On December 2, nearly six weeks after cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was fatally shot on the New Mexico set of the indie Western Rust, Alec Baldwin—who was holding the gun that killed her—sat down with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos to tell his side of the story. While Baldwin’s goal may have been to get ahead of the story, his decision to speak publicly about the deadly incident while it’s still under investigation was probably not the smartest move.
Just days after Baldwin’s interview, there were reports that the District Attorney handling the case was not very happy about the Oscar nominee’s decision to take his story to primetime. While the actor declared that he had been told it was “highly unlikely” he’d face any criminal charges, Santa Fe First Judicial District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies said that “certain individuals may be criminally culpable for his/her actions and/or inactions on the set of Rust.”
Now, Variety reports that the Santa Fe Sheriff’s Office has obtained a warrant to search Baldwin’s cell phone as part of their continuing investigation. “In an affidavit attached to the warrant, Det. Alexandria Hancock said investigators are seeking evidence that may help complete a full investigation,” Gene Maddaus wrote for Variety. “Hancock stated that she had asked Baldwin and his attorney to voluntarily turn over the phone, and she was told to get a warrant.”
Hannah Gutierrez Reed, the on-set armorer, and Dave Halls, Rust’s first assistant director, turned their phones over to police voluntarily, but Variety reported that Baldwin’s lawyer said his client needed to “protect his privacy on unrelated matters”—hence the need for a warrant. In an attempt to piece together all the events and communications leading up to Hutchins’ death, investigators are looking for texts, emails, videos, or other communications related to the production of Rust.
According to Variety: “The affidavit includes details of Baldwin’s initial interview with Sheriff’s detectives, which had not previously been made public. In the interview, Baldwin stated that he had exchanged emails with Hannah Gutierrez Reed, the armorer on the production, about what type of gun to use. She had showed him various options, and he had selected the Colt .45 he was to use in the film.”
Which can be read in full here.