A South Carolina decide denied a request to maneuver a lawsuit relating to the 2019 boating accident dying of 19-year-old Mallory Beach out of Hampton County, as controversy over the Murdaugh household’s political affect has additionally proven a highlight on a state lawmaker’s transfer to hitch the protection group. 

South Carolina’s sixteenth Circuit Judge Daniel D. Hall denied a change of venue movement, ruling that defendant Greg Parker, the CEO of Parker’s comfort shops, didn’t current sufficient proof that altering the venue would “promote convenience of witnesses and ends of justice,” the choice filed in Hampton County Common Pleas Court Friday says. The plaintiff, Beach’s mom, Renee Beach, in addition to the opposite two defendants, Alex Murdaugh and his son, Buster Murdaugh, are all from Hampton County and had opposed the change of venue. 

Alex Murdaugh’s youthful son, Paul Murdaugh, was seen on surveillance footage buying alcohol at a Parker’s comfort retailer in Ridgeland, South Carolina, allegedly utilizing an ID belonging to his older brother, Buster Murdaugh, on Feb. 24, 2019, and a bank card belonging to his mom, Maggie Murdaugh. 


Later that evening, investigators discovered extra surveillance footage exhibiting Paul and others once more buying alcohol at Luther’s Rare & Well Done in Beaufort County. A drunken and underage Paul Murdaugh later allegedly plowed his father’s boat into Archer’s Creek Bridge close to Parris Island, throwing a number of passengers into the water, together with Mallory Beach, whose physique wasn’t discovered till every week later. 

Before the movement was finally denied, state Rep. Murrell Smith, R-Sumter, who was not too long ago employed as one among Parker’s protection attorneys, argued in court docket that the venue ought to transfer to Beaufort County, the place the boat crash occurred and the place 60-plus potential witnesses dwell. 

Smith informed reporters exterior the Lexington County courthouse Wednesday that there was no battle of curiosity in him becoming a member of the case. 

But Smith is chairman of the Judicial Merit Selection Commission, which decides which candidates can search election or reelection, the Post and Courier reported. Judge Hall’s six-year time period is about to run out subsequent yr, and if he chooses to hunt reelection, his run should be authorized by Smith and different members of the panel of attorneys who vet judicial candidates, The Herald reported. Hall is the one circuit decide who can be opposed for reelection, as York County Master-in-Equity Teasa Weaver is difficult for the $196,000 per yr place. 

“I’m up here doing my job,” Smith informed reporters exterior the courthouse, in response to the Herald. “I’m not here as a legislator. I’m here as an attorney.”

“I handle complex and difficult cases, especially in rural areas of the state,” he continued, justifying his resolution to get entangled within the case. “I’ve done that throughout the last 10 years, and I have a track record of being able to get defense verdicts in areas of this state that presumably don’t see defense verdicts. They were looking to add to the team, so they called and added me.”

After arguing that a number of witnesses cited by Smith weren’t important for trial, Beach’s legal professional, Mark Tinsley, additionally made a number of motions, together with for medical data belonging to Alex Murdaugh, who was launched on his personal recognizance final month and allowed to journey to an out of state rehabilitation facility with out GPS monitoring to deal with a supposed opioid habit. 

During his bond listening to, Alex Murdaugh’s legal professional, Dick Harpootlian, mentioned his shopper’s decades-long habit had worsened because the murders of his spouse, Maggie, and their son, Paul, on June 7. Alex Murdaugh dialed 911 to report coming residence to search out the 2 shot lifeless on the household’s searching property in Colleton County. No one has been named as suspects or arrested within the double murder.

Murdaugh is charged with hiring one other man to kill him Labor Day weekend, so his surviving son, Buster, might accumulate on a $10 million life insurance coverage coverage. But the gunman supposedly missed, solely grazing Alex Murdaugh within the head. Tinsley subpoenaed data from the Savannah hospital the place Alex Murdaugh was taken after the Sept. 4 taking pictures, The Herald reported. 

In a separate civil lawsuit filed final month, one of many surviving boat crash passengers, Connor Cook, alleges that Alex Murdaugh sought him and different passengers out on the hospital following the February 2019 crash in an effort to manage the narrative, telling {the teenager} having his fractured jaw X-rayed “to keep his mouth shut.” The lawsuit says that Alex Murdaugh later began a “whisper campaign” to border Connor Cook and unfold the false rumor that Cook, not Paul, was driving the boat when it crashed.   

The South Carolina Attorney General’s Office dropped the boating beneath the affect fees in opposition to Paul Murdaugh after his dying in June, WSAV reported.