SCDNR responds to surprising allegations of civil conspiracy in deadly 2019 boat crash with release of stunning legal documents of its individual.
Just about a month after a survivor in a fatal 2019 boat crash in Beaufort County, S.C., filed a petition alleging civil conspiracy, the South Carolina Section of Normal Resources (SCDNR) has responded and released new info in the circumstance that they hope will encourage a choose to dismiss the petition.
The February 2019 boat crash involving Paul Murdaugh, a member of a prominent S.C. Lowcountry authorized family members, that took the everyday living of Mallory Beach, 19, of Hampton County, has become a higher-profile circumstance that is nevertheless underneath investigation and public scrutiny for numerous motives.
Murdaugh was charged with 3 felony counts of boating less than the affect, but pleaded not guilty to all costs. He was out on bond waiting around trail when he and his mother, Maggie, were shot and killed on June 7, 2021.
Regardless of his loss of life, the boat crash investigation continues to be open owing to an ongoing wrongful demise suit by Beach’s estate, and owing to issues bordering regulation enforcement’s dealing with of this controversial situation involving properly-connected customers of a relatives that has operate the 14th Circuit Solicitor’s Business office for extra than 85 many years.
On Wednesday, July 7, Columbia, S.C., lawyers Joseph M. McCulloch Jr. and Kathy R. Schillaci filled a Pre-Suit Discovery Petition in Richland County Court docket of Common Pleas on behalf of Connor Prepare dinner, one of five survivors of the crash, alleging a civil conspiracy quite possibly connecting legislation enforcement and users of the Murdaugh spouse and children.
Beach, Cook dinner and Paul Murdaugh had been amid 6 persons on board a Sea Hunt boat owned by Alex Murdaugh, Paul’s father, when it crashed into a bridge around Archer’s Creek on Feb. 23, 2019. Seaside went into the water, and her overall body was not recovered right until a week later.
The civil petition, Connor Cook vs. South Carolina Office of Organic Sources, et al (like the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Business office and some others yet unfamiliar), seeks the court’s authorization to make it possible for Cook’s attorneys to depose various law enforcement and previous legislation enforcement officers, as well as to acquire their personal and law enforcement cell cellphone records.
Read through additional on this petition here:
According to the petition filed Wednesday afternoon in South Carolina’s Fifth Judicial Circuit, Cook “thinks the depositions and cellphone data are important to validate or refute evidence of a civil conspiracy arising from testimony contained in the depositions of regulation enforcement officers” taken in an involved civil situation (Estate of Mallory Beach v. Parker, Inc., et al.)
The petition adds that Cook dinner “is knowledgeable and believes these likely deponents may perhaps have information and facts pertaining to a conspiracy to misdirect the legal investigation away from now deceased Paul Murdaugh, and to wrongfully shift the focus to Petitioner.”
On Wednesday, Aug. 18, lawyers for SCDNR submitted a movement in opposition to Cook’s petition, calling it a “fishing expedition” and stating that it is “procedurally deficient, poor, and perhaps frivolous, particularly considering Cook’s own testimony.”
The SCDNR temporary states: “As Connor Cook’s testimony reveals, he lied early and frequently to investigators, refusing, even to this working day, to deliver a assertion to SCDNR indicating he knew Paul Murdaugh was driving.”
Hooked up to the SCDNR filing was a duplicate of Cook’s deposition that was taken by investigators as element of the Beach wrongful dying match. SCDNR helps make reference to that deposition numerous situations.
“Connor Cook testified he chose not to inform any investigators simply because Alex Murdaugh (Paul’s father) told him to keep his ‘mouth shut,’ and he was undertaking what he was advised… Cook dinner testified he witnessed Paul Murdaugh, whilst on the cell phone on the way to the medical center, notify his grandfather that Connor Cook dinner was the driver, and he turned apprehensive the Murdaugh household would check out to ‘pin’ the incident on Connor.”
SCDNR lawyers also contend that Cook has no cognizable claim in opposition to SCDNR simply because he has endured no damages, as Murdaugh was the only man or woman billed in the incident.
What else did the Cook deposition reveal?
Even though remaining questioned by attorneys in regards to the Beach front wrongful loss of life accommodate, Prepare dinner informed investigators that he did what the elder Murdaugh told him to do simply because “I was told not to, and getting who they are, I was carrying out what I was told.”
Paul Murdaugh was the grandson of the late Randolph Murdaugh III, the former 14th Circuit Solicitor for the 5-county area that consists of Beaufort County. Randolph III, along with his father and grandfather, ran that business office for much more than 85 several years. Throughout that time, a lot of controversial rumors circulated the Lowcountry involving that effective and properly-linked household.
In his testimony, Cook indicated that there ended up numerous rumored or alleged Hampton County incidents involving associates of the Murdaugh family members that gave him pause in telling the fact to police.
Cook dinner stated, “There is a couple of things that experienced took place in Hampton that I heard about… one was said that Paul had pushed his housemate (housekeeper) down the stairs and she died and very little ever took place.”
Gloria Harriott Satterfield, 57, died on Feb. 26, 2018, in accordance to her obituary. Her obituary stated that she labored for the Murdaugh family members and beloved them like spouse and children.
On Dec. 19, 2018, a agent of Satterfield’s estate filed a wrongful death suit against Alex Murdaugh, claiming she died from accidents sustained in a vacation and tumble incident in Hampton County. The claim was settled on Oct. 5, 2020, according to courtroom documents.
“And a further just one,” Cook dinner mentioned, “there was something that Paul was supposedly included with a dude, bought uncovered conquer up in the center of the street that they obtained out of.”
When investigating the Murdaugh double homicide, the South Carolina Regulation Enforcement Division not long ago opened an investigation into a chilly case involving Stephen Smith, who was found lifeless on a rural Hampton County road in 2015.
“I necessarily mean, just anything at all they get in they get out of,” Cook dinner testified. “I’ve normally been instructed that.”
The Murdaugh killings
On the night time of June 7, prominent Lowcountry attorney Richard Alexander “Alex” Murdaugh learned his spouse, Margaret “Maggie” Murdaugh, 52, and his youngest son, Paul Murdaugh, 22, shot lifeless at their Colleton County searching estate at 4147 Moselle Street, close to Islandton. The psychological father’s 911 phone that night is chilling.
To date, no arrests have been made, and the S.C. Legislation Enforcement Division (SLED), the lead investigative company in the circumstance, has unveiled minor data and declared no suspects or qualified prospects.
The killings have prompted international media coverage and sparked a great number of social media dialogue teams, podcasts and pending tv documentaries. The frenzy of interest bordering this case has also ignited various conspiracy theories and a constant feeding of the on the net rumor mill.
Pursuing the double murder, Colleton County Coroner Richard Harvey reported that both equally victims ended up shot a number of times and have been discovered on the ground in front of the family’s dog kennels. Harvey placed the time of dying amongst 9 and 9:30 p.m.
The Murdaugh family members is giving a $100,000 reward for information leading to conviction of the killer or killers. SLED has established a 24-hour tip line committed to this murder investigation at (803) 896-2605.
The South Carolina Lawyer General’s Office has officially dismissed all fees against Paul Murdaugh, citing his death as the cause, but their investigation into the boat crash remains open up.
The AG’s Business office would not validate or deny if the investigation is now centered on probable obstruction of justice or other alleged wrongdoings by law enforcement or members of the Murdaugh family members.