True Sunlight: TSP #5 - Why We Need To Speak Up About The Bowen Turner Case Now + A Shocking Similar Case Involving ‘Football Star'

Luna Shark Productions, LLC Luna Shark Productions, LLC 6/22/23 - Episode Page - 1h 7m - PDF Transcript

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I don't know how elected officials can live with themselves after treating victims and

the public that they serve with such little respect.

But after speaking with Dallas Dollar's father about what's happening in the Bowen

Turner case, I am more enraged and more inspired than ever to fight for change in our justice


My name is Mandy Matney.

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

Murdoch Murders podcast.

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Every week, as we pull at the strings attached to the cases that we cover, we find more rot,

more corruption, and more egregious behavior done by a lot of the same players who we have

been talking about all along.

I was already fired up yesterday as Liz and journalist Beth Brayden were uncovering some

shocking documents related to Judge Casey Manning, who, as you remember, suspiciously

signed early release orders for certain prisoners who have powerful lawyer-lawmaker attorneys.

But then, I spoke with Carl Stoller, Dallas Stoller's father, who reminded me not only

how bad the justice system is right now, but how important it is to keep exposing the truth

and to keep fighting.

He told me that it means the world to their family just to see y'all support them in

their fight.

And that means the world to me and makes this job so special and important.

And again, I just want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for making this meaningful

work possible.

So let's get into it.

This week, reporter Katie Cayman of Live 5 News wrote a story that shouldn't shock

any of us, given what we know about South Carolina's abysmal justice system.

But somehow, it did.

Cayman first reported, Bill Weeks, who is the second circuit solicitor in charge of

the prosecutor who agreed to give Bowen Turner the sweetheart deal of a lifetime, asked Dallas

Stoller's family to stay quiet, stay out of the media, and basically lay off their


If they did that, they reportedly said that they would reopen Dallas Stoller's case.

Now, for a reminder, Bowen Turner allegedly raped three different teenage girls in three

different South Carolina counties between 2018 and 2019.

I'm going to quickly go over some of the important details in this case because it's

been so long and some of these events are honestly still shocking to read the second


So six months before Dallas was allegedly raped, in April 2018, Bowen allegedly raped

another teenage victim who was chosen to remain anonymous.

We don't have a lot of details about that case because Bowen was a juvenile and any

charges he might have received would not be public information.

Dallas and Bowen both attended Orangeburg Prep, a private school in the small town of

Orangeburg, South Carolina, which is why they were both at the same party on October

7th, 2018 in Bamberg County.

The full details of what happened are in episode 40, but according to her family, Dallas drank

that night at the party and all of a sudden her friends noticed that she was missing.

Another kid at the party searched the woods where he allegedly found Dallas passed out

on the ground with scratches and bruises everywhere.

And Bowen, standing over Dallas, zipping up his pants.

Like so many other sexual assault victims, Dallas faced resistance from the system at

nearly every turn, starting with a moment at the hospital when the sexual assault nurse

examiner, also known as a same nurse, allegedly talked Dallas out of doing the sexual assault

exam and warned her about how bad it would be for her.

Thankfully, the next day, she went to the hospital in Charleston where she decided to

have a sexual assault exam to collect DNA evidence in her case.

They also took photos of Dallas's injuries from the assault, including her black and

blue neck from being strangled.

Dallas's family said that she ultimately decided to press charges because she was legitimately

worried about Bowen.

She believed that he was dangerous when he was drinking.

She wanted him to get help.

But unfortunately, Dallas was bullied and ostracized not only by high school students,

but by adults in the Orangeburg Prep community.

Even teachers bullied her, made fun of her, and stood up for Bowen.

Adults posted photos on Snapchat in his support.

Bowen was arrested and charged in Dallas's case in January 2019.

He was released on a $10,000 bond, which, by the way, remember last episode when we

told you about the newspaper editor who was arrested and charged in the 80s for calling

politicians thieves and his bond was $40,000 because the system.

Well, less than 6 months after Bowen was charged in Dallas's rape in early June 2019, Bowen

Turner allegedly raped his third victim, Chloe Bess, who was so brave to tell us her story

last year.

But one of the most egregious and disgusting parts of this case is what happened during

the bond hearing in Chloe's case.

When Senator Brad Hutto, whose influence the Turners purchased, told the court that Chloe

allegedly said that she felt ashamed and he went on to say the following.

Well, guess what?

