True Sunlight: True Sunlight #3 - Team Murdaugh Gets Called Out And The Jeroid Price Situation Gets Worse

Luna Shark Productions, LLC Luna Shark Productions, LLC 6/8/23 - Episode Page - 59m - PDF Transcript

I don't know how long it will take for us to have one system of justice here in South

Carolina, but the good news is that I think I know how to make it better, and maybe one

day fix it.

I'll give you a hint.

Pesky does it.

My name is Mandy Matney.

This is True Sunlight, a podcast exposing crime and corruption previously known as the

Murdoch Murders podcast.

True Sunlight is written with journalist Liz Farrell and produced by David Moses.

In 2007, marked the two-year anniversary of Maggie and Paul Murdoch's horrific murders,

and I was just thinking about how much has changed in the last year.

One year ago, we were sitting on the edge of our seats waiting for murder charges against

Ellick Murdoch.

For months, we had heard charges would be coming, and by the time the anniversary rolled

around last June, it was hard to stay hopeful.

We knew of the evidence stacked against Ellick at the time.

What was taking so long?

What if our sources were just stringing us along all of this time for the fix?

I mean this when I say that I never pictured us here in just one year, with Ellick Murdoch

in prison serving two life sentences for the murders of his wife and son.

The fact that Ellick was charged with murder last July was a big deal in and of itself.

But now that he has been convicted and Russell Lafitte has been convicted of six felonies

and Corey Fleming pled guilty to a federal charge, well we are in a place where we never

thought we would be.

And while trying to change an entire system at time feels impossible, in most days feels

incredibly frustrating and slow, I think that it's important to look back on times

like this and remind everyone that systemic change is possible.

I hope that Paul and Maggie can rest easier now knowing that their killer, the man who

wrecked so many lives through his abuse of power and deception, has been exposed in the

sunlight and brought to justice.

And I hope that those who are still being manipulated by Ellick Murdoch eventually come

to terms with the truth that he's an immoral monster who deserves to be exactly where

he is right now.

And speaking of people being fooled by Ellick, let's talk about what's going on with Dick

and Jim.

This week, Eric Bland and his law partner Ronnie Richter filed a giant firebomb of

a response to Team Murdoch's ridiculous motion for relief from Ellick's May 22 confession

of judgment in the Satterfield case.

As you know, Ellick is being sued by Nautilus in federal court.

Nautilus is the insurance company that agreed to pay nearly $4 million in their negotiated

settlement with Ellick and against Ellick in the Satterfield case.

Anyway, Nautilus once their money back and out of nowhere, Ellick filed a motion that

was like, I lied about how Gloria died so the settlement is fraudulent and never should

have happened.

Go get your money from the Satterfields.

Reminder, the Satterfields never got a penny of that settlement.

But that hasn't stopped Ellick and his team from twisting the truth and hoping their supporters

will carry their water for them and repeat their lies online, which of course they have.

Whether or not Gloria was knocked over by dogs had nothing to do with those settlements.

It is, was and always has been about the theft of the original settlement.

So despite Dick and Jim maintaining that Eric Bland got one by them with this confession

of judgment, the negotiation for it actually started in October 2021, soon after Ellick's

arrest in Florida on charges that he had defrauded the Satterfields.

The confession wasn't executed until May 2022.

So that's how many months?

Almost seven.

Almost seven months of back and forth with Eric and Ronnie and the receivers about every

little word contained in that confession.

But we'll get to that in a second.

After Judge Newman twice denied bond to Ellick, Team Murdoch apparently manipulated the Supreme

Court, which had put Judge Newman in charge of all of Ellick's criminal cases into allowing

them to have yet another bond hearing in front of Judge Allison Lee.

Team Murdoch walked into that hearing like it was a mere formality.

In that hearing, his team used the promise of this confession in the Satterfield case

as evidence that he was sorry for his actions and taking responsibility for them, even though

he offered the family the least amount of words to qualify as an apology.

Nevertheless, their little plan did not work.

In fact, almost every little plan these fools have ever had in the past two years has backfired


It would be funny if it didn't constantly result in them popping back up and reapplying

their makeup like Goldie Hahn and Meryl Streep and Death Becomes Her.

Anyway, you can add Blan Rector's response to that list of backfires because boy, did

they call out Dick and Jim's behavior in this one.

The filing is 127 pages, most of which is receipts.

It's a great read, so if you have time to delve into it, we highly recommend it.

In the meantime, we want to share with you our favorite moments from the filing because

it's nothing short of a vibe.

First, the entire response was done in golf-related metaphors.

Neither of us are golfers, and typically we don't have too much use for sports analogies,

but Ronnie and Eric committed themselves fully to this, and it was great.

Okay, moment one.

Ronnie and Eric are the adults here, and they let the court know it.

Referring to Elix Motion as a spoiled child who is over-indulged and undisciplined, the

response outright calls out Team Murdock for needlessly wasting the court's time for

unnecessarily causing the future victimization of the Satterfield family.

Moment two.

They are not letting Dick and Jim off the hook at all.

