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Motion Denied: Alex Murdaugh’s Defense Cannot Access Retirement Funds For Appeal

Judge Daniel Hall denies Murdaugh’s request

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A motion filed by convicted killer Alex Murdaugh’s defense attorneys — Dick Harpootlian and Jim Griffin — seeking money to fund an appeal of his recent murder convictions was denied by South Carolina circuit court judge Daniel Hall. In a status hearing held last week in Lexington County, Murdaugh criminal attorney Jim Griffin argued $160,000 of Alex Murdaugh’s assets currently under the control of court-appointed receivers should be transferred to fund the appeal of his murder convictions.

Hall previously permitted Murdaugh to liquidate his 401(k) retirement account and route $600,000 of the funds for his defense in the murder trial.

Attorney Mark Tinsley, the lead lawyer for the Beach family, and attorney Eric Bland – who is under fire in the aftermath of recent revelations in another civil case – objected to Murdaugh receiving any additional funds for his defense, saying they were “very close” to reaching an agreement on the remaining monies from his estate.

Judge Hall agreed.

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Last week’s status hearing addressed the main civil case involving Murdaugh – a wrongful death action brought by the family of the late Mallory Beach, a 19-year-old from Hampton, S.C. who perished in the early morning hours of February 24, 2019.

Beach died when a 17-foot, center console Sea Hunt fishing boat owned by Alex Murdaugh and allegedly piloted by Paul Murdaugh slammed into a piling near the Archer’s Creek Bridge outside of Parris Island, S.C. on that fateful early winter morning – with Paul Murdaugh and others on the boat in a “grossly intoxicated” state.

Beach was flung into the cold, dark waters – her body discovered a week later by fishermen.

The case involves multiple prominent defendants – including one (convenience store magnate Greg Parker) who has engaged in an outright jihad in the hopes of absolving himself and his company of any blame for this tragedy. That jihad has actually spawned a second lawsuit tied to this case – one filed in December 2021 which focuses on the unauthorized disclosure of confidential mediation materials by those allegedly in Parker’s employ.

This case was originally scheduled to go to trial on January 9, 2023, but Hall delayed it due to Murdaugh’s pending double homicide trial. It was then scheduled for April 10, 2023, but one of Parkers’ attorneys – powerful S.C. House speaker Murrell Smith – invoked his “legislative immunity,” which is another blatant example of the unfair favoritism and special treatment extended by the state’s judicial branch to its legislative overlords.

During the hearing, Parkers’ lead attorney – Pankaj K. Shere – argued the case against his clients should be thrown out because Parkers’ convenience store did not “knowingly” sell alcohol to Paul Murdaugh. Shere also noted Parkers’ had been cleared by the S.C. State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) of any criminal wrongdoing in connection with the sale of alcohol to Paul Murdaugh.

Judge Hall is expected to rule no later than Friday, May 26, 2023 on whether Parkers should be dismissed from the case.

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THE ORDER…

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR …

Jenn Wood (Provided)

Jenn Wood is FITSNews’ incomparable research director. She’s also the producer of the FITSFiles and Cheer Incorporated podcasts and leading expert on all things Murdaugh/ South Carolina justice. A former private investigator with a criminal justice degree, evildoers beware, Jenn Wood is far from your average journalist! A deep dive researcher with a passion for truth and a heart for victims, this mom of two is pretty much a superhero in FITSNews country. Did we mention she’s married to a rocket scientist? (Lucky guy!) Got a story idea or a tip for Jenn? Email her at jenn@fitsnews.com.

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2 comments

Wayne Hegamyer Top fan May 13, 2023 at 2:06 pm

Surely he knows he will spend all of his remaining days in prison.

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The Colonel Top fan May 13, 2023 at 4:41 pm

Guess Harpo and Jimbo will stay in the Econo Lodge for the appeal hunh?

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