Investigators examining the fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the New Mexico set of the Alec Baldwin movie Rust believe that his cell phone could contain valuable information.
On Thursday, an eight-page document written by the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office, in the hopes of searching Baldwin’s iPhone, was approved by a local judge. Authorities can now examine the actor and producer’s device for text messages, emails, social media messages, browser history and other information related to the investigation. Any unrelated information taken from the phone will be sealed, according to the affidavit, which was obtained by Yahoo Entertainment.
Hutchins’s phone contained conversations about the movie as long ago as July and photos dating back to Sept. 7.
Baldwin, an actor and producer on the Western, was the one holding the gun being used as a prop in a scene when Hutchins was hit with gun fire. (Director Joel Souza was also injured.)
In his first television interview following the tragedy, which aired Dec. 2, he said that he hadn’t pulled the trigger on the firearm and that he had not expected it to be loaded with a live round.
Baldwin and others, including Hannah Gutierrez Reid, the movie’s armorer, who’s the crew member responsible for the guns on set, and Dave Halls, the assistant director for the production who told Baldwin the gun was “cold,” or not loaded with live ammunition, just before the incident.
After Baldwin asserted in his big sit-down with ABC journalist George Stephanopoulos that he considered it “highly unlikely” that he will face criminal charges in the shooting, Santa Fe District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies reiterated earlier this month that her office had not ruled out charging someone.
In addition, Baldwin and others involved in the production are facing multiple lawsuits.