As part of their response, Ronnie and Eric have filed a motion for sanctions, asking the

court to send a strong message to Dick, Jim, and Elix that they can no longer abuse the

court system the way they have been.

Then Ronnie and Eric paint the court into a morality corner.

No sanctions, they say, is tantamount to sanctioning Dick and Jim and Elix's behavior.

In other words, the court's response to this better be epic, and it better leave a mark

on their behinds.

Moment three.

All of the sick burns.

I mean, y'all.

They were not one bit polite, and I am here for that.

Let me share just some of the passages that we marked because they were major LOL moments.

I'll have David read this one.

The motion suggests that it raises novel issues.

It does not.

It raises nonsensical issues.

If the motion is novel, it is only novel in the sense that it is the byproduct of a disgraced

former attorney with the time, depravity of mind and sheer balderdash to have concocted


Moreover, the motion is nothing more than a continuation of the mockery that Murdoch

has made of his prior profession and the administration of justice itself.

And here's another favorite.

This point is twisted even by Murdoch standards and another good burn.

Perhaps this filing will remind Murdoch to amend his federal pleading to deny the validity

of the confession, if he at least wants to be consistent in his lies.

And one more of my favorites.

While it is possible that the attorneys for Mr. Murdoch did not realize the downstream

damage that could be caused by their counseling Mr. Murdoch to give the $4.3 million confession

to the Satterfields, the fact that they were admittedly outmaneuvered on the legal chess

board does not create a basis for relief.


Let's all take a second and picture Dick's face when his paralegals told him that part.

I can hear the angry stomping of grandpa's shoes and the old timey curse words being

thrown around Dick's office from here.

One of the key arguments from Elec's insult of emotion last month was that big, bad, bland

Richter had tricked them and pressured them into the confession of judgment and that Dick

and Jim only went along with it because they had, quote, bigger fish to fry, aka Elec's

murder charges, which did not exist at the time of the confession of judgment, by the


And let's talk about the timing of the confession of judgment.

Elec tried to use it as evidence that he is not the monster he appears to be during

his January 2022 bond hearing.

Was he using it again as a monster shield in May 2022 when the writing was on the wall

for him about the murder charges?

The answer to that is probably.

Let me just say this.

We make references sometimes about Dick and Jim and the Murdoch family PR teams and the

headlines they've been able to secure over the past few years.

But there's something we have not talked about before.

And that's the idea that Elec's PR team might also have been suggesting Dick and Jim's

next moves in the courtroom because that is how big of a joke their defense has been.

Okay, there's just a few more bland Richter burns that I want to share.

Here's a really good one.

It is the rare litigant that would point to his own error as a basis to escape his admitted


But this is Alec Murdoch.

Beautiful, right?

And finally.

We apologize for the length of that sentence, but it is reflective of the depths of the

rabbit holes that team Murdoch would urge upon this court.

Now, moment four.

The weaponization of Dick and Jim's faulty logic.

Ronnie and Eric were like Dumbledore and Snape in this thing, just sending those death eaters

spells right back at them.

Let's talk about this a little because Ronnie and Eric raised some really important points

in their response.

The first is how clearly they spelled out Elec's main argument.

Quote, through a twisted application of Murdoch logic, the point Murdoch seems to make is

that if he lied about the dogs, then the insurance companies never should have paid him the money

that he stole, as a result of which he should be relieved of the confession of judgment that

he gave the Satterfield boys some years later, because there never should have been a glorious

Satterfield wrongful death claim and recovery in the first place.

And of course Murdoch gets to keep the stolen money, end quote.

Ronnie and Eric's filing points out that technically nothing Elec has told the court

before this has been about the dogs killing Gloria.

First, in settling with the family, Elec never admitted fault or her death.

No court filing mentions the dogs having killed Gloria.

In his murder trial, when Elec was supposedly coming clean about his thefts, neither Elec

nor his attorneys ever said, actually the dogs didn't kill Gloria when Tony Satterfield

was testifying.

Ronnie and Eric wrote in a footnote, quote, obviously they thought it beneficial at the

time to have the jury believe that Murdoch had made restitution to the Satterfields when

they accepted the testimony without challenge, end quote.

Next, Ronnie and Eric point out that Nautilus's decision to settle was solely an economic one.

That ultimately Nautilus's own list of reasoning shows that the decision was based on Elec's

and Corey's influence over Judge Mullen and Judge Buckner, and on the 14th Circuit having

plaintiff-friendly juries and not about, quote, dogs.

They noted that Nautilus had conducted their own investigation and, quote, negotiated for

a resolution that included the stipulation that Murdoch had done nothing wrong.

And this is where they included an epic footnote.

Not to be dense, they wrote, but it has not been our experience that insurance companies

pay out millions of dollars in claims without first performing an exhaustive investigation,

obtaining opinions from their counsel to determine whether there is coverage under an

applicable policy and making calculated business decisions to settle that may or may not have

any bearing on actual liability.

Then, Ronnie and Eric pointed out that Elec had admitted from the start that he wasn't

there at the time of Gloria's fall but that there were two witnesses, Maggie and Paul,

who both said for the record that they heard the dogs and saw the dogs in proximity to


And oh, look at that.

