Good afternoon Premium Members, EB here. It’s been another power packed week. It started off on Wednesday in Kingstree, South Carolina. Went to the old courthouse in Kingstree, I had tried a case there in the 90s, so it’s been a long time since I’ve gone back and we were there for the plea of Cory Fleming. His sentencing was going to be done at a later date, usually in state court when you plead guilty you get sentenced immediately, but Cory Fleming decided that he wanted to plead guilty to all counts, which was a very rare thing.
In state court he has about 30 felony counts against him adding up to 250 plus years in prison and his attorney, Debbie Barbier made the decision with him that he would plead straight up to all of those charges. I’ve never seen in my 35 years I’ve never seen a defendant plead guilty to all counts in an indictment, especially if there wasn’t an agreement between the prosecution and the defense as to what the sentence would be. And so my understanding was that Creighton Waters wanted about 14 years to be in agreement with Cory Fleming and Debbie Barbier on the plea of guilt to recommend to Judge Newman. That was more time that Debbie Barbier wanted and so she’s willing to roll the dice without an agreement and she went with him before Judge Newman and pled guilty to all of the charges. And again, that is so rare especially when there are so many of these charges and what Debbie Barbier is banking on is the fact that previous week, Judge Richard Gergel sentenced Cory Fleming to 46 months in federal prison and he gave the directive to the state court judge to please listen to him and that should be enough time and he was hopeful, Judge Gergel that Judge Newman would suspend any sentence or make any sentence serve concurrent with federal time not to exceed the federal time. But that obviously didn’t happen, Judge Newman decided that there was going to be a delay in the sentencing until September 14 in Beaufort County. He felt it appropriate that Cory be sentenced in his home county.
So, Cory came in and as I said, when I was talking earlier in the week on the recap, he had the old jailhouse outfit of what a lot of the prisoners used to wear, it was a black and white kind of striped outfit that you saw George Clooney wear in O Brother, Where Art Thou by the Coen Brothers and he walked in and his family was shocked to see him like that. And I gotta tell you, it was shocking to see him like that. And I had worked with Creighton Waters on coming up with what the outline would be, for Creighton to disclose to the court all of the crimes that Cory had committed and all the facts and the documents that constituted those charged crimes. And I gotta tell you, Creighton Waters really laid the wood to Cory Fleming.
As you recall, in front of Judge Gergel, Judge Gergel didn’t want the granular detail of all the different facts that constituted the crimes that Cory committed. He tried to expedite the disclosures that were made in court so we could get to the sentence and when I got up and I was speaking on behalf of the victims at that time, which were the Satterfields, Judge Gergel shut me down when I tried to go into that granular detail. Judge Newman did not. So the sentence is going to be on September 14 and obviously Cory is going to have a strong showing of supporters and they were there for him, everybody was ready to speak, the same people that spoke in front of Judge Gergel were present at the hearing on Wednesday. But I think Judge Newman is going to be hard pressed to give him a concurrent sentence and suspend any jail time that he’s going to have to serve in state court and permit him to serve it in federal court. He’s currently residing in the Charleston County jail waiting to have his report date for federal prison. So after that was concluded, then Russell Laffitte was present. And Russell was with his two attorneys, Mark Moore and Todd Rutherford. And the state was pressing judge Newman to get a trial date for Russell Laffitte. Russell’s time to report was extended from September 14 to September 21. And he’s going to Jessup prison in Georgia, it’s a federal prison, and Mark Moore said that they’re still waiting for the Fourth Circuit to determine whether he can bond down on appeal of his case so that he doesn’t have to begin serving his prison time.
Todd Rutherford said that they are not prepared to go to trial this fall. And certainly Todd has legislative immunity from January of 2024 all the way through July of 2024. So, it’s going to extend out the time period that this case is going to be pending until Russell’s state court trial is going to take place into the fall of 2024. So we’re a little upset that justice is being delayed. But we had a big surprise take place last night and that surprise was that an article was written by Drew Tripp and then another one by John Monk that Alex Murdaugh has reversed his decision of not pleading guilty to the state court federal crimes, and there’s a ton of them. Just as many as the in the state court for Cory, there’s that many for Alex in federal court, including income tax evasion, and he said that he entered a plea that he’s going to plead guilty to those crimes. And that is going to take place on September 21 in front of Judge Gergel.
This morning we also had a hearing in state court in front of Daniel Hall, I told you it was a power packed week. And the receiver John Lay, made a petition to the court for him to be relieved of his duties and that a special referee, named Tolleson be appointed to marshal all the funds that they have recovered and that are going to be deposited in the court so that the victims of Alex Murdaugh can make a petition to Tolleson and in equity, which means in fairness, he would decide who gets what.
So now, let me explain. John Lay said that they have recovered about $2.1 million but he made a motion that the court approved $350,000 of expenses of attorneys fees and expenses that they’ve incurred since they got their original $250,000. The court approved those expenses, and John Lay agreed to cap those expenses even during the transition of depositing the money and he said there’s probably going to be another $85,000 that they’re going to collect, I heard that there was some timber that was going to be cut. He said he’s not going to charge an additional legal fee. He claimed that they’ve done 2700 hours for a total of $953,000 worth of legal fees and expenses. But they’re only going to ask to be reimbursed for a total of $600, which will leave $1.8 million that will be deposited into the court that Mr. Tolleson will marshal.
Now there’s not enough money for all the victims’ claims. I got up and I said that I represent a total of six different people that I have either sued over or that I’ve made claims and had recoveries for. And so those additional victims will be able to petition the court and there were some procedures that were agreed to this morning, where by October 1 all the victims will make a petition to Mr. Tolleson and then he will decide before December 1, what are the procedures for people presenting their particular cases for compensation.
And Monday, Jerry Rivers is going to be sentenced and we’ll know what it is that he did. My understanding concerns some of the PPP loans. But there may be a connection with Alex that will ultimately come out in the sentence. So that is, the week, a lot was done. We had a really good episode on Cup of Justice episode number 43, where we did talk about Cory’s sentence because we did think that Cory was going to be sentenced on Wednesday. So the preparations are going to begin to be for us to argue about Cory’s sentence in front of Judge Newman on the 14th and I don’t expect Judge Newman is going to cut me off. I think we’re going to be able to do a full robust presentation because not only does the person have to be sentenced, but the crime has to be sentenced as well. I heard from Emily Limehouse after it was publicly disclosed that Alex is going to plead guilty on September 21, that the sentence will not be given at that time. Remember, in federal court, there has to be a pre-sentence report, a PSR done by the probation and parole department, the Federal probation and parole department which usually takes about three or four months. So I suspect that Alex will be sentenced in late fall.
So that is the wrap up. I’m really excited about what’s coming in the next couple of weeks, excited about Mandy’s book, and look forward to talking to you on Cup of Justice. We’re going to record it, believe it or not this afternoon. So we will have that ready to roll Monday morning and I want everybody to have a good healthy weekend and EB out.
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