After waiting three months for the South Carolina Department of Corrections to fulfill a FOIA request, we now have more details about the August 2023 infractions that caused Alex Murdaugh to lose his telephone and canteen privileges.

In late October, we asked SCDC for a variety of records, including all of the disciplinary reports relating to the infractions that are visible on Alex Murdaugh’s public inmate record. What we learned was that Murdaugh found himself in trouble for participating in an interview for the Fox Nation documentary while behind bars, using another inmate’s pin number to call defense attorney Jim Griffin’s cell phone, and for having another inmate make a phone call to Griffin’s office to let them know Alex was unable to use the phone and needed money to be put on his canteen account.

The phone usage wasn’t the only time Murdaugh ran afoul of prison rules in 2023. In early October, a routine shakedown of his cell revealed that he had an excessive amount of ink pens and sticky notes. See the entire disciplinary file below:

What We Asked For

Our FOIA request to SCDC included the following items:

  • A list of everyone on Alex Murdaugh’s visitor list, as well as the dates he has had visitors and who they were
  • Any and all information regarding his sent and received via USPS “snail mail,”  including copies of the contents if available
  • Any disciplinary or incident reports for Murdaugh during his time in SCDC custody
  • Any and all messages sent and received via Murdaugh’s prison-issue tablet since July 1, 2023, through the present
  • Recordings of Murdaugh’s phone calls between July 1, 2023, and [October 26, 2023]

Ultimately, SCDC cited some of the FOIA exemptions — unreasonable invasion of privacy, attorney client privilege, and matters specifically exempted from disclosure — and did not return any information about Alex’s snail mail or any recordings or logs of his phone calls.

What We Received

You can hear more about Mandy and Liz’s take on the release in True Sunlight Episode 38.

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Contact Beth Braden

Beth Braden

Beth Braden is an award-winning journalist with experience covering government, education and crime and courts for more than 10 years. In addition to following breaking news and writing feature stories about life in her home state of Tennessee, her by-line appears on several internationally known websites.

Beth is passionate about communicating complex information in an easy-to-understand manner and she loves to pore over public records and court documents as she seeks out patterns and context to share with her audience. In her spare time, she enjoys quilting, strange museums, and good cups of coffee.

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