Elec killed the only two witnesses to Gloria's death and what Ronnie and Eric are calling

the greatest spoilation of evidence in the history of the court.

Ronnie and Eric also addressed Dick and Jim's assertion that Eric was playing fast and loose

with the confession of judgment by referring to the money as, quote, monopoly money in

an email to them.

This is something Eric has gotten called out for online.

But surprise, surprise, Dick and Jim took Eric's words out of context.

After Dick and Jim pushed back about confessing to the full amount of the theft, Eric was

basically like, come on guys, what are you doing here?

Here's what Ronnie and Eric had to say in a footnote, quote, what Bland was referring

to was that he doubted that assets could be located to satisfy the judgment.

Still, judgments are good for 10 years and you never really know what fortune may come

to a judgment debtor.

In other words, Eric was saying to Dick and Jim, stop quibbling over dollars and cents.

Another good point, Ronnie and Eric pointed out to the court that it was Elec's confession

of judgment in the Satterfield case that immediately led to his disbarring, which happened without

an investigation.

That is how significant Elec's admission was in the confession of judgment.

The state Supreme Court was basically like, thank you for that.

Our work is done.

Ronnie and Eric noted that Elec, though he has now admitted to lying about the dogs and

is maintaining that he gave that confession of judgment in error, has, to their knowledge,

not contacted the Supreme Court to alert them that the confession should not have been used

as a basis to disbar him.

And yet another good point, Ronnie and Eric pushed back hard against any notion that this

confession of judgment was an attempt to put them at the front of the line of victims.

And they scoffed at Elec's assertion that he wanted to rescind his confession of judgment

in an effort to protect his other victims.

I mean, does anyone besides his love letter pen pals and the seven people who defend him

in an echo chamber on Twitter believe that Elec is doing this out of concern for his


It would be funny if it weren't so perverse.

In their response, Ronnie and Eric cited emails that showed that this confession of

judgment would not and was never intended to put them at the front of the line of the


And they pointed out in the slickest of ways that Elec should know what it looks like to

use a confession of judgment as a way to jump the line.

Because that is exactly what it looked like he was doing with his brother and former law

partner in October 2021 when Elec tried to beat the clock on the receivership and confessed

judgment to debts he allegedly owed those two men.

Ronnie and Eric were like, that is what it looks like when you're using the court system

for your own buffoonery.

Finally, my favorite point of all, Elec's quote same tired dialogue about his opioid

addiction impeding his judgment at the time of his confession in the Satterfield case.

In their motion for relief, Elec's attorneys made reference to Elec's drug habit as if

he were addled during this time period and as if Eric had been taking advantage of that

to push this through.

But Ronnie and Eric had some words to say about that.

Actually they're Elec's words.

His own words to Judge Lee at the time the confession of judgment was first announced

to the court in his effort to get bond.

Murdoch told Judge Lee on video that his head has never been clearer and that he is off

of drugs, is exercising and is healthy.

Those must have been some powerful drugs to have rendered Murdoch incapacitated for the

10 months or so when he entered rehab and presumably stopped taking drugs and the time

he finally executed the confession on May 27th, 2022, but we digress end quote.

Is there anything more satisfying than watching a narcissist and his arrogant team get flayed

by their own weapons?

Not that we know of.

Oh wait, there's one thing that might be.

Ronnie and Eric now plan to depose Dick and Jam.

On Cup of Justice this week, we jokingly asked Eric if we can get hired as his paralegals

so that we can be at that deposition.

Obviously, that's not going to happen, but we might just make some suggestions for questions.

Now, I have a lot of questions for Dick and Jam.

Starting with just, why are you doing this?

I would love to see them actually forced to answer honestly about how much money they

are receiving for Eric's absurd defense and where that money is coming from.

But what really sucks is that I'm not even convinced that Dick and Jam would even be

worried about lying in deposition because there is no system to police them.

I have to say this again.

Dick Harputlian pointed and presented a firearm at the prosecution in court on live TV and

joked that shooting them would be tempting.

He's made overtly offensive and outlandish comments in court and he has faced zero repercussions

from the South Carolina Supreme Court in the ODC.

This is how you create monsters like Alec Murdoch, by the way.

We let them get away with rules that no one else can break over and over again.

So obviously, if I was Eric, I would ask as many questions as possible to find out where

the money is.

We will keep you updated on that drama and hopefully news of the deposition in the near


Ronnie and Eric's filing was made Tuesday afternoon and they gave Dick and Jam the chance

to withdraw their nonsense motion for relief and it appears that Dick and Jam decided that

this was the better route, I guess.

The big question is why?

Why did Dick and Jam advise Alec to reverse course on the confession of judgment?

All of this had to be foreseeable to them, right?

It had to be foreseeable to such amazing legal chess players as everyone except us claims

they are that Ronnie and Eric weren't just going to let an attack against the Satterfield

family go.

So what is happening here?

What is the move?

Are they using all of this to distract from something else?

We'll be right back.

Speaking of distractions, we have a quick update in the Mallory Beach Boat Crash case,

which is still set for mid-August.

There have been several filings in the past few days in the Civil Conspiracy case, which

is an offshoot of the original Boat Crash case.

