The creators of The Murdaugh Murders Podcast are gearing up to cover a new trial: SC v. Michael Colucci.

Almost nine years after 38-year-old Sara Lynn Moore Colucci was found dead outside of her jewelry business in Summerville, South Carolina, her family finally has another chance at getting justice this May. 

On May 13, 2024, the South Carolina Attorney General’s Office — the same office from the Murdaugh Murders Trial — will prosecute yet another Lowcountry murder case tangled in a similar web of power, corruption, money and multiple mysterious deaths.

In May 2016, the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division — the same agency that investigated the Murdaugh Murders — charged Charleston-area jeweler Michael Colluci with the murder of his wife Sara Lynn Colucci.

Like thrice accused rapist Bowen Turner and murderer Alex Murdaugh, Michael Colucci is yet another well-connected male defendant whose case represents an ongoing issue in South Carolina that we hope to change: two systems of justice that favors the rich and powerful.

During the 2018 trial, Colucci’s mastermind defense, led by top-tier attorney Andy Savage, managed to skew the simple narrative of this story so badly it resulted in a hung jury — despite the pile of evidence stacked against him. 

Now, Mandy Matney and Liz Farrell — the journalists largely credited for exposing Alex Murdaugh’s shocking web of crimes including the murder of his own family — are determined to shine the sunlight on the Colucci case this May in their mission to follow the truth wherever it leads, give a voice to the voiceless, and get the story straight. 

In fact, Matney and Farrell were investigating Alex Murdaugh years before the infamous Murdaugh Murders occurred in 2021. 

“Colucci is by far the most shocking and twisted story we have come across since Murdaugh,” Mandy Matney, creator of the #1 Apple Hits Murdaugh Murders and Cup of Justice Podcasts said. “It’s infuriating to see another example of a well-connected South Carolina man, apparently, getting away with so much, and this is a case where we will use our skills and platform to encourage people to care about this case in the way they didn’t in 2018.”

Matney, who released her best-selling book about her journalistic journey exposing the Murdaughs in November 2023, said that she hopes her international coverage of the case will pressure the South Carolina Attorney General’s Office to dedicate more time and resources to Colucci — just like what happened during the Murdaugh trial. 

“We aren’t trying to pollute a jury pool or anything like that — we just want prosecutors to care about this trial more than they did in 2018. We want them to show us that the state still can get justice in cases against million-dollar defense teams,” Matney, of Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, said. “We just want the victims to get a fair shot of justice this time and we hope our coverage leads to that.”

Colucci’s attorney Andy Savage is a legal powerhouse. Listeners of the Murdaugh Murders Podcast will remember Savage for when he briefly represented Sandy Smith pro bono in 2021 before she fired him for speaking with the media about her son’s case before communicating with her. Savage is also known for defending Michael Slager in collaboration with Cup of Justice co-host Eric Bland.

Michael Colucci is one of a handful of defendants in our justice system who could afford a defense team like the one he’s represented by for not one, but two trials. 

“Murdaugh 2.0.” Farrell wrote in episode 48 of True Sunlight Podcast. “Both are circuses but Alex’s is like one of those traveling shows that people protest at because of the animal abuse and Michael’s is Cirque du Soleil, where you’re like whoa, how’d that get twisted like that?”

The story that Michael Colucci told police about the circumstances surrounding his wife’s death shifted several times — and ultimately, just didn’t match the evidence.

His defense claimed that Sara Colucci either hanged herself intentionally with an industrial hose or tripped on an industrial hose that somehow strangled her — all while Michael was a few feet away in his car. 

If suicide, WHY would a 38-year-old mother who valued her image choose to end her life by strangling herself with a hose along a fence with her husband a few feet away?

If accidental, HOW could a 38-year-old possibly accidentally strangle herself to death with a hose along a chain link fence? And how could she suffer such a violent and horrific death via strangulation without her husband — a few feet away — noticing?

On the contrary, the state believes that the couple — on the brink of separating — got into a fight and Michael strangled her to death and attempted to stage a suicide or accident.

But will the S.C. Attorney General’s Office put their best case forward when it comes to trial this May? Will they dedicate appropriate resources to ensuring Sara Lynn Moore Colucci finally gets justice?

Joel Kozak and Kinli Abee, both of the Attorney General’s office, will be prosecuting the case.

“If Michael Colucci killed Sara Lynn — like we believe the evidence shows — it’s going to take a much better effort from the state this time around to convict,” Matney said. “We hope our coverage of this case — and coverage from other media — pressures the Attorney General’s Office into dedicating more resources to the trial this May. We want them to care about this case in the way they cared about getting justice for Maggie and Paul.”


Alex Murdaugh and Michael Colucci have a lot in common. 

