Alec Baldwin Finally Gives His Phone to ‘Rust’ Shooting Investigators

The actor has turned over his cell phone to the police in New York, a month after New Mexico cops served his lawyer with a search warrant for the device
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Nearly a month after a New Mexico judge issued a search warrant for Alec Baldwin’s cell phone in the investigation of the fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of Rust, the actor has turned over the device—to cops in New York.

After a barrage of recent reports that Baldwin had failed to comply with a Santa Fe magistrate’s December 16 order that the phone be given to the local sheriff’s office to aid in their investigation of the October 21 on-set shooting that killed Hutchins and wounded director Joel Souza, Baldwin surrendered his phone to police in his home county of Suffolk, New York, Friday.

It was a deal, the New York Times reports, designed to protect Baldwin’s privacy.

According to the agreement, Baldwin provided his iPhone and password to the Suffolk County Police Department. Police investigators and members of the district attorney’s office there will examine the phone’s data and forward any relevant material to authorities in New Mexico.

Officials in Suffolk—where Baldwin has a house, and which is just across the county line from his childhood home of Massapequa, Long Island—may examine Baldwin’s texts, emails, call records, voice mails, digital images and internet history from June 1 to December 5 of last year. Investigators may not view communications between Baldwin and his lawyers or his wife, Hilaria, which are protected by privilege.

The Suffolk police will create a “forensic download” of the phone “in its entirety” before returning it to the actor.

The New Mexico warrant is not enforceable in New York, and authorities there would have needed to get a separate warrant if Baldwin had not agreed to let them operate “as if the NM Warrant had been obtained in New York.”

The shootings occurred while Baldwin was practicing cross-drawing an old-fashioned, single-action Colt .45 revolver from a holster. Baldwin said in an interview with ABC last month that he “didn’t pull the trigger,” but single-action revolvers can be discharged by simply letting go of the hammer after they’ve been cocked, or even with a sharp, accidental jolt.

Additionally, the firearm was supposed to be unloaded. Investigators are trying to determine how a loaded gun got onto the set.

“Alec voluntarily provided his phone to the authorities this morning so they can finish their investigation,” Baldwin’s lawyer, Aaron Dyer, said in a statement. “But this matter isn’t about his phone, and there are no answers on his phone. Alec did nothing wrong.”