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Alec Baldwin turns over cellphone in 'Rust' shooting investigation

Meg James, Los Angeles Times on

Published in News & Features

Alec Baldwin has turned over his cellphone so it can be searched for evidence in the criminal investigation into the fatal “Rust” shooting.

On Friday morning, the star and producer of the low-budget western — who fatally shot cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on Oct. 21 — provided his cellphone to sheriff’s deputies in New York, according to Santa Fe County Sheriff’s spokesman Juan Rios and Baldwin’s attorney.

Suffolk County Sheriff’s investigators in New York will review the contents of Baldwin’s phone to search for text messages, emails, photos or other data that may be relevant to New Mexico’s Santa Fe County Sheriff’s investigation into the accidental shooting, Rios said.

“Once that data is retrieved from the phone, they will provide the data to us,” Rios said.

As recently as Thursday, sheriff’s investigators expressed frustration at the delay in obtaining Baldwin’s cellphone.

New Mexico First Judicial District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies — Santa Fe County’s top law enforcement officer, who is overseeing the case — had stepped in to lead negotiations with Baldwin and his Los Angeles attorney, Aaron Dyer, to allow Baldwin’s phone to be searched.

 

The process was complicated because Baldwin didn’t provide his phone voluntarily, according to an affidavit for the search warrant.

In addition, the actor had returned to New York, where he has a home in the Hamptons, and New Mexico authorities seemed powerless to force him to turn over the phone.

“Alec voluntarily provided his phone to the authorities this morning so they can finish their investigation,” Dyer said in a statement.

Santa Fe County Magistrate Judge David Segura on Dec. 16 authorized a search warrant allowing local law enforcement to search Baldwin’s iPhone for evidence that may prove valuable to their investigation of the fatal shooting that also injured the film’s director, Joel Souza.

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