Eric Bland thanks our veterans on this Veteran’s Day and breaks down the state’s response to Team Murdaugh’s motion last week.


Happy Friday evening premium members. Happy Veterans Day. In all seriousness, it is a solid day I I always reflect on Veterans Day and Memorial Day, on the sacrifices that our armed services make for us every single day. Also on Thanksgiving, it makes me think about all the veterans that are, you know, serving in foreign lands. And it’s just a tremendous sacrifice that our veterans do. And, you know, every once in a while you see the movies of you know, whether it’s in World War Two or World War One about D-Day, and it just makes you very, very humbled to know that there are people that in our history were willing to give their lives, they were, you know, 18, 19, 20 year old, young men who went to faraway lands. And you know, they were doing it in the name of freedom and democracy. So to all the veterans and the families out there, I wanted to thank you from the bottom of my heart.

This is an exciting week that we’re heading into, I’ll first talk about on Monday night I’m appearing with Mandy, at the USC College of Communications and Information. It starts at seven o’clock in Columbia. It’s going to be moderated by the USGS head of journalism, South Carolina journalist Nina Brooke. It’s going to talk about the independence of the media and obviously, Mandy and her book and the journey that she’s had, you know, as a journalist, a young journalist coming from out in Kansas to you know, at the top of her game today, and the book that she wrote, and, you know, the the journey that she went through in this Murdaugh odyssey you know, I have not heard her speak in a long time. I’m looking forward to it. And you know, maybe some people want to hear me say a few things. And so if you have time, and you live close by or you’re within an hour and a half, 90 miles, we’d love to see, you take pictures and just talk to you and I think you’ll enjoy the evening.

As far as the nuts and bolts this week, the state finally laid down the gauntlet. They filed their response to the request for a new trial for your alleged jury interference by Becky Hill, and it was nothing less than stunning. They basically said that Harpootlian and team Murdaugh were screaming from the rooftops really without reason to do so. They pointed out that no juror actually said that their verdict was changed as a result of anything was done. And they filed affidavits and statements from a number of jurors who totally disputed the allegations that Harpootlian and Griffin had raised in their motion in their press conference and in their press statements about Becky Hill. But most importantly, Becky Hill stuck it out there. And Becky gave an affidavit where she categorically denied ever, ever saying, you know, watch Alex’s body language and different things like that. Some of the witnesses said that some of the instructions they recall came from Judge Newman, and not from Becky herself. So I think the gauntlet has been raised down. Obviously, team Murdaugh will file a reply to who’s filed by the state. The state kind of picked up on a lot of things that we were saying on our podcast that these jurors have given a lot of their time. You know, they gave six and a half weeks for $15 a day. They were, you know, publicly scrutinized every single day by the media, people were watching their gestures, whether they were sleeping, whether they were paying attention. And what the States said in their memorandum in opposition for a new trial was these jurors should not be harassed, and all harpooning and wants to do is harass them. And they said that if there’s going to be a court hearing, or any time of any type of inquiry of the jurors who actually sat on the jury and rendered a verdict, that that should be done by the court without harpoon lien and grip and being able to discover anything about their text messages, their phone calls or emails, and that the inquiry is one that should be done by the court in the least most the least intrusive way possible. So that, you know, they’re not harassed anymore, because, you know, if you read what Harpootlian did, he almost threatened these jurors in some of the language that he used, and they certainly felt threatened. And that came out in the statements that were submitted. We still do not have an answer on whether the Supreme Court is going to hear the motion to disqualify Judge Newman. The state is filing their opposition papers. And they’re stating exactly what I stated last week on COJ episode number 54. And that is that ordinarily, and most 99 times out of 100, the motion is actually to be made in front of the judge who are seeking to have recused, and that judge has every right in the world to put on record why they don’t think they’re in conflict and why they don’t think they should be recused. The way that it was done by Harpootlian and Griffin in filing that archaic writ of prohibition with the Supreme Court, in almost forces Judge Newman to get his own lawyer to if the Supreme Court is going to hear these issues, I would be really surprised if they if they do hear these issues. I think they are going to remand it to the lower court first, at least that’s what I think they should do. Of course, I’m not a justice to the Supreme Court. If I was their law clerk, I would advise of that. And we’re going to have to wait and see.

The big issue though, is all the preparation that everybody is making for the criminal trial coming up in November 27 for the Satterfield criminal state court charges, and somebody’s going to have to make a decision pretty quick whether Judge Newman is able to preside over that case. If you listen to COJ episode 54 last week, Mandy and I had some disagreement with Liz about that she thinks that Judge Newman should step aside form from the Satterfield criminal case so that it can go forward. I think that’s a dangerous thing. Because if he does step aside from that case, because there hasn’t been a you know, a conclusion on the recusal motion, they’re just before the Supreme Court, it would be highly likely that he would be able to step back in on the Murdaugh matter on a new trial and then going forward on other Murdaugh matters. I think Judge Newman should fight this tooth and nail. I think it would be a tarnish of his legacy. If he was to step aside where if the courts were to tell him to step aside, I don’t think it’s fair. I don’t think he’s done anything wrong. And I think he has the ability to be unbiased and objective and fair and impartial. And that’s all that a defendant is entitled to both from a judge and a jury.

So it was an interesting week. We’re obviously probably two weeks from Thanksgiving or two weeks from the trial starting. So somebody’s going to have to give some guidance quickly to not only the solicitors but all the witnesses in that trial. All the witnesses who have to rearrange their schedule for a trial that’s probably going to last a week, you know, a trial. That’s a joke, because Alex has already pled guilty in federal court to these very same crimes. And I just don’t know what the trial will look like, if the defense is going to force the hand of the prosecution to prove their case. Now, Alex has every right to make the state do that. But it’s going to look pretty silly, since he’s already admitted to all these crimes, in his plea of guilt in front of Judge Gergle, and then in front of the entire world. In the state court, criminal case for the double murdered where he admitted to all the theft.

So that is it, it’s Friday night. Daylight Savings Time was last Saturday night now. It’s already dark out almost 5:49 in the evening. So everybody, have a safe and happy weekend, watch a little football, go out and enjoy this fall weather. And let’s talk next week. Thank you very much.

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