Happy Thursday Premium Members, EB here. It’s been a pretty good week of no real Alex Murdaugh issues. Still processing the sentencing hearing from two Thursdays ago. For me, it was really the end of a long, hard road. Obviously, we’re not done with Murdaugh. But the thing that has stuck with me is just this narcissistic nature that he continues to exhibit every chance he gets in public there. There’s contrition, but it’s always followed with blame deflection that he’s, you know, a changed man, that he’s somebody you should admire. Yes, he appears to have broken some of his opioid habit. But, you know, that’s only because he’s in prison and probably can’t get the opioids as readily as he got him on the outside. So it’s been a week of my clients doing some interviews on television, People Magazine, basically stating why they forgive Alex, which is something that I cannot do. 

But the week belonged to Becky Hill. And it’s starting to, I think, cause some problems for the prosecution in the sense that if this motion for a new jury trial is heard, and when it’s heard, it’s really going to rest on the credibility of Becky Hill. And a judge has not been appointed yet by the South Carolina Supreme Court to hear it and I doubt anything will happen before the Christmas holiday. I suspect that even if there’s an appointment by a judge before the end of the year, there won’t be a status conference on how to move forward with the jury trial issue. The judge is going to have to get up to speed, read a lot of the briefs, have a pretty good understanding of what happened during the trial and in the in camera proceedings. The judge is going to have to make a decision on what procedures are going to be in place for each side. And that is for the prosecution to rebut the allegations of jury tampering for the defense to meet their burden of proof to show that there was the jury tampering on Becky Hill’s part. That compromised the impartiality of the jury process, and may have influenced the jury in a way that is unlawful and would guarantee Alex a new trial. From my standpoint, I still am not moved by anything that the defense has posited about the jury trial interference. I think if we were to go forward solely on that, I think the defense would lose. Now my clients, the four jurors that I represent, have given statements to SLED, they were willing to give affidavits, they are certainly willing to give a deposition if the court orders it, or testimony in court. I’m a little concerned that they not be subjected to excessive public scrutiny because they already have given their seven weeks to Alex. And I don’t think they should be subjected to harassment by Harpootlian. But what has happened is this thing now has morphed into two separate matters involving allegations against Becky Hill. There was an ethics complaint filed against Becky Hill, and she provided her response and those allegations center around Becky’s running of the courthouse. There’s allegations that she gave tours to people during the trial and during jury selection in the courthouse and that she charged for those tours. There’s allegations of alleged misappropriation of money having to do with child support and other type of fees that are paid to the clerk of courts office. I think all of this will be addressed. I think that you know, these are serious allegations, don’t get me wrong. These are very serious allegations and if they’re proven true, she will most likely be prosecuted. The 14th circuit Solicitor’s Office Duffy Stone referred this matter as well as a matter involving her son Colt, who was criminally charged with wiretapping. Colt works for Walterboro in the information systems department, and he’s alleged to have wiretapped or listened in on conversations involving others. We’re a one party recording state but he wasn’t part of those conversations so you can’t record him. If he was part of that conversation, he would be able to record. 

So there’s three separate things now involving Becky. Becky’s phone was confiscated as a result of a search warrant involving her son Colt’s charges. So on the one hand, we have these jury issues involving Becky, that are not criminal. That’s the civil context of her having to address them so that the jury verdicts in connection with the double murder be preserved. The second thing is the administrative ethics complaint, which deals with these issues of Becky and her courthouse and monies that are allegedly missing and different things that have happened. And I think this has a little bit to do with people who possibly are gunning for her job. The third thing now is involving her son. So what has happened is the 14th circuit Solicitor’s Office has now referred all these Becky Hill issues to the Attorney General and there’s a statewide Grand Jury impaneled to deal with these issues. And now, instead of us focusing solely on these new trial issues regarding the jury, we have all these issues of Becky possibly doing something that deals with misappropriation of money, and then her son listening in on conversations of county employees and do those conversations somehow implicate Becky and some of the things that are going on in the Murdaugh case or going on in the courthouse is her son, for instance, checking out other conversations to provide her with information? We don’t know that; her phone again has been confiscated. The problem is that Becky now has been tainted. Even if she’s totally innocent there’s so much smoke around Becky right now that I’m really getting worried about what a new judge may view when she comes to court to testify about what she didn’t do in her affidavit, as alleged by Harpootlian and Griffin, she’s going to say none of these took place. 

The other thing that is very problematic is will Becky be able to testify? And I say that because now that there is an impaneled grand jury, she has criminal lawyers that are going to be representing her who are going to advise her, hey, look, you’re in legal jeopardy right now, You’re not just in, you know, gonna be the one that potentially is responsible for all that time and money and sweat and anguish in prosecuting Alex Murdaugh to double convictions that now we’re going to have to be prosecuted over its substantial expense. But now you’re really in criminal jeopardy under the criminal code. And so it’s our advice that you take the fifth, and you don’t testify. Now, if Becky takes the fifth, it’s over. So something that I felt from the start was really in favor of the state that there wouldn’t be a new trial granted, and ultimately, these you know, the jury convictions reversed. Now, it seems that there probably went from 20% to 30% chance to maybe 50%, or a little bit more, because of the stink of these new charges that are coming at Becky and her son. 

So we’re gonna have to see how all this plays out, you know that it’s been quiet from the team Murdaugh camp. It’s nice to have a little bit of a break. On December 20, we’re going to be mediating the victims’ claims. Remember, my firm represents six of the victims and a couple of those victims have made claims for the fund that has been recovered by the receivers that were appointed by Judge Hall. And that’s John Lay and Peter McCoy. So we’re going to go before the special referee, Walt Tolleson, and all the parties that have made these claims in state court to get some of that 1.8 million, which does include Palmetto State Bank and the PMPED. We are going to be mediating to see if we can agree on how that money will be divided. 

So, you know, we’re into the holiday season, and what you usually have between Thanksgiving and New Year’s is a real slowing down of the court system. Judges do a lot of administrative work, lawyers don’t really schedule depositions or court hearings, and it’s really hard to get people to give you dates between now and the end of the year, especially when there’s multi attorney and multi party cases. So it should be relatively quiet over the next couple of weeks, which will enable us to focus on our families and our friends and just for a brief, brief period, enjoy the holiday season. So I’ll come back to you next week and give you a report. But with that said, EB out.

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