, when Mr. Baldwin was practicing removing an old-fashioned revolver from his shoulder holster. He was told that there were no live rounds in the pistol, but there were, and a bullet was fired from it, which killed cameraman Galina Hutchins and wounded the film’s director Joel Sousa. Investigators investigating the shooting and trying to determine how a live round hit the pistol received a search warrant on Mr. Baldwin’s phone on December 16.
The agreement to hand over Mr. Baldwin’s phone states that the search warrant is not enforceable in New York, where he lives, and that without Mr. Baldwin’s consent to search the phone, authorities will have to request a separate warrant from the state. . To avoid this, the agreement says, Mr. Baldwin agreed to act “as if the NM warrant had been received in New York.”
“This morning, Alec voluntarily provided his phone to the authorities so they could complete their investigation,” Mr. Dyer said in a statement. “But it’s not his phone, and there are no answers on his phone. Alec didn’t do anything wrong.
In general, by limiting their search to communications between June 1 and December 5, officers will be able to access communications with Matthew Hutchins, Ms. Hutchins’ widower, and Santa Fe law enforcement officials from any date, per the search agreement. It said that Mr. Baldwin had agreed to provide a list of phone numbers for “individuals and entities associated with the film’s production.” Officials “may extract call records only for calls to or from these numbers during an appropriate period of time,” according to the agreement.
After media reported last week that Santa Fe authorities did not have Mr Baldwin’s phone three weeks after the warrant was issued, Mr Baldwin posted a video on his Instagram account stating that any the suggestion that he is not cooperating with the investigation is a lie.” He said the process would take time and that the authorities “should indicate exactly what they want.”
“They can’t just go through your phone and take your photos or love letters to your wife or whatever,” Mr Baldwin said in the video.
In a televised interview last month, Mr. Baldwin denied responsibility for Ms. Hutchins’ death, stating that he did not know how the live rounds hit the set and that he did not pull the trigger before firing the pistol.
Before handing Mr. Baldwin the gun on set, the film’s first assistant director Dave Halls called edged weapons, an industry term that means firearms have no live ammo and are safe to use. Mr. Baldwin said in an interview that Ms. Hutchins instructed him where to point the gun when it fired.
“It is understandable that he was told it was a cold steel weapon and was following instructions when this tragic incident occurred,” Mr. Dyer said in a statement. “The real question that needs to be answered is how did live bullets get onto the set in the first place.”