The suspended South Carolina attorney, Richard Alexander Murdaugh’s lawyers have urged the federal courts for relaxation with the expectations of preventing the issuance of further Murdaugh “jailhouse” telephonic conversations.
Currently, Murdaugh is serving imprisonment over a $7 million bond in the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center in Richland County, South Carolina. He is charged with 74 counts of criminal charges, majorly from the state Grand Jury.
Recently, the recorded telephonic conversations of Murdaugh which he had dialed from the detention center, have been issued publicly, and as a result, a federal legal case has been filed by his lawyers to prevent any further recordings from getting released in public, at least through the time after Murdagh’s matter is settled.
He is accused of financial offenses, together with the storied legal history of his family as fourteenth Circuit solicitors for eighty-five years and strong lawyers in a decades-old law firm, have gathered immense interest.
This curiosity was triggered as Murdaugh reported spotting his wife named Maggie as well as his son named Paul shot and murdered at their place last year in June, the case is still not resolved.
That growing interest among media resulted in one S.C. media piece to get digital versions of outgoing telephone calls of Murdaugh from the detention center, however, a Freedom of Information Act urge. In a podcast on February 23, those calls were reported and utilized as well.
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Request to Cease the Release of Any Additional Phone Calls
On February 28, Monday, a “Complaint about Injunctive Relief” was filed with the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina, Columbia Division, by Murdaugh’s lawyers Richard A. Harpootlian and James M. Griffin. The legal action names the Interim Director of the detention center, the defendant D. Shane Kitchens, and looks to stop the issuance of any further phone calls.
According to the injunction, the detention center enters into a deal with a communication company under which the company would record outgoing calls periodically, dialed by inmates to their friends, family members, and others.
Inmates Were Not Aware of the Recording Being Publicized
The lawsuit mentions that however inmates are purportedly informed that their talks and calls are susceptible to being kept an eye on and recorded as well, they are not made aware that these recordings will be released publicly. A copy of the list of inmate rules and regulations of eighteen pages was annexed to the lawsuit.
Murdaugh’s complaint further mentions that his “private” talks with family members were “made available to paid subscribers on the electronic media organization’s website” and also on the Murdaugh Murders Podcast, as well as social media platforms.
The lawsuit filed by Murdaugh’s attorneys also aims to “prevent further exploitation of his private conversations for commercial gain.”
According to their Monday report upon the filing of this federal injunction, founding editor of FITSNews, Will Folks, the piece that gathered the recordings, stated, “We believe these are public records — as did the public entity which supplied them to us. We at FITSNews will continue to push for the release of all government records that are not protected under attorney-client privilege.”
Murdaugh’s lawyers oppose in the lawsuit that a federal spying statute restricts the intervention and recording of phone calls unless under very definite situations. The complaint also opposes that 18 U.S.C. 2517 Title III restricts the revelations of recorded telephonic conversations of inmates publicly about a records request.
Murdaughs’ attorneys sent the defendant a letter on February 23, 2022, asking that the jail director stop and discontinue from releasing any further Murdaugh recordings of telephonic conversations to the media.
On the very same day, a Murdaugh lawyer dialed the Richland County Attorney and dropped a voicemail condemning these “unlawful disclosures” and urged an immediate callback, as per the complaint.
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The suit also asks that Murdaugh’s legal team will be given any attorney fees and costs spent on this action if they win the legal battle.
The Hampton County Guardian got in touch with Murdaugh’s attorneys via email for remarks and dropped a phone text for Kitchens at the detention center. No further comments were given during the time of publishing this story.
We will make sure to keep you updated with all the latest information until then stay tuned to our website.