A trial date has not yet been set for that.

One thing we want to remind you about is that Corey Fleming's attorney, Debbie Barbier,

and Russell Lafitte's attorney, Mark Moore, are the attorneys for gas station owner Greg


So Greg is being represented by the attorneys of two of the very few publicly named co-conspirators

of Ellick Murdock, and by a man named Ned Topper, who is a beefered attorney and a former

judge who is very close with the Murdock family.

So what is happening there?

We'll discuss the latest updates in this case in a future episode, but we wanted to

take a second to talk about the abject cruelty that has been associated with Greg Parker

and his attorneys from the very beginning of this case.

First, there's a brutal and slanderous online campaign attempting to discredit our reporting

and attorney Mark Tinsley's character, which continues to this day.

Then, there's the way the Beech family has been treated, and the way anyone who defends

the Beech family has been treated.

And the thing is this, all roads seem to lead to whatever it is that Parker's attorneys

don't want us to know in this Civil Conspiracy case.

To that end, these attorneys have filed another motion asking the court to remove Mark and

now his co-counsel from the case.

The motion is a law like Ellick's request for a reversal of his confession of judgment,

in that it is hot nonsense balanced on very thin rails of narrowly interpreted facts taken

out of context.

Their main contention is that the Beech attorneys only filed this Civil Conspiracy case as a

strategy to get more information about Parker in the original case.

As you know, the gas station Parker's kitchen has fought hard in that original case, not

to be held accountable for the sale of alcohol that they illegally made to Paul, who was

just 19 at the time.

It's not clear why this gas station owner believes that Mark Tinsley would need a second

case to gain any information when the facts are so clear in that original case.

It is illegal to sell alcohol to minors, and the law defines people under age 21 as minors

when it comes to alcohol.

The law also recognizes that the reason laws are needed in terms of giving alcohol to minors

is because minors can't make smart decisions when they are impaired by said alcohol.

Like I said, it's simple, and as people who know Mark Tinsley, we can say there is no

world in which he would subject the Beech family to more pain and trauma by filing a

second lawsuit for funsies.

Again, we'll talk about all of this more in the future.

I bring it up now just to remind you about what's happening, and because I never want

to miss an opportunity to mention that gas station owner Greg Parker appears to have

looked at the Murdoch case and thought to himself, whoever their attorneys are, sign

me up.

And then let's try some Murdoch-y tricks.

We hope that Judge Bentley Price, who is not an alumni of the University of South Carolina

School of Law, by the way, will continue to see through their nonsense and show the state

that he's one judge who is not going to stand for the kind of nonsense that has historically

been allowed.

At some point, something has to give.

We keep seeing blatant examples of rich narcissists taking advantage of our court system and worse,

our court system allowing it to happen.

They have been weaponizing our system for years, and they'll just keep doing it until

someone is brave enough to say stop.

The problem is, are there any judges brave enough to do something?

That brings us to the real thing that we want to talk about today.

Judge Casey Manning and state representative Todd Rutherford.

On Sunday, Emma Rose Schumer, a reporter at the Post and Courier newspaper, published

a story about a lawyer asking a judge to reduce the sentences of two convicted murderers.

Sound familiar?

Not only is that reminiscent of the Jirad Price case and the Manning Rutherford plot

whatever it is, and I'm calling it a plot because it was done in secret.

There are also some familiar faces here.

One, the attorney doing the asking is Andy Savage.

Remember that guy?

Andy is the attorney who was brought to Sandy's attention in June 2021 as someone she should

hire to represent her family in Steven's case when it came to media requests.

Andy is also the attorney who barred Sandy from talking to the press, i.e. telling Steven's

story and getting it out there, but he's also the attorney who spoke to the press himself

without first warning her.

So Andy is the attorney who hired Steven Peterson, the private investigator who is not working

on Sandy's behalf yet has continued to publicly offer wild conjecture about Steven's death

as if he has the insider word.

As it relates to this current issue, Andy Savage asked Judge Bentley Price to reduce

the sentences of Matthew Fisher and Harry Duffy.

Fisher was 16 in 2015 when he stabbed 17-year-old Lucas Kavanaugh to death in Mount Pleasant,

which is just outside of Charleston.

At the time, Fisher maintained that he stabbed Kavanaugh because he was defending himself

during a feud over his girlfriend, but a week before Kavanaugh's murder, Fisher had talked

about killing him in text messages.

In 2017, Fisher pleaded guilty to manslaughter and was sentenced to just 18 years for Kavanaugh's


Andy Duffy of Berkeley County killed his 49-year-old wife, Mary Lou Zaskos Duffy, and his 20-year-old

stepson, Jason Zaskos, in 1997.

Two years later, he pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter and was sentenced to 40 years

in prison.

We bring up this story for a few reasons.

One, it's pretty galling that this hearing was held in the aftermath of the drawed price

secret-sentencing reduction.

These guys are so confident in this system that they created and then cultivated that

they're just like, oh, fun, let's give it a whirl.

Two, at least they held a hearing.

At least Judge Price and Solicitor Scarlett Wilson's office did the right thing by conducting

the public's business in public.