You know, you just had sex on the ground, like, wait, you don't even know, and you get

up and you feel the shame, you feel the fear, that's not right.

I have to bring this up because when we are talking about elected officials who have their

hands dirty and who have completely escaped accountability aside from public ridicule,

we have to talk about Senator Brad Hutto.

Hutto is one of the most powerful members of the state legislature as a Democratic leader

of the Senate.

Whenever abortion is up for debate, Brad Hutto is usually in front of media cameras, acting

like he truly cares about women and our rights.

To our knowledge, Hutto has not apologized for what he said to Chloe Bess, who was a

teenage rape victim, by the way.

I know, I know, he's a defense attorney and defense attorneys have to go to battle for

their clients.

But how can this man pretend to be a champion of women's rights?

He literally called himself that, while displaying such outdated and sexist views in court.

And again, it seems like Hutto's role as a defense attorney contradicts his duty to

serve the citizens of South Carolina.

And here we are again with another lawyer-legislator problem.

So shortly after that shocking hearing in Bess's case, another judge let Bowen Turner

out on bond while his victims continued to be bullied and harassed.

As years passed without any movement in the case, Dallas' mental health deteriorated.

Dallas Stoller died from self-inflicted injuries on November 14th, 2021.

She was 21 years old.

Here is a clip from her obituary.

Dallas Stoller will be remembered as an example of strength and bravery, a heart full of boundless

generosity, forgiveness, and kindness to others.

Her ability to see the good when others couldn't and her resilience in times of adversity will

be her legacy.

Her light remains in each of us, who have had the blessing to be in her presence during

her short time on Earth.

As a reminder, after Dallas' death in April 2022, Bowen Turner, with the help of his state

senator attorney Brad Hutto, was given a sweetheart deal of just five years probation

after pleading guilty to assaulting Chloe Bess.

Even after, he violated his court order ankle monitor more than 60 times.

The solicitor's office, specifically David Miller, dropped the charges in Dallas' case

in a closed-door hearing with a judge who usually doesn't appear in Orangeburg County,

claiming that they didn't have enough evidence to go forward with the case because the primary

witness was dead, essentially blaming Dallas' death for not getting justice in her case.

You know, because prosecutors can't try murder cases because the victims are dead.

Oh wait, they can.

Anyway, after we published our episode last April, the story went viral and Bowen Turner's

name and face were in headlines all over the world.

This week, I caught up with Dallas' dad, Carl Stoller, to talk about what has happened

in Dallas' case over the past 14 months.

What bothers him the most looking back is that he doesn't think that any of the players

involved, including Senator Brad Hutto, solicitor David Miller, and Judge Markley Dennis, ever

actually cared about the victims in this case.

And none of them have been held accountable, nor have they faced a public investigation

to our knowledge.

I don't think that we mattered.

I'm trying to figure out how to put it.

I don't think we mattered.

I honestly think when the plea deal was concocted and put together, that they still thought

that we nor the other victims mattered, okay?

And I think they were very, very surprised, taken off guard, if you will, when my babies,

Brad and Carl, they reached out to you.

And after that hearing where Bowen got the sweetheart deal, and they reached out to you,

I think I'm pretty sure you were the first one they reached out to, and you broke it.

I really think they grossly underestimated what links we were willing to go to to break

this thing open.

Does that make sense?

Good old boys tend to grossly underestimate victims, women, and frankly, anyone who isn't

a good old boy.

How many times have we learned that in the past few years?

In April 2022, at the end of our first episode exposing the Bowen Turner case, we had our

first call to action, and I want to play it because it still matters now.

No support for the victims.

Make noise.

Make so much noise that it's hard for the good old boys to ignore.

Contact State Senator Brad Hutto's office.

Call the Second Circuit Solicitor's office.

Call Judge Markley Dennis's office.

These men work for us, the people.

We didn't know what our MMP Army was capable of at the time, but we knew that we had the

audience and we had to try.

After speaking with Dallas' family members, Chloe Bess, and their attorney Sarah Ford,

we knew how horrific the situation was, and we knew that we not only needed to warn the

world about Bowen Turner, who was out on probation at that time, but the people who allowed this

enormous miscarriage of justice to happen needed to feel the weight of the world so they would

never do it again.

And turns out, y'all are really good at being pesky when it matters.

Y'all showed up.

You flooded the Solicitor's office phone lines and inboxes, asking questions and demanding


So much to the point that Solicitor Bill Leeks finally said enough.

Let's meet with the stallers and see what we can do.

