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Crime & Courts

SLED Investigating Official Misconduct In Colleton County

Computer tech under investigation …

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Agents of the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) are investigating allegations of misconduct from within Colleton County — the domain of convicted killer Alex Murdaugh. On March 2, 2023, the disgraced attorney was sentenced to life in prison following an internationally televised spectacle from the Colleton County courthouse in Walterboro, S.C.

As this news outlet has noted, though, the Murdaugh saga is one of many true crime dramas still unfolding on the “Front Porch of the Lowcountry.”

Over the Fourth of July holiday, Colleton County played host to another horrific family tragedy – the Green Pond Massacre. That story recently sparked an open records fight inside the same courthouse where Murdaugh was tried — with our media outlet at the center of the battle, once again.

Other criminal cases are advancing inside the county — including one against a former Colleton official.

On September 8, 2023, SLED was requested by the office of S.C. fourteenth circuit solicitor Duffie Stone to investigate allegations of misconduct from within the county administration’s technology department.

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The focus of the investigation? Jeffrey Colton Hill, who is listed as the county’s technology director. But despite Jeffrey’s place within the staff directory, an exhaustive search of his social media profiles indicates he no longer serves as a public official.

If you recognize his last name from our sweeping and ongoing coverage of the ‘Murdaugh Murders’ crime and corruption saga — it’s likely because his mother is Becky Hill, clerk of court for Colleton County. Becky Hill oversaw Murdaugh’s six-week double murder trial and was the one who announced his guilty verdicts to the world.

Since publishing her memoir on the experience — Behind the Doors of Justice: The Murdaugh Murdersand appearing in a Netflix documentary concerning this case, she’s been accused by Murdaugh’s attorneys of jury tampering. Those allegations, made by Dick Harpootlian and Jim Griffin, were part of their recent motion for a new trial.

Becky has denied the allegations and retained attorneys Justin Bamberg and Will Lewis to represent her. Bamberg — a fifth-term state lawmaker — is known across the Palmetto State for representing multiple victims of Murdaugh’s admitted financial crimes. He has not commented publicly on her case.

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According to a source familiar with the newfound allegations, Jeffrey was accused of illegally recording conversations involving Meagan Utsey, the deputy county administrator for Colleton County.

While it’s not immediately clear if Jeffrey’s investigation is related to Murdaugh or not — the timing is certainly provocative considering the allegations against his mother.

FITSNews reached out to Hill and Utsey for comment but did not hear back from either of them. Count on this media outlet to keep tabs on the ongoing investigation as it moves forward — including any responses we receive from those referenced in this report.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR …

Andrew Fancher (Travis Bell)

Andrew Fancher is a Lone Star Emmy award-winning journalist from Dallas, Texas. Cut from a bloodline of outlaws and lawmen alike, he was the first of his family to graduate college which was accomplished with honors. Got a story idea or news tip for Andy? Email him directly and connect with him socially across Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

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4 comments

J Monday Top fan November 7, 2023 at 7:18 am

We have known for over 2 years that corruption runs deep in this region. But is Mr. Stone attempting to divert attention from himself? “Hey-look over there!” like Dick & Jim. So this guy may (or may not) have recorded a conversation, but keep your eyes on the real prizes, people. Murdaughs, Mr. Stone & company, and any of their associates. It runs deep, but let’s not divert from the real well.

Reply
SubZeroIQ November 12, 2023 at 6:40 pm

No one in South Carolina would tell this story in its full breadth.
It can be a big scoop for you AFTER you fact-check, which should be easy enough if you have Becky Hill’s book “Behind the Doors of Justice.” It turns out not only Becky Hill and the jurors of the Alex Murdaugh case wanted “their 15 minutes” but they put their children, too, with them.
In Becky “Boo” Hill’s book page 191, you see a photo of Boo’s daughter with this caption:
Country music star, Dustin Lynch, and my “plus one” (daughter Aubrey) spent time together in NBC’s The Today Show green room.
TRANSLATION: At least Becky Hill AND HER DAUGHTER flew expense-free to New York with at least three jurors who voted guilty, each of which PRESUMABLY has a “plus one,” too.
So, at least 8 people had a luxury junket to New York paid for with the blood and tears of Paul, Maggie, and Alex Murdaugh.
It gets even worse:
At pages 59-60 of her book, Becky Hill writes:
What I learned on our flight to New York City after the trial was that three close friends of his [meaning of a male juror who voted guilty] all chipped in and paid the financially strapped juror his regular salary. For all six weeks of the trial! Several thousand dollars.
TRANSLATION: Thousands of dollars were being paid DIRECTLY from an outside source to a juror who voted guilty to enable him to stay on the jury.
WHO ARE THOSE THREE CLOSE FRIENDS? Why was it important for them that THIS juror serve on the jury? Was that even their own money or were they funnelling it from an outside source?
That is way, way, worse than anything Becky Hill admits to about her own misconduct.

Reply
SubZeroIQ November 14, 2023 at 6:02 am

Interesting questions: (1) Was Jonathan Hill hires out of nepotism? (2) Was Jonathan fired when Andy began reporting on this? AND (3) Was Jonathan Hill involved in fabricating the fake FaceBook story against the egg juror?
Otherwise, people attack me SIMPLY BECAUSE they did NOT bother to read Becky Hill’s ENTIRE book. I DID.
I DID read Becky Hill’s ENTIRE book and am even more bothered about things others NEVER NOTICED and are not talking about.
What bothered me MOST OF ALL is the revelation in Becky Hill’s book pages 59-60 that a juror who voted guilty then flew expense-free to New York to talk about the quick verdict on national TV had received THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS to stay on the jury instead of returning to work and being replaced by an alternate.
TO ME, this is a BIGGER STORY than anything Becky Hill did or did not do.
THAT IS straight BRIBING a juror.
Who are that man’s three friends who paid him “thousands of dollars”? What was their motive for doing that?
Was that even their own money or were they funnelling it from someone else?
YOU and I do need to know all those ADDITIONAL facts. But what Becky Hill ALREADY wrote about that is shocking enough.

Reply
SubZeroIQ November 15, 2023 at 9:04 am

Many comments assume a single murderer of Paul and Maggie Murdaugh. That is because EVERYTHING gets falsified by the Prosecution, even the testimony of its own witnesses.
The much-touted-and-vaunted Kinney Kinsey, Ph D, testified he CANNOT rule out “two shooters or multiple shooters” but the headlines were “State star witness destroys defense’s two-shooter theory.”
Mark my word (and I was the FIRST ONE to comment long ago that Becky Hill’s book is cause to overturn Alex Murdaugh’s [“AM”] wrongful convictions) the real shooters are TWO WOMEN.
There is much OBJECTIVE evidence for that; but it is NOT the defendant’s job to find the real shooters. It is the job of law enforcement. We know that, in this case (as sadly in too many other cases) law enforcement had tunnel vision from the start. Becky Hill even writes that in her book that the local press release meant that law enforcement had AM as their single suspect from the beginning.

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