Justice Reform, Missing Murdaugh Money And ‘Valentine Asesinato’ – Week In Review 6/17/2023

Another big week …

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It was another big week covering the issue of justice reform in South Carolina as we reported on yet another example of insider favoritism involving a powerful lawyer-legislator. The big news on the judicial reform front this week, though, was a forum on the topic held in Orangeburg, S.C. by Palmetto State first circuit solicitor David Pascoe.

At that gathering, Pascoe produced a tape of S.C. Senate president Shane Massey discussing legislative “vote-swapping.” On the tape, Massey acknowledged that lawmakers indeed traded votes in judicial races – one of the many methods of ongoing institutional corruption that leads to the atrocious outcomes we keep seeing from South Carolina’s judicial branch of government.

Massey didn’t condone the practice, but Pascoe’s point is lawmakers need to be more aggressive in curtailing corruption across the board. Look for much more on this issue in the coming week as I sat down with two lead proponents of justice reform – York County sheriff Kevin Tolson and S.C. sixteenth circuit solicitor Kevin Brackett – for a conversation on the roots of their activism.

You won’t want to miss that conversation …



On the ‘Murdaugh Murders’ front, research director Jenn Wood and I discussed the latest theories regarding what happened to all of convicted killer Alex Murdaugh’s missing money.

Was he involved in a gambling ring? And was the money he owed somehow tied to the murders of his wife and younger son?

Wood has done some amazing research into the barrage of checks flowing from Murdaugh to one of his alleged financial crimes co-conspirators, Curtis “Eddie” Smith. She’s also found some interesting names and communications buried within the lengthy investigatory timeline of the murders released by the S.C. State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) – as well as some names and communications not released by SLED. Those communications include several suspicious messages sent and received by Murdaugh on the day of the murders.

Last but (certainly) not least, special projects director Dylan Nolan and I sat down to discuss the case that’s likely to drive discussion on our news outlet over the next few weeks – the upcoming murder trial of accused killer Greg Leon. Like the ‘Murdaugh Murders’ saga, this story has all sorts of layers … and Nolan and Wood will be diving into them in the weeks to come.

That reminds me, thank you – our loyal audience – for making what we do possible with your subscriptions and support! And if you aren’t already a subscriber, please consider becoming one today!




Yet Another South Carolina Judicial Fail
Shane Massey: ‘There’s A Lot Of Vote-Swapping’
S.C. Solicitor: Tape Proves Vote-Swapping In Judicial Races


Where Did The Money Go?


‘Valentine Asesinato’: Greg Leon Trial Set To Kick Off



Will Folks (Brett Flashnick)

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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