Unlike Solicitor Byron Gibson, Judge Manning and Representative Rutherford, who did it

all behind closed doors.

Three, after the drawed price case became public and Governor Henry McMaster ordered

an accounting of how many similar sentence reductions had occurred in the past few years.

A list was published with the names of those whose sentences had been cut and a disturbing

trend emerged.

Judges had been sitting on motions to reconsider sentencing for years in some cases.

Now there are two things to know here.

One is that Drawed Price was released under an untested interpretation of a 2010 law that

allowed solicitors to seek a reduction in sentencing for prisoners who had provided

substantial assistance in criminal matters after the fact of their original sentencing.

That law seemed intended as an incentive for prisoners to alert law enforcement to criminal

activity that they learned of behind bars.

So let's call that the Substantial Assistance Law.

Most of the names on the governor's list were not those who had received sentence reductions

under that new law.

Instead, they had their sentences shortened after the judge who sentenced them was asked

to reconsider their original decision.

This is a normal and rote part of the sentencing process.

A defendant is found guilty or pleads guilty, is sentenced, and then has 10 days to file

what's called a Rule 29 motion for reconsideration, 10 days.

Or if new information comes to light that could affect their sentencing, they have a

year after that information came to light.

What is not normal, or rather what should not be normal, is judges sitting on those motions

for great lengths of time.

There is no deadline for judges to rule on reconsideration motions, but solicitor Scarlett

Wilson told the Post and Carrier that they should be heard within a matter of days or

weeks, not months or years.

According to the Post and Carrier, Wilson is asking for time limits to be imposed on

post trial motions.

She told the paper she is working with defense attorneys and the state legislature to come

up with a better system than the one we have now.

She's also looking at a system that tracks these motions and that requires judges to

at least schedule these types of hearings with a time limit.

Okay, so real quick.

According to the Post and Carrier, a few important things happened during the hearing.

The first is that the victims' families were dragged back into the courtroom and right

back into the fear that their loved ones' killers would be released early.

We commend them for going.

It is no small burden, but we know it had to have helped foil any hopeful expectations

Andy Savage might have had about the outcome of the hearings.

The paper quoted the mother of Lucas Kavanaugh as begging with the court and saying, please,

we were doing so good and now I can't believe we're here talking about this again.

It's very unfair.

Similarly, Jason Zasko's father said, why are we here having our lives financially and

emotionally disturbed again, ripping our emotions and quality of life apart once again?

According to the paper, he brought a photo of his son and a photo of his son's gravesite

to the courtroom.

That is the hell victims are put in because of lazy, politically motivated or permissive

judges who sit on motions for years, often time allowing high powered defense attorneys

to call the shots to delay proceedings until the media has cooled off, until a new solicitor

is elected, until the original judge has retired, or until they get an opportunity to slip one

past the victims.

We are a state that does what's in the best interest of privately paid defense attorneys

and not in the best interest of the victims or the public.

And I have to say, we are sick of having our criticisms of defense attorneys as being taken

as some sort of endorsement of innocent men and women going to prison.

The system was not built for public defenders, okay, and we are not advocating against innocent

people getting a rigorous defense ever.

Also, to be clear, Judge Bentley Price was not the original judge in those cases.

That judge retired, but had that original judge done his job in the days and weeks after

these sentencing, this stress and fear would not exist now.

Judge Price, for what it's worth, denied both motions.

Neither man had their sentences modified.

So let's get back to that list that we talked about earlier.

The one McGovernor McMaster ordered after the derogh price case came to light.

The one that politically suited his outrage at the time, but the one that will likely

be left on the floor.

Because until we see meaningful action and evidence of a robust investigation, it's

all just another stunt for people like Henry McMaster and Attorney General Allen Wilson.

Why do we think this?

Because they have given us no reason to think otherwise at this point.

And because so far, what we're seeing with this list, there are questions that need to

be asked at the top, lots of them.

For instance, let's talk about the LeBorn Allicase.

Yet another suspicious decision by Judge Manning that involves Solicitor Byron Gibson and

yet another, one of his good lawyer-legislator friends, Seth Rose, during Judge Manning's

final year on the bench.

The Allicase is interesting for several reasons.

While we were working on this story, the state newspaper published a story that clearly explains

what's at issue in the Allicase.

I recommend that you take a look at that story.

It also includes an interview with Ola's victim in a 2000 armed robbery that he committed

in Columbia.

That victim was key in this case.

So the crime took place in April 2000, and Ola was arrested one month later.

He was found guilty in 2002 for his part in the home invasion, where a man and his son

were robbed and a gun was put to the head of a 10-year-old boy.

Ola was charged with first-degree burglary, kidnapping, armed robbery, and assault with

intent to kill.

He was around 28 years old when he was sentenced.

He received life without parole for the burglary charge, along with concurrent sentences of

30 years for armed robbery and 10 years for assault with intent to kill.

His kidnapping charge was subsumed by his life and prison sentence.

Now, while awaiting trial, Ola was in jail.

Back then, it was the Richland County Detention Center, and now, for unfortunate reasons that

I'm about to tell you, it is officially called the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center.