I asked Carl about that meeting and how it went down.

How was it that this lead prosecutor managed to explain that the best thing for them to

do in hopes of getting justice for Dallas was essentially to shut up, stop making noise,

and tone down that pesky pressure that is interrupting their work?

I asked Carl how exactly Solicitor Leeks explained this.

Well, basically, it would take the pressure from folks like yourself, the media, off his

back, and causing a public, a further public outcry that would not just locally, but nationally,

getting phone calls and emails from across the country, and I think in many cases there

were some of them overseas, and that sort of thing, because I'm spending more time fielding

calls and taking emails about this than being able to work the case.

Well, to me, that's a little bit of bull right there because you weren't even working the

case at that point.

You said it was dismissed and over with, so you should have had plenty of time to field

all those calls and emails, et cetera, at that juncture, and I think, and when I say

the investigation, the case is not reopened, Andy, but it's apparently what they're calling

a reopening of an investigation into it, but apparently if we could shut down everyone

talking about it, that would come to see, so to speak, that would give them a chance

to work on it uninterrupted.

This is so wrong because a lot of the times, especially when the system tramples all over

victims, the only power and the only currency that they have left is their story and their

voice. It is cruel and heartless to take that power and momentum away from the victims and

offer them nothing but empty promises in return.

I don't know how it gets much worse than that.

We'll be right back.

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stay pesky and stay in the sunlight.

So the Staller family, desperate for justice, agreed to the deal and they stayed virtually

silent and out of the media for a year.

Then about eight weeks ago, they met with solicitor Bill Weeks for a highly anticipated

update on the case.

After meeting with him, Brett and I meeting and Sarah, the three of us meeting with him over a

year ago, when he asked us to see if we would be willing to back down a little bit and get some

of the media pressure off of them and allow them to work, this is where we are to date.

So to speak, that he has spoken or his office has spoken with some of the folks that witnessed

so-called witnessed the event or the immediate aftermath, if you will, of the event

have basically changed their stories.

And I said stories plural, so that wouldn't be exactly accurate because he's only been able

to, in my understanding, get a hold of one.

That kid, I call him the kid, but he's a young man.

He's currently working with the Orangeburg Department of Public Safety and Law Enforcement

Capacity or he's about to go to the Academy or whatever.

And I think he was not too willing to back up his original story.

And a lot of some things changed.

He produced a video, Mandy, that showed Dallas drinking alcohol fairly heavily

during that party in this recent interview with Solicitor Week's office.

And so, and I'll always like to say this, and if we have, please forgive us to the

general public. We never hid the fact that Dallas was under the influence of alcohol

the night she was assaulted. So I thought that that was public record, but I'm just trying

to make sure everybody understands that. That's not something we're hiding.

So anyway, this young gentleman, he released this information, changed his stories again

and then the other guy that was so-called a key witness is supposed to be a candidate

for law enforcement with Ritzland County Sheriff's Office and they can't get in touch with him

to see whether his story is sticking or not. So nobody can seem to find him and I don't,

to my knowledge, I don't think anybody's really connected with the Ritzland County Sheriff's

Office. So that's kind of where we are with that. And basically, the biggest thing we got

out of it was what we already knew is that Dallas was intoxicated.

Here is what is wrong with the system in a nutshell. Even with the weight of the world on them,

even after being made a fool in international media for their lack of concern for this case,

they still seem to be finding excuses to not prosecute sexual assault cases.

It deeply concerns me for the sexual assault cases where the second solicitor's office is

facing no pressure at all from the media. What happens with those victims?

Two, if that is true about witnesses going into law enforcement and not wanting to cooperate in

this case, then I'm really worried about our future in South Carolina. I hope that doesn't mean

that a young man has been pressured to change his story to save his career in law enforcement.

And three, shame on them for emphasizing Dallas's intoxication that night and shame on them for

silencing Dallas's family and getting their hopes up for new information when all they apparently

found was further proof of what they already knew that Dallas was heavily intoxicated when the

assault happened. Why is it that that evidence works against her? Shouldn't that mean that she

wasn't able to consent? Why are we always blaming victims?

And I think what he was getting at, Mandy, with that, was to say that, you know, hey,

because she was so intoxicated, this may be a tough hill to climb, you know, and the witnesses

changing stories, et cetera. So, you know, I don't know if it's just an excuse or...

