Alec Baldwin has tried his best to make sure everyone knows that what happened on the set of Rust wasn’t his fault. He’s been very vocal about it, swearing he didn’t pull the trigger.
Now, I won’t say this is a sign of innocence or guilt because anyone would be trying to make the case that they didn’t do anything wrong, regardless of whether they did or not. Frankly, Baldwin’s recent actions tell us precisely jack squat about what happened that fateful day.
What’s interesting is that while investigators have heard all the same stuff we have plus a whole lot more, they’ve also seen and talked to a lot of other people, and they’re clearly not ready to let Baldwin off the hook. In fact, it appears they’re taking a closer look at him.
Alec Baldwin has denied that he requested a larger Colt gun before the fatal shooting of Halyna Hutchins on the set of Rust in a tweet today, sent after Sante Fe sheriffs in New Mexico issued a search warrant for his iPhone.
The 63-year-old actor tweeted an article from Newsweek which claimed that he had requested a bigger gun before the accidental shooting.
‘This, in fact is a lie,’ Baldwin wrote over the article link.
‘The choices regarding any props by me for the film RUST were made weeks before production began. To suggest that any changes were made “before fatal shooting” is false,’ he added.
His tweet came after police in New Mexico issued a search warrant for his iPhone, following the fatal October 21 shooting.
The search warrant, requested by Santa Fe sheriffs, authorizes police to review all text messages and photos on the actor’s iPhone, as well as any stored location data, as part of their investigation.
Baldwin was seen on his phone making a call shortly after the shooting.
Judge David Segura, a magistrate in Santa Fe, approved the request on Thursday afternoon.
Detective Alexandria Hancock – referred to in the warrant as the ‘affiant’ – said that they requested Baldwin hand over his phone, but the actor and his lawyers said that they require a warrant first.
So what does it mean?
Look, right now, this doesn’t mean a whole lot. It does probably mean that based on the evidence collected so far, they’ve seen nothing to exonerate Baldwin completely, but that’s about it.
“But if he had nothing to hide, why would he require a warrant to hand over his phone?” some might ask.
The thing is, anyone with half a brain should require as much. It’s one thing to cooperate with authorities, but they can ask for anything in the world. The warrant makes sure they actually have grounds for it. Whether you’re Alec Baldwin or Joe Blow, there are reasons to ask for a warrant before something like that.
I could argue it’s especially true if you’re someone like Alec Baldwin. I mean, he likely has a number of celebrity phone numbers in there, numbers that aren’t exactly in the phone book but some might actually want access to whereas someone like you or me isn’t likely to have anything like that.
Now, what about if Baldwin actually did request a bigger prop gun? Does that have any meaning?
Well, it might, but I can also see it having no bearing at all. Yes, Baldwin says it was a lie, but I can actually see an actor requesting a larger firearm for creative reasons. “I just feel like this character would have a larger gun,” is actually a semi-valid argument in any visual artistic medium. Almost any actor might make that kind of a request, though someone of Baldwin’s stature is more likely to have it listened to by the director.
Right now, we’re simply having to wait to see what investigators find. It’s possible they’ll find nothing on Baldwin’s phone. It’s possible they’ll find some evidence that he hated Hutchinson and wanted her dead. We’ll just have to wait and find out.
But I do think it’s interesting that they want to take a look at it.