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‘Murdaugh Murders’ Saga: South Carolina Attorney General Summons Reinforcements

Veteran prosecutor tapped to assist in double homicide trial …

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Creighton Waters – the chief attorney for the South Carolina statewide grand jury and lead prosecutor in the ‘Murdaugh Murders’ crime and corruption saga – has done amazing work thus far in heading up the state’s double homicide case against disbarred attorney Alex Murdaugh.

In fact, Waters was the focus of this excellent, in-depth feature story from reporter Avery Wilks of The (Charleston, S.C.) Post and Courier last weekend.

Not only that, Waters has excelled against two of the top defense attorneys in the state – senator Dick Harpootlian and veteran Columbia, S.C. trial lawyer Jim Griffin. Both of these attorneys have capably rebounded after a rocky start to their representation of Murdaugh last summer and fall.

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Still, Waters has never tried a high-profile murder case – and recent developments in this double murder have (for the moment, anyway) put him on the defensive. Also, the Murdaugh prosecutorial team lost one of its key members earlier this year when senior deputy Megan Burchstead departed for a position in the private sector.

Burchstead led the state’s prosecution against the late Paul Murdaugh, who was staring down three felony boating under the influence charges at the time of his murder (allegedly at the hands of his own father).

The boat crash case involving Paul Murdaugh– which you can read more about here and here – is the moment the “House of Murdaugh,” a crumbling legal dynasty which enjoyed near-dictatorial power over a five-county region in the southernmost tip of South Carolina for decades, finally began to collapse.

Given the recent push by the defense, attorney general Alan Wilson has apparently decided to bring in reinforcements – namely veteran former prosecutor/ criminal defense attorney John Meadors.

According to my sources, Meadors will be at the prosecution table during Murdaugh’s upcoming double homicide trial – which is scheduled to commence on January 23, 2023.

(Click to View)

John Meadors (Facebook)

For more than two decades, Meadors served as a solicitor in the S.C. fifth judicial circuit – which encompasses Richland and Kershaw counties in the Midlands region of the Palmetto State. During his tenure as deputy solicitor, he prosecuted more than 100 murder cases.

Meadors also has federal prosecutorial experience as a special assistant U.S. attorney – and state-level prosecutorial experience as an assistant attorney general.

Waters, Meadors and veteran deputy attorney general Don Zelenka will certainly have their work cut out for them in this case. Harpootlian and Griffin have succeeded thus far in creating reasonable doubt regarding a key piece of forensic evidence against their client – high velocity blood spatter found on a white T-shirt worn by Murdaugh the night his wife and son were murdered.

Can they continue their momentum at trial?

Wilson’s office confirmed Meadors’ hiring to this news outlet earlier this week, but stressed he was being brought on to handle a host of different responsibilities for the attorney general – not just assisting in the Murdaugh double homicide case.

Murdaugh stands accused of savagely slaying his wife, 52-year-old Maggie Murdaugh, and their younger son, Paul, sometime after 8:44 p.m. EDT on the evening of June 7, 2021. He is also staring down nearly 100 financial crimes that could land him in prison for more than 900 years. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges and is awaiting his day(s) in court.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR …

(Via: FITSNews)

Will Folks is the founding editor of the news outlet you are currently reading. Prior to founding FITSNews, he served as press secretary to the governor of South Carolina. He lives in the Midlands region of the state with his wife and seven children.

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5 comments

SubZeroIQ December 23, 2022 at 5:19 pm

First, the past of the verb “plead” is “pled,” not “pleaded.” Second, John Meadors is the one who got Justin Mallory wrongly convicted of killing his wife, Nakia, until DNA evidence exonerated Justin. Third, this is not a game with fans of one team or the other. A murder is a physical fact, like the traffic light. It can either be red or green at any time, but not both at the same time. Either the man, Murdaugh, killed his wife and younger son or he did not. I have not heard a more stupid theory of a motive for an alleged crime since Meadors’ then-protegee, and now Zelenka-protegee, Hatchet-for-Hire Heather, tried to frame Dr. Marie Faltas for supposedly harassing her neighbor by photographing that neighbor hosting a known drug dealer, not to document the activity of those two, but to “have root on [them], voodoo.” Really, really, really, that was said at trial and no one but God protected Dr. Faltas from that garbage. Fourth, Meadors ran for judge TWICE and lost, probably because even the General Assembly people sensed he does not have the moral core to be a judge.

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NOLAgal Top fan December 29, 2022 at 7:04 pm

The AP Stylebook and The Chicago Book of Style, which are considered the standards used in journalism prefer “pleaded” for use in court and legal stories, which is why we see it used in almost every professional new media. It’s also the term I hear used by legal professionals.

Oxford Dictionaries say that “pled” is perfectly fine, but is dialect specific. I wouldn’t get all uppity correcting the use of either: they’re both OK. Live and let speak. (I am a writer married to a copy editor.)

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SubZeroIQ December 30, 2022 at 9:37 pm

Okay, thanks. I am not uppity, just peeved and worried that next someone will tell us the past of lead is “leaded,” not “led.” Already, people who should know better are writing “dived” instead of “dove” and “shined” instead of “shone.” “Shined” is okay if followed by “shoes,” “boots,” etc. Language and grammar are music; do you like songs out of tune? Let’s get some polite debate for poor FITS to get his clicks.

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SubZeroIQ December 25, 2022 at 2:20 pm

FITS, seems no one else is interested in this story even after you touted it on your Christmas eve video. Nonetheless, I need to correct myself for the record. Justin Mallory was never convicted after two trials with John Meadors as the prosecutor. Justin Mallory’s first trial ended with a hung jury; the second was before Judge W. Thomas Cooper (not Tommy Cooper, who is known to walk out of the courtroom in the middle of advocacy, but the other, more judicially-tempered one), who acquitted Mallory. The judicially-tempered Judge Cooper proved correct after DNA evidence identified the real killer. Mallory had asked for an investigation into who the real killer was; and to the credit of then Chief Wilson (not the AG but the Richland County Sheriff), an investigation was done. If you’re counting those two Mallory trials to Meadors’ credit of a 100, you shouldn’t. Who knows how many results of those other 98 even gave a correct result? AND ELSE BUT RELATED SOMETHING BOTHERED ME VERY MUCH IN YOUR Christmas eve video, FITS. You said, “Alan Wilson is ‘playing with house money.'” I know you meant Murdaugh will never taste freedom again even if acquitted of the murders. BUT ALAN WILSON and the team he put together should NOT BE ‘PLAYING’ AT ALL WITH MURDER CASES. If Murdaugh did not commit the murders, Wilson should be out there investigation who did and why. Society should be protected from those people. Instead, the real murderer(s), if other than Murdaugh, are protected by Wilson’s and Meadors’ unwillingness to retreat and admit they had the wrong man for the murders, just as in Justin Mallory case. Again, this is not a football game. Do NOT make it political.

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SubZeroIQ December 30, 2022 at 9:33 pm

Okay, thanks. I am not uppity, just peeved and worried that next someone will tell us the past of lead is “leaded,” not “led.” Already, people who should know better are writing “dived” instead of “dove” and “shined” instead of “shone.” “Shined” is okay if followed by “shoes,” “boots,” etc. Language and grammar are music; do you like songs out of tune? Let’s get some polite debate for poor FITS to get his clicks.

Reply

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