Court clerk’s co-author responds to Murdaugh’s jury tampering allegations
A smiling Alex Murdaugh appeared in court on Thursday to face a string of financial fraud charges – in what marks his first court appearance since he was sentenced to life in prison for the murders of his wife Maggie and son Paul.
The convicted killer attended a status conference before Judge Clifton Newman in Beaufort County on Thursday morning where his financial crimes trial date was set for 27 November.
The case will focus on the millions of dollars he stole from the family of his dead housekeeper Gloria Satterfield – part of the 101 state charges over his alleged financial crimes.
Two former friends and alleged co-conspirators in his financial crimes also appeared in court on Thursday – former Palmetto State Bank CEO Russell Laffitte and former attorney Cory Fleming
The court appearance comes as the deadline is looming for the South Carolina Attorney General’s Office to respond to a bombshell motion filed by Murdaugh’s attorneys last week in which they demanded a new trial and accused Colleton County Clerk of Court Rebecca Hill of pressuring jurors to return a guilty verdict.
The AG’s office had 10 days to respond to this motion – giving them until Friday.
Smiling Alex Murdaugh appears in court in shackles
The disgraced attorney was shackled and handcuffed but smiled as he entered the courtroom in Beaufort County on Thursday before he shuffled to the defence table wearing a bright orange jumpsuit.
Murdaugh shook hands with members of his defence team and to the shock of many online, state Rep Todd Rutherford stood up and greeted the convicted killer with a handshake. Rutherford is one of the attorneys representing former Palmetto State Bank CEO Russell Laffitte – and alleged co-conspirator in Murdaugh’s financial crimes who is also appearing at the hearing.
Andrea Cavallier15 September 2023 09:30
Murdaugh trial court clerk ducks question about whether she tampered with jury
Colleton County Clerk of Court Rebecca “Becky” Hill had nothing to say when she was spotted on Thursday for the first time since being accused of tampering with the jury in Alex Murdaugh’s murder trial.
Ms Hill clutched her cell phone, a drink and a stack of papers in one hand as she crossed the street in Walterboro, South Carolina, around 10am and walked into the courthouse through a back gate.
In a video posted by Fox News, a photographer could be heard asking her, “Did you tamper with the jurors?”
The court clerk glanced over at the photographer, but ignored the comment and kept walking.
Oliver O’Connell15 September 2023 07:30
Alex Murdaugh is getting the Hollywood treatment
Six months after former attorney Alex Murdaugh was convicted of murder, the Lifetime Network announced a new movie about the once prominent South Carolina dynasty that came crashing down following a fatal boating accident, a slew of financial crimes and the brutal slayings of his wife and son.
Lifetime’s 500th original movie Murdaugh Murders: The Movie is set to air in a two-night event next month and stepping into the role of the convicted killer is 69-year-old actor Bill Pullman.
Oliver O’Connell15 September 2023 05:30
Why is the juror with the eggs back in the picture?
She has never gone public with her identity and never broken her silence by speaking to the press.
But, the mystery juror has caused quite a stir in the so-called “trial of the century”.
After sitting through six weeks of graphic testimony about the slayings of Murdaugh’s wife Maggie and son Paul, Judge Clifton Newman dismissed the juror for apparently speaking about the case to at least three people.
If her dismissal wasn’t enough to shock the nation glued to the notorious trial, the juror also gained infamy due to a comedic moment where she asked to retrieve a dozen eggs from the jury room.
After that, juror 785 earned a new alias as the “egg juror”.
Now, six months after the trial concluded with Murdaugh’s conviction, the mystery juror is back in the spotlight once again – this time finding herself at the very heart of the convicted killer’s bombshell bid for a new trial.
Rachel Sharp15 September 2023 03:30
Did the clerk tamper with the jury?
Alex Murdaugh‘s double murder case has been full of twists and turns: How did a dog crack the case? Where are the bloody clothes and weapons? And where did all the money Murdaugh is accused of stealing go?
But one of the biggest surprises came on Tuesday, six months after Murdaugh was convicted of killing his wife and son.
Murdaugh’s lawyers filed court papers saying he deserves a new trial because elected Colleton County Clerk of Court Rebecca Hill allegedly tampered with the jury that found him guilty earlier this year. Prosecutors have 10 days to respond.