While Alex is a South Carolina native, Michael moved to Charleston from New York City when he was 5 years old with his mother, brother, stepfather and five step-siblings. Despite that, like Alex, he was well entrenched in the Good Ole Boy System we so often warn the world about. 

In fact, Alex and Michael both had enough connections with law enforcement and the courts that it warranted the local solicitor’s offices and the sheriff’s offices to recuse themselves in their cases – leaving SLED to investigate and the AG’s office to prosecute the case. 

Both Alex and Michael have last names that mean a whole lot to them – legacy, money, power. In fact, Michael even changed his last name to that of his stepfather. Some say that was Michael adopting the credibility and esteem of Ivo Colucci — credibility and esteem he had not earned on his own.

Alex and Michael share a similar past – filled with financial chaos, allegations of drug use, and tumultuous relationships. 

According to sources, Michael was a man used to getting out of any kind of trouble he got into …. After he was charged with his wife’s murder, he had the privilege, like Alex, of being represented by one of the most expensive attorneys in the state. 

In fact — if he IS guilty of killing Sara Lynn — Michael Colucci just might possess the How To Get Away With It Playbook that Alex and his team so closely followed.  

However, there are two big differences between Michael Colucci and Alex Murdaugh. 

Michael Colucci’s murder trial had a different outcome. 

And Michael wasn’t born into privilege, money and power in the way Alex Murdaugh was.

Michael Colluci reportedly ran in highly connected Charleston circles for decades. Those connections reportedly were the reason both the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office and the 9th Circuit Solicitor’s Office recused itself from this case in 2016. 

Dozens of police reports obtained by Luna Shark Media show that Michael was a man with a track record of getting out of everything — even after his wife’s alleged murder,  he hasn’t really stayed out of trouble. 


The most disturbing thing we learned is related to Michael’s house arrest. It’s yet another story about how South Carolina does next to nothing to keep track of defendants who are out on bond awaiting trial in violent crimes.

So remember, this case has been going on for nine years. Sara Lynn Colucci was killed in May 2015. A year later, Michael was charged with murdering her. Two years after that, he was tried for her murder and the judge declared it a mistrial when the jury couldn’t reach a verdict.

We are now six years out from that.

In 2016, Michael was put under house arrest and lived with his mother and stepfather in Summerville, S.C., in the seven-bedroom house where Michael, his brother and their five step-siblings were raised on a more than 12 acre piece of property.

According to sources, Michael didn’t last long in that house. His stepfather kicked him out and Michael moved to the family’s 3,000-square-foot waterfront beach house on Edisto Island, which Murdaugh listeners will recognize as where Maggie Murdaugh was staying — in the Colucci family’s beach house — at the time of her murder.

But apparently he didn’t let the court know about this address change.

In May 2017, the Attorney General’s Office filed a motion to revoke or amend Michael’s bond.

According to the motion, Michael was violating the conditions of the bond that was set for him a year earlier in that he was not living at his parents’ house. Also, the AG’s office had information that Michael was not abiding by the terms of his house arrest, which stated he could only leave the house to go to “work, attend religious services, medical, dental and/or health appointments and attend appointments at his lawyers’ offices.”

A few days after that motion was filed, Judge Kristi Harrington held a hearing and signed an order putting Michael on house arrest at his parents’ BEACH house — ie., the house he was already staying at without the court’s permission. The judge again restricted his movements but provided more details about what he was and wasn’t allowed to do, including new provisions for parenting. Michael was required to be at the house between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m. every day. And he was barred from entering any premises where the primary business was the sale or consumption of alcohol.

According to Robert Kittle with the South Carolina Attorney General’s Office, this is where Michael remains under house arrest … at his “parents’ house”.

But … according to police reports, Michael hasn’t lived at that address since at least April 2018, which is seven months before his November 2018 trial. And apparently he hasn’t faced any consequences for not living at the location where he is supposed to be on house arrest.

Even more concerning?

Over the past two weeks we’ve been sent screenshots of several Facebook posts with photos and a few videos that appear to show Michael in Aiken, South Carolina, where his girlfriend reportedly lives … nearly three hours from the house he’s believed to have been renting from deceased parents on Edisto Island. We’ve also been informed that at least one of the people who had posts that appeared to show Michael in Aiken has since taken down those posts. 

If you believe you’ve seen Michael violate the terms of his house arrest in the last 5 years, please contact the South Carolina Attorney General’s Office here:
General Information 1-803-734-3970

Luna Shark Media will provide updates on Colucci’s trial in upcoming episodes of True Sunlight and Cup of Justice.

This article is the kind of in-depth reporting you can support with a Luna Shark Premium membership. Click here for half off your first month of premium membership and help us hold the justice system accountable. Soak Up the Sun premium members will have access to the live broadcast of Colucci’s trial, court documents, exclusive articles, chat with the Luna Shark team, and more.

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