Eric Bland recounts this past week’s events, including Mandy’s book officially coming out and Judge Newman speaking to Team Murdaugh in court Friday.
Premium Members, we’ve had a pretty pretty big week; some having to do with Murdaugh, some having to do with Mandy, and some having to do with EB. Let me start with Mandy. On Tuesday, Mandy’s book, Blood On Their Hands was released. And I’m telling you, it is going to be a home run. It’s some of the best read that I have had in a long time. Her choice of words and the way she shows her vulnerability and she explains investigative reporting is amazing. I think it’s going to end up winning an award. I can’t imagine that it hasn’t already sold at least 15 or 20,000 copies. She autographed it and wrote Eric and Renee stay pesky, cups up. But Monday night, we were at the law school and Mandy spoke about her book and her experience and I spoke about the Satterfield case. And afterwards, you know, Mandy was autographing her book and I signed at least 100 books. Here is I thought one of the most piercing lines in the book that I’ve read so far: “It was supposed to be a time of discovery and possibility, not tragedy and disillusionment.” And she said that about young kids, the young Murdaugh friends who were on the boat, I thought that was such a poignant thing that she wrote. It was an amazing evening because Mandy talked about her vulnerabilities, what it feels like to be criticized online and from the trolls and the people and she talked about how it hurts and why people don’t focus on the substance, why are they focusing, you know, on her initial podcast on her voice, and it was just an amazing evening, there was about 300 people there. Some people drove from Nashville, Tennessee to see this. And it was just really rewarding to see Mandy get all the acknowledgement that she deserves for what she did for breaking open the Murdoch case. I again spoke about, you know, the how the press was a real ally for us in the financial crime cases and then Mandy and I talked about podcasting.
Today, I started TheEricBland.com merchandise website, where I’m selling merchandise. If you go to it, you will see there’s different things about EB and the net proceeds go to three different charities: Palmetto Lifeline, it goes to Wounded Warriors, and to the Israeli Defense Forces that are fighting Hamas right now. A lot of coffee cups have sold and we’re gonna have our bobblehead, the EB bobblehead on there in a couple of weeks. But there’s some neat T-shirts has all my good sayings and about cup of justice and time to get comfortable getting uncomfortable and god EB. It’s real fun. If you can, you know, if you want to buy some gifts for stocking stuffers, or for Thanksgiving for people, I really would appreciate it because again, the net proceeds are going to charity, none of its going into my pocket.
Which brings us to the final thing that happened this week, which there will be a hearing tomorrow on Friday at 10 o’clock in Beaufort in connection with the Satterfield criminal trial case that is scheduled for November 27. I have already been working with the Attorney General, I’m a witness in that criminal case, the Satterfield criminal case, and this week the defendant team Murdaugh filed a motion to change venue and a motion to stay the November 27 trial. It is hypocrisy at its best. It is almost what I consider to be another in a long line of frivolous motions that Team Murdaugh has made. Isn’t it rich that Dick Harpootlian, who has never met a microphone or a camera that he didn’t like, or didn’t get in front of to be quoted, is complaining about the publicity that the Murdaugh matters have gotten. This is from a guy that has had numerous press conferences at his office and at the statehouse, and spoken after court hearings at press gaggles to announce motions that he’s filed. A guy that is complained about the podcasters like me and Mandy and others sensationalizing the murder case when his own partner, Jim Griffin, started a podcast after the double murder trial, and Dick Harpootlian himself has been a guest on that podcast. It’s the pot calling the kettle black folks.
More importantly, both Dick and Jim went to Crime Con in Florida in late August and spent four days talking about the Murdaugh cases to the press. Dick has been on TV Jim Griffin has been on the Cuomo show he’s been on different morning GMA and Today Show. More importantly, Buster Murdaugh himself participated in the Fox documentary that came out in early September. And Jim Griffin has been on the HBO documentary and two other documentaries. So for them the complaint about pretrial publicity when they have participated in and they have amplified it is really hypocritical and rich.
Again, if these things weren’t so serious, we’d all be laughing, but it’s really taking advantage of the justice system. The truth of the matter is even if they moved Alex’s Satterfield criminal trial to the upstate of South Carolina or Tanzania, there are people that, everybody has heard of the Murdaugh matters, you know, Dick Harpootlian said in his motion that 140 of the 167 questionnaires that the potential jurors turned back in, you know, said that they’ve heard of the Murdaugh matter. The fact is, you can hear of the Murdaugh matter or have heard of the Murdaugh matter, and you even can have opinions about them. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t sit on a jury. To sit on a jury, you have to be willing to take your oath to say notwithstanding anything that I know, or any of my preconceived opinions, I can be fair and impartial and objective to both the state and to the defense.
