SANTA FE, N.M.(NewsNation Now) — A search warrant has been issued for actor Alec Baldwin’s phone in the investigation of October’s fatal shooting of a cinematographer on the New Mexico set of his Western movie “Rust,” documents filed in a court in Santa Fe, New Mexico showed on Thursday.
Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was shot and killed by a prop gun held by Alec Baldwin. The ensuing anguish and investigation revealed what some said were dangerous gun-handling protocols on a set where some crew members had complained about conditions.
Baldwin has not been charged, though the investigation continues and lawsuits have been filed. Authorities still do not know how a live round ended up in the prop firearm, and Baldwin has said he did not pull the trigger.
Investigators have described “some complacency” in how weapons were handled on the set of the Western “Rust.” They have yet to file any charges and have been working to determine where the live rounds found on set might have come from.
According to the search warrant affidavit, investigators are looking for any text messages, images, videos, calls or other information related to the movie production.
Court documents state that Baldwin told investigators during an interview that there were emails between himself and the film’s armorer Hanna Gutierrez Reed where she showed him different styles of guns and that he had requested a bigger gun, which ended up being a Colt revolver with a brown handle.
A brief search of Halyna’s phone turned up conversations about the production that dated back to July as well as photographs of receipts from businesses in Santa Fe, according to the affidavit.
Former trial attorney Terri Austin said Baldwin should have handed the phone over voluntarily instead of waiting for a search warrant to be issued.
“[The contents of Baldwin’s phone] will lead into whether or not there was some sort of criminal negligence, whether there was something going on on that set that he should have been paying attention to,” said Austin.
Brian Buckmire, a felony trial attorney, said most lawyers likely wouldn’t have encouraged Baldwin to hand over the phone on his own.
“When it comes to handing over information, many people will just think ‘If you’re not guilty hand it over.’ But your lawyer is going to probably tell you not to. The same way your lawyer will tell you not to speak when you’re given your Miranda warnings.”
The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.