Eric Bland shares more about Justice Toal and the upcoming hearing for Alex Murdaugh and introduces us to friend and fellow lawyer, Noah Pines.


Happy Thursday Premium Members, EB here. We’re in the throes of 2024. Can you believe it? I’m telling you, life has gone by so quickly in the past couple of years. 2023 was, you know, just a blip on the radar screen. You know, they say that toilet paper roll rolls faster when you get towards the end and it’s true. It’s scary how fast time flies and we need to make sure that we get the most out of every day. And we live in the moment and try to put the past behind us because we can’t change it and not focus so much on the future but the here and now. So what is the here and now? Well, the here and now is that Tuesday we’ll find out from Justice Toal what is it that she plans on putting in place for the motion for a new trial for Alex Murdaugh based on the jury interference and I fully expect that it’s going to be a lively hearing. The public is going to get their first glimpse of Justice Toal. She clearly owns her courtroom. She’s extremely intelligent, frighteningly so, always the smartest person in the courtroom. You know, the only concern I’ve, raised is sometimes she may somewhat be a little bit intemperate. But that’s only because, you know, she’s frustrated with the lawyers and the litigants because she’s so much smarter than them. And it makes lawyers anxious when she challenges them because she is so smart. 

And so Tuesday is going to be, I expect, full contact. She’s certainly not quiet and reserved in the nature that Judge Newman was, but that’s not to say it’s bad. It’s just different. So we’ll know Tuesday what procedures are in place and you know, if the jurors are going to be subjected to any type of discovery or subpoenas before the hearing on the 29th. It’s expected to be a three day hearing, that’s what it’s set forth. So, I’m not sure it could last three days, I don’t know if it’ll last that long. You know, the news that has come out about Becky Hill over the past three weeks just gets worse and worse and worse between the plagiarism and the fact that she had her phone subpoenaed and so all that’ll have to be ferreted out on Tuesday or in the coming weeks. And we’ll know pretty soon based on how the hearing goes, whether we’ll be seeing a new trial or Justice Toal will decide that the jury rendered its verdict was free from any influence, whether the influence was a harmless error, and whether it was material or not material, if there was influenced at all by Becky Hill. 

There are no allegations that anyone else has interfered with or was part of contacting the jury in an improper manner so it’s going to rest on Becky Hill’s conduct. And nobody is expecting her to come in and fall on the sword. I think, you know, the issue is going to be whether she testifies at all based on the Fifth Amendment privilege, because there are two open investigations that we know about regarding her conduct. So it’s interesting, it’s troubling, because so much time has been invested in these proceedings and in the murder trial. And people have testified and jurors gave their time and companies spent a lot of money sending journalists down there for weeks on end. 

I’m sure there’s a good bit of people who are in the cottage industry that want it to be re-tried. But you know from the True Sunlight Luna Shark Production team, none of us have any have ever expressed an interest to see it re-tried. 

So, what I’m really excited about next week is interviewing my good friend, Noah Pines. Noah has just been a tremendous listener, a tremendous resource. He is a widely recognized criminal defense attorney in Atlanta, Georgia, has a really good backstory, is an ultra fitness athlete that runs marathons and he’s about to run an ultra marathon, a 50 mile race. Has lovely family, a golden retriever, just an excellent, excellent criminal defense lawyer. He has taken on a lot of lawyers throughout the Murdaugh case that made wrong statements of law or made statements that were not factually accurate. 

Looking forward to talking to him about some of his recent cases, some that include people who have been wrongfully incarcerated for a long period of time, which he was part of the team that got a person off, rightfully so because they were innocent, and either cleared through DNA or other type of exculpatory evidence. And so we’re gonna have a two part interview. I think you’re gonna really like Noah, he’s sharp, great sense of humor. And I think he’s going to give a good bit of insight on what he saw in the Murdaugh case as well as other cases of injustice around the country. 

So that’s basically what we have going on. Court TV has picked up reporting on the double murder case I’m involved in in Lexington County called the Lindler Case, a father and son. I was on Julie Grant’s show earlier this week, called “Opening Statements” on Court TV and they are going to follow this case. They really like the nature, that there is self defense involved and defense of others. And, you know, the system seems to have failed the decedent Kevin Newhouse, who, over the past eight or so years progressively started showing worse and worse behavior that showed clear mental illness and you’ll hear that my client was one of the people that tried to encourage him to get help. And so the system failed him, his friends failed him and those that are closest to him, we’re gonna argue, failed him. And that’s what we have the report on.

Excited about 2024 I’m kind of cold here today it’s in the low 50s High 40s but with a lot of wind. Looks like tomorrow we’re gonna have more rain. Saw just an unbelievable video about a tornado that landed in Bamberg, South Carolina earlier this week when we had that really inclement weather on Tuesday that just tore a building to shreds right in the middle of the street. Really scary stuff, so everybody be careful and look forward to talking to you next week. Make sure you tune in to the status conference on Tuesday and we’ll be chatting with you guys live. Have a good weekend. EB out.

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