American police investigating the death of a filmmaker on the set of “Rust” were still waiting on Thursday for Alec Baldwin, who handled the revolver involved in the accident, to hand over his cell phone to them as they asked him almost a month ago.
At the time of the tragedy, October 21 on a ranch in Santa Fe, New Mexico, the actor was working on a scene with cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.
Alec Baldwin maintains that he never pressed the trigger of the revolver when the shot went off, saying he was content to cock the hammer. He had been presented with the gun as harmless as it was supposed to contain only dummy bullets.
In particular, the police are looking to find out how live ammunition could have been found on the set, which is in theory strictly prohibited.
In mid-December, the investigators had obtained a warrant authorizing them to seize the phone of Alec Baldwin, also producer of the western, believing that it could contain “evidence” relating to the case, such as messages or emails.
According to the mandate, Alec Baldwin had notably exchanged emails with the gunsmith of the shooting concerning the type of revolver to be used on the fatal scene.
“To date, the cell phone has not been turned over to authorities,” the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Department said in a statement.
Investigators contacted Alec Baldwin’s lawyers to obtain the phone in question but were unsuccessful. The sheriff’s services then requested the assistance of the Santa Fe district attorney who, “for jurisdictional reasons”, began negotiations to have the actor hand over his phone “voluntarily”, explains the press release.
Last week on his Instagram account, the actor posted a rather rambling video in which he said he was willing to cooperate with the police and hand over his phone.
But he asserted that the request, emanating from the State of New Mexico and aimed at that of New York where he resides, had to respect the appropriate legal procedures. “It’s a time-consuming procedure,” he says in the video.
“Any insinuations that I’m not complying with requests, orders or warrants regarding my phone, that’s bullshit, that’s lies,” Alec Baldwin said.
No arrests have been made to date in this case, but criminal proceedings are not excluded in the event that responsibilities are established, the services of the Santa Fe prosecutor pointed out shortly after the tragedy.
In an interview with ABC, Alec Baldwin said he felt neither guilty nor even “responsible” for the death of Halyna Hutchins.