Oliver O’Connell15 September 2023 02:00
Murdaugh accuses ‘fame seeking’ court clerk of jury tampering at his murder trial
Convicted killer Alex Murdaugh has accused a South Carolina court clerk of tampering with the jury at his high-profile double murder trial – because she was driven by fame and a desire to secure a book deal.
In the motion, Murdaugh’s attorneys Dick Harpootlian and Jim Griffin claim that Ms Hill “tampered with the jury by advising them not to believe Murdaugh’s testimony and other evidence presented by the defense, pressuring them to reach a quick guilty verdict, and even misrepresenting critical and material information to the trial judge in her campaign to remove a juror she believed to be favorable to the defense”.
Rachel Sharp15 September 2023 00:30
ICYMI: Buster Murdaugh breaks silence
Buster Murdaugh has broken his silence to deny any involvement in the mysterious killing of gay teenager Stephen Smith – and insist that he still believes his father is innocent of the murders of his mother and brother.
Alex Murdaugh’s only surviving son spoke out in his first TV interview since his family was propelled to national attention, for the new three-part FOX Nation documentary “The Fall of the House of Murdaugh”.
In the interview, Buster slammed rumours that he too could have been involved in a heinous murder – that of 19-year-old Smith in July 2015 – and offered an alibi for his whereabouts on the night the teenager was killed.
Rachel Sharp14 September 2023 23:30
Murdaugh set to plead guilty to federal financial charges
Convicted killer Alex Murdaugh has agreed to plead guilty to stealing millions of dollars from his clients, according to court records.
The disbarred South Carolina attorney requested a “Change of Plea” this week after initially entering a “not guilty” plea on the 22 federal financial charges back in May.
An indictment alleged that Murdaugh, 55, engaged in three different schemes to obtain money and property from his personal injury clients, according to a previous release from the US Attorney’s Office.
If Murdaugh does not change his mind before appearing before a judge on 21 September in Charleston, it would mark the first time he has admitted guilt for any crime in court.
He is currently serving a life sentence for killing his wife and son. But he insisted from the witness stand at his trial that he did not kill them and is appealing his double murder conviction.
Oliver O’Connell14 September 2023 22:32
What was Fleming’s federal sentence after he pleased guilty?
A longtime friend of disgraced South Carolina attorney Alex Murdaugh was sentenced Tuesday to nearly four years in prison for scheming to steal millions of dollars in insurance settlements from the sons of Murdaugh’s dead housekeeper.
Cory Fleming said he knew the lawyer now serving a life sentence for killing his wife and son was going to steal something from the family, but he thought it might be $100,000 — not the entire $4 million-plus award.
Federal judge Richard Gergel sentenced Fleming to 46 months in prison, which was the lower end of the sentencing guidelines. Fleming, 54, turned himself in to federal marshals and immediately began serving his time.
Fleming and his law firm made about $675,000 over the settlement, which has since been paid back, according to court records.
Fleming is the second associate of Murdaugh sent to prison since investigators began scrutinizing every aspect of his life in June 2021 after his wife and son were shot to death at their South Carolina home. Murdaugh was convicted of their murders and is serving life in state prison.
Banker Russell Laffitte was sentenced to seven years in prison earlier this month after pleading guilty to helping Murdaugh steal money from settlements the now disbarred attorney got for clients after vehicle wrecks or work injuries. Laffitte is appealing his conviction and sentence.
While Fleming knew Murdaugh was asking him to do wrong, he said he didn’t realize the depth of his old friend’s depravity.
AP14 September 2023 22:00
How does this compare to Lafitte’s sentencing?
Russell Laffitte, formerly the highly regarded CEO of South Carolina’s Palmetto State Bank, was sentenced on Tuesday to seven years in federal prison and millions in restitution payments for his role in helping disgraced legal scion steal Alex Murdaugh large sums of money from his clients and law firm.
It’s the latest set of charges against Murdaugh and his inner circle, after the former attorney was convicted of murdering his wife and son in March.
Prosecutors said the banker helped Murdaugh steal from his law firm PMPED and its clients through elaborate forms of financial misconduct, including setting up conservatorships for former clients then allowing Murdaugh to plunder them.
“Today just goes to show that nobody is above the law,” Justin Bamberg, a lawyer representing some of Laffitte’s victims, told South Carolina’s The State newspaper on Tuesday.
Josh Marcus14 September 2023 21:40