Alec Baldwin, who is yet to surrender his cellphone to law enforcement as demanded in regarding the law enforcement inquiry into the deadly shooting on the set of the movie “Rust, may be holding onto the device for many reasons, legal experts told The Post on Friday.
The lawyers speculates that the 63-year old actor may be worried concerning the likelihood of “incriminating” proof on the phone— in addition to deleted texts or photos that could hold him in criminal disdain–or may directly want to keep his personal discussions intact.
“There could be incriminating evidence on the phone, or it might be for privacy reasons,”
said Kevin Kearon, a one time Nassau District Attorney’s Office who’s now a criminal defense lawyer.
“If he deleted text messages or call records then he would face the possibility of criminal contempt,”
said Kearon, who works at the Long Island firm Barket Epstein Kearon.
“Or if there are personal messages, for example, between he and his wife, it’s not shocking that he wouldn’t want them in the public domain.”
inspectors formerly asked Baldwin for his cellphone because they are of the opinion it contains key discussions connected to the prop-gun death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins in October.
Baldwin replied by telling them they would have to get a warrant, and this was done last month — nevertheless the phone has yet to be handed over to New Mexico cops.
Kearon said the attempt flies in the face of the actor’s foregoing vow to completely collaborate with police.
“It’s not consistent with his pledge early on to cooperate with law enforcement,” he said. “It certainly looks suspicious to the average person.”
It’s as well feasible that text messages on the phone counter foregoing statements Baldwin has made, Kearon said.
“He has said in a [TV] interview he didn’t pull the trigger…He’s made a number of statements that lock him into a corner,” he said.
The actor may be of the opinion that handing over his
“whole phone” is “over-broad,”
and should be reduced to only text messages and calls connected to the case, said Los Angeles-based criminal defense attorney Louis Shapiro.
“For Baldwin to say, ‘Get a warrant’ might come across as arrogant or not forthcoming but it’s pretty common,” Shapiro said.
“He might be saying, ‘If you want my whole phone that gets into my personal life and I don’t want to pull other people into this,”
“But a warrant could narrowly tailor the case-related information that can be extracted from the phone.”
“The more salacious reason is that there’s something incriminating on the phone.”
Alec Baldwin says Halyna Hutchins’ death is ‘worst situation’ he’s ever faced
inspectors may as well be looking for proof that reveals that other people were at fault, he said.
“They’ll be looking for [texts saying] ‘Oh my god, I didn’t check the gun’ or ‘I hired someone who’s not competent’ — anything that’s incriminating or that could shed more light and give more context. Or anything that could show the culpability of other people,” he said.
However, Shapiro said it’s not probable that information “damaging” to Baldwin is on the phone.
“Keep in mind, he gave an interview [to law enforcement]. You have to assume he and his lawyers knew what was on that phone so it wouldn’t be contradicted,”
Santa Fe Sheriff’s Office and New Mexico First Judicial District Attorney’s Office said Friday they are “actively working” with the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office and Baldwin’s lawyers get a hold of the cellphone from the actor, who has a home on the East End. This comes after Santa Fe authorities as well issued a search warrant for the phone on Dec. 16.
Eventually, legal experts foretasted Baldwin will probably be forced to hand over material on his phone in the end.
“Make no mistake: A lawfully issued subpoena that doesn’t get successfully challenged in court must be complied with or he can be charged with contempt,”
“It’s very likely. It’s certainly relevant.”