It is officially named the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center because, in September 2000,

a man named Alvin S. Glenn, who was a prison guard, was taken hostage by some inmates and

brutally murdered there.

It's a sick thing what these inmates did to Mr. Glenn.

Mr. Glenn had worked at the jail for five years.

He had served in the US Army, retiring after 30 years, and he was 59 years old at the time

of his murder.

Before his death, there had not been a prison guard murdered in South Carolina since 1937,

according to reports from the time.

That is a 63-year record.

On the night that Mr. Glenn was killed, he was the only guard in a wing that housed 64


Little did he know that a group of about seven inmates had been planning their escape.

Three of those inmates, a murder suspect and two armed robbery suspects, overtook Mr. Glenn

and they handcuffed him using his own handcuffs.

They tied his feet together with his belt, and then they beat him and strangled him to


They broke his ribs and damaged his spleen and his liver.

Then they left his body to go open up several locked cells using his keys.

In the meantime, some inmates tried to save Mr. Glenn by administering CPR.

The three inmates who had assaulted and taken part in the murder of Mr. Glenn tried to escape

by stacking plastic tables in a courtyard and getting up onto the roof of the jail.

They jumped to the ground, two of them breaking their ankles, and they scaled a fence that

had barbed wire on it, but they were caught before getting over the final fence.

So those three inmates had help, and other men were charged in the conspiracy.

One of those men was, you guessed it, LeBorn Allah.

He was charged with attempted escape and conspiracy to commit crime.

Those charges were dropped six years later, in 2006, when he was already serving a life

without parole sentence.

The state story does not mention LeBorn Allah's connection to the murder of the Alvin S. Glenn,

but it does contain a number of quotes from state representative Seth Rose, who, like

we said, is a known friend of Solicitor Byron Gibson, as well as a comment from Solicitor

Gibson, who, as we said, was also involved in the Jirad Price release.

Now, what's irritating to us as journalists is that our researcher, Beth Brayden, had called

Byron Gibson's office on May 23 to get more information about Allah's sentence reduction

and ask questions like, who was Mr. Allah's attorney in this, and could we perhaps get

this victim letter that played such a crucial role in his sentence reduction?

Rose told the state that he informally represented Allah in his quest for a release.

He also padded himself on the back for doing this the quote,

right way, but this was not done the right way, far from it.

Because guess what, there is no law that exists that allows a Solicitor, a defense attorney,

and a judge, to just decide on their own that a convicted felon's life sentence should be reduced.

And then poof, it gets reduced.

According to the state newspaper, Allah's family, with the help of state representative Rose,

approached the victim in Allah's armed robbery and asked him to help them in securing Allah's

early release. So one question you might have right now is, does Allah deserve to have his

life sentence reduced to 30 years? Well, first, let's talk about Allah's efforts to free himself.

As we said, in 2000 he was named as a member of the Alvin S. Glenn conspiracy to escape.

After getting sentenced for the 2000 home invasion and other various drug charges,

Allah made various applications to the state to have his case looked at again.

In 2017, Judge Casey Manning denied Allah's application for post-conviction relief

in a 15-page opinion. Interesting, right?

So, while Allah was trying to get out of prison, he was also getting into trouble behind bars.

In 2015, he got in trouble twice for his role in staging some sort of unauthorized act.

In 2017, he got in trouble over the use of a cell phone. In 2020, he got in trouble twice

for creating a disturbance and once over the use of a cell phone. And in 2021, he got in trouble

over possessing some sort of narcotic. And then, a year after that, along came Seth Rose,

Byron Gibson, and Casey Manning. Now, Byron Gibson's response to the state regarding what

authority he had to initiate and execute this deal was, show me where it says I can't do this.

First Circuit Solicitor David Pascoe, who worked for the Fifth Circuit during the time and was

the original prosecutor on Allah's case, made some good points about this in the state newspaper.

He said that even if it can be done, doesn't mean it should be done. So, okay, there are

major concerns here. If an order like this is allowed for LeBorn a lot, then that sets a

dangerous and untenable precedent. Do we want to live in a society where convicted felons who

are serving their time behind bars can have their families and a state legislator approach victims

and put implied pressure or explicit pressure on them to help in the prisoner's release?

I want to be clear about this. The victim in Allah's case told the paper that

he had prayed about this and talked with his now grown son about what to do here and

ultimately they decided Allah deserved a second chance. But A, that second chance was not theirs

to give and B, that second chance is not something they on their own initiated. It was suggested to

them. So again, Mandy and I spent years covering the Murdoch family and have spoken at great length

about the informal and implied pressures that people have told us that they felt from that family

over the years to help them when they came calling. This little arrangement that Gibson

Rosenman created allows for and rewards exactly the thing we want to put an end to because of

the effect it has had on our fellow citizens in South Carolina. What happened here is not okay

and should not be the way we move forward with our justice system.

We'll be right back.

