Eric Bland recaps this past week’s events, including Team Murdaugh’s latest motion and alleged updates in the Stephen Smith investigation.
Happy Friday Premium Members. Wonderful fall Friday day. It’s one of my favorite times of the year I went outside this morning with the dogs and I saw some leaves changing color on our oak trees and I saw leaves down on the ground and it just, you know, some people liked the spring some people like to summer fall seems to be one of my favorite times of the year because of football. fires the fair. You know I love Halloween as a kid Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays to be thankful for, you know, a great family a great life and it’s just a happy time.
Mandy is in New York, she’s starting her book tour, which is just so exciting, you know, this is well deserved. Can’t wait to hear how she does and you know, just the the readings that she’s going to do. And I know that so many people are interested in her book. And so many people are interested in what her perspective is on all these Murdaugh matters and what it was like to write a book. So it’s really exciting times. You know, last week was our 50th episode of cup of justice, which just is incredible. You know, when I started this, I didn’t know what to expect, truthfully, before I started doing the podcast with Mandy on MMP, and then as a guest. And then obviously, as a co host on Cup of Justice. I was not a podcast listener. But it’s just been a wonderful way to communicate with large groups of people who have similar interests and and everybody gets to express their thoughts and it’s just been a wonderful value add taken away a lot of having to appear on television or radio. It just gets direct to a like minded people, which I find to be very interesting. as far as the myrtle matters.
The big event that took place is Alex’s lawyers filed a motion in federal court, objecting to how the receiver was going to turn over money to the special referee, they are claiming that Alex is entitled to those funds, and they want those funds not to be given to the special referee, but to be turned over to the federal court, or the state court to protect so that Alex can make a grab at those funds. what Alex is essentially saying is that he doesn’t like who the victims are. He wants the money to go to the victims. But the victims seem to be Alex and his lawyers as opposed to those victims. I took a particular interest in the filing that Harpootlian and Griffin made because in one of the footnotes, they had the temerity to just advocate. The Satterfields have gotten enough money, they’re no longer victims, and they they need to just go away. This is a new tact. Their their previous tact was they gave a confession of judgment that they shouldn’t have given even though it was negotiated by Harpootlian and Griffin for five months. And even though they gave it at a time when they wanted to get benefit from it, by trying to get Judge Lee to lower his $7 million dollar bond for the financial crimes and state court. They lost that motion in front of Judge Price. I’ve heard some rumblings that some of the lawyers are displeased with Judge Price and they’re making comments about him. I think that’s totally wrong. I don’t think we should have a system where just because you disagree with a judge that you try to get a judge off a particular case. I think that’s very dangerous for our system.
You know, you certainly can criticize the judges competency, but just because you disagree with his rulings doesn’t mean that we should have lawyers starting to pick judges for particular cases and, you know, Harpootlian has made intimations that he is displeased, obviously with Judge Newman. And, you know, he suggested in an open court that Judge Newman’s objectivity is questioned at this time and his that he’s possibly in conflict either because he’s a witness to certain things, or because of the statements he made at Alex’s sentence for the double murder. Again, that’s lawyers trying to manipulate the system. Judge Newman is beyond reproach. He represents everything we want in a judge integrity, wisdom, knowledge, temperament. can’t ask for anything more. A man that didn’t want the limelight hasn’t sought the limelight. He’s just what you want. And Judge Bentley did a wonderful job picking him for these cases. And I think he’s done a really good job of moving them along. So that is a big issue that ultimately over the next month will in addition to the jury issue that we haven’t heard too much about.
We haven’t seen any new filings yet made by the defense, either in the appellate court or an affidavit from Alex, like was suggested by the Attorney General in their initial response. And we really haven’t seen the broad base response by the Attorney General yet on the juror disqualification, or the jury issues that would entitle Alex to a new trial, possibly. So the real issue is what’s going to happen to this victims money because in hearing that we had in August, Judge Hall wanted these petitions to start being filed by victims for their claim to these funds to be in October. Well, now we’re in almost in the middle of October. And again, this team Murdaugh is putting a wrench into money going to the victims.
It’s just the utmost of arrogance for Alex and his team to suggest winners and losers. You know, as far as the Satterfields are concerned, I find it entirely repugnant. That heartbeat lean would say that the Satterfield boys have been made whole. Yes, it’s true that we’ve recovered in excess of seven and a half million dollars for them. But they have paid attorneys fees been they have recovered much, much more than they would have recovered if Alex had never stolen the money and the money was properly distributed. But we have an unfair trade practices claim which provides for triple damages, provides for the recovery of attorneys fees, that the clients have lost the use of their money from 2019 through 2021 during one of the biggest Bull Stock markets that our country has seen in a long, long time, so they lost the use of that money, and there’s possibly a taxable situation. So I’d rather a judge or a jury make the decision on whether the Satterfields are entitled to any more money or entitled to collect on their confession of judgment, which they are entitled to collect on that.
We have been talking a little bit about Stephen Smith over the past week. There was you know, obviously the announcement by Sandy which is just wonderful that she’s established a scholarship in Stephen’s name for high school students that you know, don’t have the financial wherewithal to maybe go to college or get their trade education. Stephen wanted to be a nurse and ultimately a doctor. And that’s just a wonderful thing. And it’s going to be a self sustaining foundation to provide money for kids that have a desire for post high school education, which I think is just absolutely great shows again that Stephen didn’t die in vain he died for a purpose.
And then all of a sudden we had an article written that seemed to indicate knowledge of what’s going on in the grand jury that’s been impaneled since the spring on Stephen’s case. And as everybody knows grand jury testimony it is privileged testimony. It’s a serious criminal violation if you reveal that testimony. But really the unwritten, or what we lawyers know what happens is lawyers who represent witnesses who appear before the grand jury, they are allowed to talk. You know, they can’t reveal what took place in a grand jury, but they certainly can talk about their own client that their client appeared before grand jury. Obviously, that was tremendously distressing to Sandy. I have been in communication with Chief Keel as well as Creighton Waters. And without revealing what they said, and I was not told exactly what is going on, only that there is progress. But what I was told is, don’t always believe what you read in any media outlet regarding this grand jury investigation.
So I was, you know, I took from what I was told that we should be very cautious on believing that there are two suspects at this time rather than persons of interest or rather than people who have material knowledge on what happened to Stephen’s death. But it was distressing to Sandy, as you can imagine, as a mother. You know, she’s not looking again to see that somebody is convicted of this, as much as she wants to know what happened to her son so that she can get peace. And when somebody prints an article that there’s you know, two suspects already. You know, it gets her anxious, is there going to be criminal charges? Why would these people do it and, you know, until we actually hear from the Attorney General or SLED, that there are charges being brought or that the grand jury is no longer in paneled. I think we should just take an easy pause on that. We are going to do COJ episode 51. This weekend. We’re looking forward to it. I’m looking forward to really catching up with Liz and Mandy. After being away in Italy. Next Thursday, I’m really excited on the 19th at seven o’clock, Mandy and I are doing a happy hour. So I’m looking forward to it and also hearing obviously about Mandy’s trip to New York.
We’re going to continue to report on the murder case and other legal matters that were injustice is present. And I look forward to the next episode of Cup of Justice and the next time I talk to you all so thanks a lot and appreciate you listening to me.
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