SANTA FE COUNTY, NM – Police in New Mexico obtained a search warrant for Alec Baldwin’s cell phone as part of their investigation into the shooting death of a cinematographer.
While that typically means that Baldwin would be forced to submit the phone or a search warrant of wherever it is kept would happen, that does not seem to be the case for the actor.
Alec Baldwin blames 1/6 and “all the hate” for any press about his refusal to comply with the search warrant for his cell phone.
— Emily Miller (@emilymiller) January 8, 2022
The Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office has been working on the apparent accidental death of Hollywood cinematographer Halyna Hutchins which happened in October of 2021.
To further their investigation, they need to be able to view the contents of Baldwin’s phone as they believe it contains crucial information that can help them with the case.
On December 16th, a judge in Santa Fe agreed with the Sheriff’s Office and approved a search warrant for the phone. As of January 7th, Baldwin has yet to release the phone to be forensically examined.
The Santa Fe Sheriff’s Office has formally requested the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office to obtain Baldwin’s phone from him in Long Island, New York. Fox News spoke to Suffolk County Sheriff’s Sergeant Paul Spinella who confirmed they have received the request. He said:
“The Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office has received a request from the Santa Fe, NM authorities requesting assistance in obtaining Alec Baldwin’s phone.
This request has been forwarded to the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office to work out the differences in laws between NM and NY. As this is an ongoing investigation, that is all the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office can report at this time.”
To those who may not be aware, when something like this happens, the investigating authority must author a search warrant for the item to be searched.
Once it is approved by the local judge, then contact has to be made for the jurisdiction in which the item is believed to be held.
Authorities in New Mexico and New York are still trying to get a hold of actor Alec Baldwin’s cell phone as they probe the tragic death of a cinematographer on one of his film sets, despite obtaining a search warrant weeks ago.🤬🖕🏾
— American Islandman (@N76247476Man) January 8, 2022
In the affidavit for the warrant, the requesting officer, Detective Alexandria Hancock documented that she had asked Baldwin and his attorney to surrender the phone so that it could be forensically examined.
However, both Baldwin and his attorney refused to surrender the phone and instead demanded a search warrant.
Hancock advised that she was only interested in archiving information that would be relevant to her investigation, which, would be the only thing she would be legally required to obtain.
Any other information that is not related would be destroyed in compliance with New Mexico law.
Investigators in New Mexico believe that the phone will contain conversations about the defunct movie production based upon conversations located on Hutchins’ phone as far back as July 14th which are relevant to her death.
What exactly the police are looking for from the phone is unknown, however, it is clear from previous comments that there could be criminal charges forthcoming, it is just unknown who at this time.
If I had Alec Baldwin’s subpoenaed cell phone and refused to give it to the FBI, what would happen and how fast? pic.twitter.com/qAOIQNXvq9
— Sean Shannon Collier (@ReillocNaes) January 8, 2022
Baldwin has repeatedly claimed that he did not fire the gun that shot and killed Hutchins as well as injured another that fateful day.
He claims that the prop gun, which should have only been loaded with blanks, somehow fired on its own as he was rehearsing a scene.
SANTA FE, NM – Alec Baldwin recently did a television interview in which he admits to holding the gun that killed one person and injured another, but now claims he never pulled the trigger.
The sheriff whose detectives are working the investigation came out and said what everyone else should already know, guns do not fire on their own.
On October 21st, there is no dispute that Baldwin was on the ill-fated movie set for “Rust,” a country western movie with a gun in his hand.
There is also no dispute that the gun that was in Baldwin’s hand fired, killing cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and injuring film director Joel Souza.
However, now, at least according to Baldwin, there is a dispute as to whether the gun somehow fired itself or he pulled the trigger.
Baldwin, who must have ignored his attorney’s advice, appeared on a televised interview about the incident that day in Santa Fe.
He spoke to ABC host, George Stephanopoulos, who asked him what occurred that morning, and if he pulled the trigger while the gun was pointed in a person’s direction. Baldwin’s response:
“No, no, no, no, I would never point a gun at anyone and pull the trigger at them, never.”
While it appears no one believes that Baldwin actually intended to shoot, let alone kill anyone, it is difficult to believe that the gun would just fire on its own while he was holding it. Santa Fe County Sheriff Adan Mendoza expressed his doubts to Fox News Digital.
“Guns don’t just go off. So whatever needs to happen to manipulate the firearm, he did that and it was in his hands.”
The Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office noted that they are waiting for results from the FBI who is assisting in this case by processing the firearm that was fired.
They are hoping the FBI will be able to advise whether the trigger was pulled or was capable of being manipulated in such a way to cause it to fire.
There may be some argument that the hammer had already been pulled back on the .45 Colt revolver by someone on the set prior to the shooting.
According to the fourth search warrant that was conducted by the Sheriff’s Office, the set armorer, Hannah Gutierrez Reed, noted that this was a possibility. According to the search warrant, Reed said:
“We had the gun the whole time before that and nothing happened, and I wasn’t in there, and they weren’t even supposed to be pulling the hammer back.”
Reed’s description is disputed by Baldwin who described the incident just before the shooting.
In the interview, he said that he and Hutchins were trying to find the best angle with the gun for an upcoming scene in which he never pulls the trigger. However, and most importantly, Baldwin said that he was only supposed to cock the gun which contradicts what Reed’s account.
Fox News spoke to armorer Bryan Carpenter about the possibility of the gun firing without the trigger being pulled. His analysis on the issue was that it would be very rare for something like that to occur. He said:
“In order to make it fire, you have to put your thumb up onto the hammer, cock the hammer all the way back, and then as the hammer is completely cocked back, then you pull the trigger and then the gun fires. So that’s very important because that gun had to have two step process to fire. It had to be cocked and the trigger pulled to fire.”
Carpenter went on to explain that once the hammer is pulled back, the trigger pull is minimal. That means that it would be easy to fire the gun without applying a lot of pressure to the trigger. He said:
“Once you cock the hammer back on one of those old west guns, it doesn’t take a lot to set that trigger off. You know, they’re very light triggers.”
Michael Corrie, a film and prop historian, also spoke to Fox about the possibility of the gun being fired without pulling the trigger. Corrie said the only way something like that could occur is if there had been some type of mechanical failure with the gun. He noted:
“The hammer needs to be fully locked to the rear for the weapon to function. Which necessitates manual operation of the weapon. Barring an as of yet unknown mechanical failure, this weapon did not fire itself…For the hammer to travel forward at all, the trigger has to be depressed…unless some major mechanical failure takes place.”
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