A legal expert told Fox News Digital that Alec Baldwin’s request for a search warrant to access his cell phone is “not cooperation.”
The Santa Fe Sheriff’s Department recently issued a search warrant for Baldwin’s cell phone as part of its investigation into the death of “Rust” cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.
During a practice on Oct. 21, Baldwin was holding a handgun on set when the gun went off, killing Hutchins.
Baldwin’s lawyer, Aaron Dyer, stated that the actor “proactively requested” that police get a search warrant so that he and his family might be “protected.”
However, a legal expert described the move by Dyer was “spin.”
“It is spin by Alec’s lawyer to say that he suggested the warrant,” attorney Christopher Melcher told Fox News Digital. “He refused to provide his phone without a warrant. That is not cooperation or a proactive suggestion. I understand why he would not want his phone produced because it has so much private information on it.”
Another legal expert told Fox News Digital that Dyer “wisely advised” Baldwin not to turn over his phone without a search warrant.
“The phone may have evidence implicating Baldwin, and why help the district attorney’s office prosecute you when you don’t have to?” Neama Rahmani told Fox News Digital. “Law enforcement is looking for evidence of Baldwin’s knowledge, specifically evidence that Baldwin knew the gun had previously misfired, that there were live rounds on set and that the revolver was loaded with live ammunition and not blanks.
“Phone evidence allows police to ‘get inside someone’s head’ to prove knowledge and intent when they deny it,” Rahmani added.
Attorney Melcher further pointed out that Baldwin could potentially have “attorney-client communications” on his phone.
Melcher also suggested the sheriff’s department “be careful” examining Baldwin’s phone.
“The sheriff needs to be careful in examining the phone,” he explained. “Because if there are attorney messages on that phone and they are copied, the sheriff and the prosecutor can be disqualified from the case even if they did not read the messages. They need to have a special master appointed to review the phone first and ensure that no attorney-client communications are produced. I hope they know that.”
During interviews, Baldwin claimed that he had no idea the revolver had a live cartridge in it. The Santa Fe Sheriff’s Department is still looking into how live ammunition ended up on the set of “Rust” and in the handgun.