Actor Alec Baldwin turned in his phone to police in Suffolk County, NY on Friday morning, his attorney said, kicking off a lawsuit that will allow investigators to collect data related to his fatal shooting of a cameraman on the set of the movie “Rest” last year in New Mexico.
Mr. Baldwin agreed to a process where he would hand over his iPhone and password, and the phone’s details would be reviewed by officers from the Suffolk County Police Department and the District Attorney’s Office before passing the relevant details to the authorities in New York. Mexico, according to a search agreement provided by Mr. Baldwin. Mr Baldwin, who has a home in Suffolk County, handed the phone over to police himself, his attorney, Aaron Dyer, said.
Neither the Suffolk County Police Department nor the Sheriff’s Office immediately confirmed that they had received the device.
Under the terms of the search agreement, officials in Suffolk County will review the phone’s communications — including texts, emails, call records, voicemail messages, digital images and Internet browsing history — between June 1 and December 5 last year and will exclude all communications with his lawyers or his wife, Hilaria, who are protected by privilege.
“Mr. Baldwin has a right to privacy with respect to the contents of the iPhone, as well as with respect to communications with his attorneys and with his spouse, which communications are protected by attorney-client privilege and marital secrecy, respectively,” the agreement read.
What happened on the set of ‘Rest’
Under the agreement, police in Suffolk County must make a “forensic download” of the iPhone “in its entirety” before returning the device to Mr Baldwin.
The fatal shooting occurred on October 21, while Mr. Baldwin was practicing pulling an old-fashioned revolver from a shoulder holster. He had been told that the gun had no bullets in it, but it did, and it fired a bullet that killed the cameraman, Halyna Hutchins, and injured the film’s director, Joel Souza. Investigators investigating the shooting and trying to figure out how a bullet got into the gun issued a search warrant for Mr. Baldwin got.
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 permission to search the phone, authorities will issue a separate warrant. the state should apply for . To prevent that, the agreement says, Mr. Baldwin has agreed to proceed “as if the NM Warrant had been obtained in New York.”
“Alec voluntarily gave his phone to authorities this morning so they can complete their investigation,” Mr 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.”
While they generally limit their search to communications between June 1 and December 5, officers will have access to communications with Matthew Hutchins, Ms. Hutchins’ widower and Santa Fe law enforcement officers from any date, according to the search agreement. It stated that Mr Baldwin had agreed to provide a list of telephone numbers for “persons and entities involved in the production of the film”. The officials “may only extract call records for calls to or from those numbers during the relevant time period,” the agreement said.
After media reported last week that Santa Fe authorities answered Mr. Baldwin three weeks after the order was issued, Mr. Baldwin posted a video on his Instagram account in which he said any suggestion that he was not collaborating with researchers was “a lie.” He said the process would take time and authorities should “specify exactly what they want”.
“They can’t just go through your phone and, you know, take your pictures or your love letters to your wife or whatever,” Mr. Baldwin said in the video.
In a television interview last month, Mr. Baldwin takes responsibility for the death of Mrs. Hutchins and said he didn’t know how the live rounds got to the film set and that he didn’t pull the trigger before the gun went off.
Before handing Mr. Baldwin the gun on set, Dave Halls, the film’s first assistant director, called out “cold gun,” an industry term that implies that a firearm has no sharps and is safe to use. Mr Baldwin said in the interview that Mrs Hutchins had instructed him where to aim the gun when it went off.
“Obviously he was told it was a cold gun and he was following instructions when this tragic accident happened,” Mr Dyer said in the statement. “The real question to be answered is how live rounds got on set in the first place.”