It is sometimes surreal to sit here and think about all the ways the system continues to reward

the powerful by allowing for an orthodox things like this and yet we see no consistent outrage

from the guys at the top other than first circuit solicitor David Pascoe. Pascoe has been consistently

vocal about the wrongs that he sees across the board and thank goodness for that. But now

I want to talk about Justin Leonard Jones, one of the seven defendants who judge Manning

signed a sentence reduction order for in December 2022 his last month before he retired.

I have to mention this because it's odd the same judge who released price right before he retired

also made seven other sentence reduction orders in that month according to the report compiled

by the Department of Corrections at Governor Henry McMaster's request which was by the way

when they were scrambling to figure out how the heck a convicted killer walked out of prison

15 years early before his sentence was up and they were like hmm maybe we should ask SEDC

how often this thing happens that is what this report is. So Judge Manning is one of 49

circuit judges in South Carolina and yet he signed eight of the 27 orders in those 16 months.

Seven of the 27 orders a whole fourth of them were signed by Manning the month before he retired.

That's a little odd right? SEDC's report lists 27 sentence reduction orders between January 2022

and April 24th 2022. Like Jarrod Price Jones was represented by state rep Todd Brethford

and he too got a December sweetheart deal from both Judge Casey Manning and solicitor Byron Gibson's

office. Jones is only 29 years old but a quick look at his record shows that he has been in and

out of jail since he was a teenager. Jones pleaded guilty to strong arm robbery and attempted murder

in 2015. It appears that he was sentenced to 12 years in prison but got out sometime in 2019.

That is not even five years later. In December 2019 Jones was back in the system,

arrested on three drug charges including crack possession and manufacturing a controlled substance.

He was let out on a PR bond that day and apparently given an ankle monitor but that

did not keep him out of trouble. As we've reported before the ankle monitoring system

in South Carolina is trash. Check out episode 40 on the Bow and Turner case for more on that.

But it's a part of the reason why Russell Lafitte has two ankle monitors. The federal government

decided that the state's ankle monitor was so ineffective that they ordered him to wear one

of theirs as well. The monitoring is run by private bond companies and there's no financial incentive

for them to report breaches of the house arrest because they literally make money off of these

guys not being in jail. So in September 2020 Jones wearing his ankle monitor was arrested for two

weapons charges and again was released quickly on a low bond. In October 2020 Jones was arrested

again and charged with removing destroying or circumventing electronic monitoring. A charge

I have honestly not seen before. This time he was given a $5,000 bond and spent a whole two days

behind bars. But wait there's more. On December 31st 2020 Jones was charged again with cocaine

possession and again got a $5,000 bond. Do y'all see that revolving door swinging? Okay.

On March 26th 2021 just three months later Jones was back in jail again. This time for a weapons

charge, a stolen pistol charge, and a cocaine charge. You would think that the court or the

solicitor's office would have taken a look at this guy's arrest record and said, hmm illegal drugs

illegal weapons something bad is going on here but they didn't. And from what the arrest warrant

says they should be grateful that Jones didn't kill anyone on April 29th 2021. On that day according

to the Columbia police arrest warrant Jones still wearing that pesky ankle monitor broke into someone's

home and shot a victim twice in the back before he fled. The victim identified Jones to police and

get this his ankle monitor placed him at the scene when the shooting occurred. So I guess it was good

for something. Finally after this incident Jones was denied bond and spent the next year and a half

in the Alvin S. Glenn detention center where Alec Murdoch joined him in October 2021.

Like Alec Murdoch Jones hired an expensive lawyer lawmaker for his slew of charges in 2021.

In October 2022 solicitor Byron Gibson who counts state representative Todd Rutherford

among his friends dropped four charges against Jones two for weapons one for drugs and one for

his ankle monitor just dismissed them that left Jones with five outstanding charges.

So far all of this is fairly normal in the justice system sadly repeat offenders get passes all of

the time officials miss warning signs all of the time but here is where it gets weird on December

12 2022 Justin Jones pleaded guilty to second-degree burglary attempted murder unlawful

caring of a pistol and manufacturing and possession of drugs Casey Manning sentenced him

to 15 years in prison per usual Rutherford as Jones's defense attorney submitted a motion

to reconsider the sentence the request was nothing special Rutherford's motion to reconsider

specifically requested a hearing on the matter the motion said in part further arguments and

documents will be presented at the hearing in this matter it does not say what new information

Rutherford had discovered that might change Manning's mind about Jones's sentencing

but his motion was filed on the 14th two days after the sentencing journalist Beth Braden Foyed

the Richland County court for all the documents related to Jones to find out more information

she reached out to the transcript office and criminal records office of the Richland County

clerk of court as well as the fifth circuit solicitors office in an attempt to confirm that

a hearing did in fact take place the solicitors office said they do not have calendars that go

back that far and referred us back to the clerk of court meaning Byron Gibson's own office claims

it does not have a record showing whether or not a hearing took place six months ago that resulted

in a significant change to one of their cases it is a simple question that should have had an

immediate and clear answer but no that's not how these things work the transcript office for the

clerk of court which the solicitors office had sent us to also sent us back to the records office

