Alec Baldwin’s cellphone records related to the fatal shooting on the set of his ill-fated film “Rust” are expected to be transferred to authorities in New Mexico this week.
Once investigators with the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office review those records, they will be able to complete their investigation into the October 2021 death of 42-year-old cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.
Baldwin, 64, the star and co-producer of the low-budget Western, was rehearsing a scene with a prop revolver when the firearm discharged a live bullet, which struck Hutchins in the chest, killing her, and also wounded “Rust” director Joel Souza.
The New Mexico Office of Medical Investigator (OMI) has determined that Hutchins’ death was an accident, according to a report that was released on Monday by the sheriff’s office.
In reaching its conclusion that the shooting was an accident, the OMI pointed to “the absence of obvious intent to cause harm or death” and stated that there was “no compelling demonstration” that the revolver was intentionally loaded with live ammunition on the set.
State prosecutors have not yet decided if any criminal charges should be filed pending a review of FBI reports on the revolver and ammunition, and Baldwin’s cellphone data, which authorities in Santa Fe County have been waiting to obtain for eight months.
Luke Nikas, one of Baldwin’s attorneys, wrote in an email to the Santa Fe New Mexican on Tuesday that the actor’s legal team turned over his phone records to police in Suffolk County, New York, back in January and approved their review six months ago.
Nikas said he was told that the authorities in Suffolk Country have been processing the cellphone data and were planning to send them to their counterparts in New Mexico sometime this week.
Santa Fe County Sheriff Adan Mendoza previously stated that once Baldwin’s phone records are transferred to his agency, detectives will “thoroughly review” them for “evidentiary purposes.”
Following the review, the sheriff’s office will send its case file to District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies, who will make the determination as to whether any charges should be filed.
Earlier this week, Nikas said in a statement that the medical investigator’s report was further proof the shooting was “a tragic accident” and that Baldwin should not face charges.
The lawyer also argued that the actor was told by the person in charge of safety on set that the gun was “cold,” meaning that it did not contain live ammunition.
Baldwin said in a December interview with ABC News that he was pointing the gun at Hutchins at her instruction when it went off after he cocked it. He insisted that he did not pull the trigger.
But an FBI analysis of the revolver that Baldwin had in his hand during the rehearsal suggested it would not have discharged unless the trigger was pulled.
With the hammer in full cock position, the FBI report stated, the gun could not be made to fire without pulling the trigger while the working internal components were intact and functional.
Ammunition seized from the set at Bonanza Creek were live rounds found in a cart and in the holster in the wooden church building where the shooting occurred. Blank and dummy cartridges were also found.
With Post wires