Quite frankly, I’m not sure I want anyone on a jury who hasn’t heard of Alex Murdaugh. I mean, they must be living under a rock. We all remember when I think it was George Bush senior who appointed Supreme Court Justice David Souter. He had no opinions, he was from New Hampshire. He was never married. He lived in a cabin. And no one really knew, you know, what his judicial temperament was going to be or his judicial slant. And I’m not sure we want somebody that’s living under a rock or in the middle of nowhere that hasn’t heard of Alex Murdaugh. So the fact of the matter is just because people hear about things that have happened since the murder trial or have heard about the murder, double murder verdict, or heard about Alex Murdaugh already pleaded guilty in federal court to these crimes, doesn’t mean that they cannot be fair and impartial.
Alex is entitled to a fair trial. And he’s entitled to have the state prove his guilt on these financial crimes beyond a reasonable doubt. Now, I’ve said since September that Dick Harpootlian will do anything to get this November trial continued because he does not want Alex to have to face another felony conviction. Remember, three felony convictions in South Carolina get you life without parole irrespective of the double murder conviction. And that’s why they’re trying each of these financial cases separately, the Satterfield case first and then the Badger case and then the Plylers and then the Pinckneys, and they’ll get three felony convictions because Alex has already pled guilty to these crimes in federal court. It’s going to come in these trials and so Dick wants these postponed and he said in 2024 what he really means is in the fall in winter 2024 because in South Carolina, politicians have immunity from January all the way through July from having any of their cases called the trial. So they can control their own docket. The fact that matter is, even a year from now, people aren’t going to have forgotten about Alex Murdaugh. So it’s time for Alex to face the music. He can go and plead guilty just like he did in federal court. He could go and plead guilty to the Satterfield crime. He’s already admitted it he’s admitted in federal court in his plea of guilt, and he admitted it on trial in the double murder case that he stole $4.3 million. The reason though, that Harpootlian doesn’t want this to happen, is it’s going to thwart their goal of ultimately somewhere down the line trying to get Alex to serve his time in a federal penitentiary instead of a state maximum security penitentiary.
And I’ve spoken to Creighton Waters, the state is adamant, Attorney General Wilson is adamant that they want Alex to serve his time in the big house in the state maximum security prison. So tomorrow at 10 o’clock, there’ll be a hearing on that, and hopefully Judge Newman will make a decision now. It’s interesting, Judge Newman is going to hear this motion tomorrow. Don’t forget last week Harpootlian and Griffin filed their writ of prohibition in the state Supreme Court seeking to have judge Newman recused not only from this Murdaugh Satterfield criminal trial, but all matters, including the motion for a new trial that has been filed.
So I think tomorrow we’ll hear a lot from Judge Newman, about whether he thinks he’s in conflict and should be recused. Or whether there should be a motion to change venue, I believe the motion to change venue will fail. So it’s been a busy week. We’re just so proud of Mandy and her book. I can’t implore you enough to read it. It is amazing her vocabulary and the way she lets you on the inside of what she was thinking when the boat accident happened and how she and Liz were going to attack it and you know how her relationship with Liz developed and how her relationship with Me developed. So it’s it’s really an amazing read. I’m just incredibly proud of her.
Ronnie and Ronnie and Scott also spoke at the College of Charleston this week to a business class, my partner Ronnie Richter. There’s going to be a bonus episode about the book comments this week and it’s just been power packed. And so I expect that, you know, we’ll find out shortly whether judge Newman is going to be presiding over these cases, whether the Supreme Court is going to make a decision and ask him to stay on these cases or step aside, or whether judge Newman himself will recuse himself. I don’t think that’s going to happen. I don’t think that should be the lasting legacy of Judge Newman that his last act before he retires on December 31 is that he somehow was in conflict and should be recused off these cases. He is America’s judge. He is beyond reproach. He’s an amazing man.
I just got breaking news as I was about to sign off If that Judge Newman has made the decision to step aside from anything having related to the double murder case, but he is still going to preside over the financial crime trial. So I assume that that Harpootlian will also make a motion to have him again, recused off the financial crimes trial. But Judge Newman made this decision. I suspect that the Supreme Court probably whispered in his ear, so he will not preside over any motions relating to the double murder charge. So that means that if there’s going to be a motion for a new trial heard, it’s going to be heard by another judge and not Judge Newman, because potentially, I guess, he may be a witness to that and will have to provide some type of affidavit or testimony. But it’s interesting that he’s recused himself from the murder cases, but not from the financial crime cases. This makes it I think more unlikely than not that the Satterfield criminal trial case may end up getting continued. Also, Mandy and Kathleen Madigan had an interview session together and they talked about Mandy’s book, and that’s going to be available as a bonus episode to premium members. Can’t wait to listen to that. But I gotta tell you I’m a little bit shocked about Judge Newman and I need to process it we all do. So this is a definitely a change of the playing field.
And so that is the recap and looking forward to doing the cup of justice episode after the hearing tomorrow and visiting with all of you next week. Again, please go to the EB merch site I would greatly appreciate it because this money is going to charity Order. Everybody have a good weekend.
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