I just have to say this huge shout out to Beth Braden for hustling for these answers I'm so

excited for the fire that she's bringing to our team Beth has filed a transcript request with the

court reporter who was working with judge Casey Manning's court on December 12th and 28th the

day that Jones was sentenced and the day that his sentence was reduced if a hearing took place in

open court the court reporter will be able to provide a copy of that record in the meantime

we just have the documents that the Richland County clerk of court's office gave us after Beth was

super pesky and according to those documents on December 28th Manning signed an order that said

the court had found two facts to exist in this cause the first was that Jones had pleaded guilty

to second-degree burglary attempted murder unlawful carrying of a pistol in manufacturing in

possession of drugs on December 12th which was just 16 days earlier and second that Jones had

been sentenced to 15 years by him that's it that is all the reasoning that the honorable Casey Manning

gave about why he had reduced Jones's sentence from 15 years to six he literally just listed two

facts and called it a day and by the way Jones could have gotten 30 years for the kidnapping charge

alone again Jones showed this state showed Casey Manning's court that he could not be deterred

nothing was going to stop him from what he wanted to do not an arrest not another arrest

and not another arrest and a conviction after that and not an ankle monitor either I have to say this

again he shot another person in the back and admitted to it and still judge Manning was like

because of these two facts literally just a restatement of what he was charged with and what a

sentence was he deserves to have his bond reconsidered why the public deserves answers on that sooner

than later the public deserves to know where the derived price case stands because he is still at

large and Wednesday afternoon Beth reached out to sled for an update on the case a spokesperson

said that they have no new information to share unfortunately and Beth also reached out to the

South Carolina attorney general's office who issued this statement I will have David read the

attorney general's office is carefully reviewing the department of corrections records and evaluating

all our options regarding the derailleur price case attorney general Wilson and the office have

taken the matter seriously from the beginning it's why he immediately petitioned to have

judge Manning's order avoided and a bench warrant issued for prices arrest attorney general Wilson

felt it was so important that he made the argument before the South Carolina Supreme Court himself

we are waiting to receive the Supreme Court's order and reviewing all available options at our

disposal any tips regarding prices location go to local law enforcement sled the FBI or U.S.

Marshall service they raised a good point where is the Supreme Court's order that

voided judge Manning's order it has been six weeks since their ruling in the public has not seen

an explanation chief justice Donald Beatty needs to get on that soon because his hands are not

clean in this in the more time that passes the more corrupt the system looks there are rumors

that we haven't been able to confirm but I feel like we should say out loud that claim

Beatty is close with at least one of the officials involved in the price escape and maybe just maybe

he is avoiding taking actions to hold those accountable because of political reasons and

not because of the law judge Beatty owes the public an explanation either way here is the thing

there are big shiny billboards all over the state of South Carolina which rod prices

wanted picture on it paid for by government money the billboards should remind everyone

in this state this is what government failure looks like this is what a system ran by defense

attorneys who moonlight as lawmakers looks like this how many lives do we have to endanger before

we fix this how many more victims there was a tiny bit of hope there for a minute the change was

going to come when McMaster and Allen Wilson got involved and at least they pretended like they

wanted to get to the bottom of this but it's been over a month and unfortunately other political

party hot button issues like abortion and immigration have taken over their agendas I'm not going to lie

I got angry this week as it felt like our whole team was pulling teeth just to figure out if these

sentence reduction orders were legitimate or not the government should be giving us these answers

they should be doing everything in their power preventing another derod price situation from

happening again a majority of the 27 inmates whose orders were reduced including a la and

jones are projected to be released within the next few years the clock is ticking and we cannot

afford to have another oopsie violent criminal released from prison and we all pretend to repair

the damage with billboards like elik murdoch derod price is a product of a broken system

if attorney general allen wilson and governor Henry McMaster actually care about public safety

and actually care about repairing the public's trust in the system they have got to get to the

root of this by holding those responsible accountable for their actions not just sweeping it under the

rug and going on to the next hot button issue so our true sunlight army out there we have a

challenge for you keep the pressure up make lots of noise about this on social media and elsewhere

tag McMaster's office tag the attorney general's office email them write them call them I can tell

you one thing both of these men care about their political future and we need to show them

that so many of us care about fixing the justice system I'm including links to contact

both offices in the description we have so much more to share about judge manning's last acts as

judge and we will update you in a future episode so stay pesky stay tuned and stay in the sunlight


true sunlight is created by me mandy matinee co-hosted by journalist liz ferrell and produced by my

husband david moses true sunlight is a luna shark production right luna

Machine-generated transcript that may contain inaccuracies.

After Alex Murdaugh suggested the insurance company he defrauded in his housekeeper’s 2018 death go to HER family to recover the money HE stole, Gloria Satterfield’s family is fighting back. True Sunlight co-hosts Mandy Matney and Liz Farrell reveal the best moments in an epic response by the Satterfields’ attorneys — none other than their Cup of Justice co-host Eric Bland and his law partner Ronnie Richter.

Also in the episode: A look at the state’s broken sentencing system and a deeper dive into cases handled by Judge Casey Manning during his final year on the bench.

Want to take action?
Contact SC Alan Wilson's Office at 803-734-3970

Contact the SC governor's office HERE:
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Contact the SC Bar at (803) 799-6653

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