Because, you know, I have said in the past and one of the things I said a year or so ago,

as I said in a conversation with him, I said, listen, just show me some effort. You know,

at least try. I mean, you dropped the ball four and a half years ago and you guys did nothing.

Basically, your deputy for sure, David Miller, who is, you know, he's supposed to be a superstar,

but he's nothing in my book. But he, you know, nothing happened. And I guess when I made that

plea to at least try to do something, maybe that's what they're doing right now, saying,

hey, we, you know, when they come back with nothing, they can just say, well, much taller we tried,

you know. Everything was wrong about the plea deal struck between Hutto, the lawyer legislator,

Miller, the solicitor who had been trying and trying to get a judge gig, and Judge Markley

Dennis, the judge who was almost never in Orangeburg, know not to favor victims and seem to be

strategically placed on this case. Dennis seems to be another good old boy who has dodged all

accountability and managed to find a soft place to land after facing public scrutiny in this case.

He got a private attorney job at, wait for it, Maynard Nexon, the firm previously known as

Nexon Pruitt that apparently merged with an Alabama firm recently. Nexon Pruitt comes up a lot

in this podcast, particularly because one, its attached PR firm was hired by the Murdoch family,

and two, one of Greg Parker's attorneys, Mark Moore, works for them. So interesting that he

landed softly at that firm. Anyway, when I was talking to Carl, he gave me a fresh reminder of

just how wrong this plea deal was, how carefully orchestrated it was, all to the benefit of Bowen.

The day of that hearing that was supposed to be, and I want to make sure that I remind everybody

of this, that that was supposed to be a bond revocation hearing from Mr. Turner that turned

into a plea deal hearing, more or less. And of course, yeah, it doesn't take much to read

between the lines and know that that was all concocted well before the hearing was scheduled, okay?

Yeah, I mean, you know, it is what it is, right? So, but yes, he, that plea deal was set up that day.

And of course, David Miller was representing the state on behalf of Solicitor Weeks' office,

and he was granted that, that, Chloe Best's case because Dallas was deceased earlier that day,

right before the hearing, right before we went to the hearing, he, David Miller, scheduled a Zoom

call with us with Sarah Ford's office to let us know that he was dropping, the state was dropping

Dallas's case. That was just hours before that hearing, okay? And so, at the end of the day,

Mandy, he, Chloe's case was a split down to assault and battery first degree,

and he was sentenced under the YOA, Youthful Offenders Act, to six years, not to exceed six

years, suspended to whatever length of, I think it was five years of probation,

and he would not have to register as a sex offender as long as he did not violate the

terms of his probation while he was on probation. He would also be, if he successfully completed

probation, he would also be eligible to have his record expunged. And because the world was watching,

Bowen Turner was finally held accountable in May 2021, but only because y'all were watching.

Weeks after our first episode was published, Bowen, predictably, violated his probation

and was charged with public disorderly conduct. He was sentenced to 10 to 14 months in prison and

will have to register as a sex offender when he's released. He is currently at Kirkland

Correctional Facility and could be released as early as next month. Attorney Sarah Ford,

who is representing the victim's family, said she doesn't even know exactly when he will be

released. Another huge problem in our system. Imagine having no idea when your rapist will be

released from prison and having almost no time to prepare for that. Bowen's arrest and probation

violation was a surprise to no one paying attention to the case. Of course, a kid who the system has

coddled and favored and made excuses for over and over again, didn't learn his lesson. He violated

his bond conditions more than 60 times. And what did the system do in response to that?

They rewarded him with the deal of a lifetime. And why? The short answer is politics and a system

that is so corrupted by people's individual ambitions that it is regarded as normal. Judges

in South Carolina are elected by state legislators like Brad Hutto. And when people have ambitions

of becoming judges like David Miller, their actions might change when they come face to

face with those who can make them judges. I mean, they all deny that their ambitions had anything

to do with the outcome here. And they all deny that Hutto's position as a legislator meant

anything in terms of the outcome. But we have eyes and brains. So yes, this was a systemic failure.

And blood was absolutely on Solicitor Bill Week's hands. His office is the one that agreed to all of

this. But I have to give it to him. At least he apologized to the Stoller family.

Yes. Yeah. He said he was basically he said he was sorry. He went through that

spiel about the and listen, and in his defense, I think he was sincere. And I do think I'm not sure

that a lot of things didn't take place without his full knowledge, because,

you know, it's a known fact. And I'm not saying anything that's not true. That's because I think

it's a matter of record. His deputy, David Miller was has been pursuing a circuit court

judgeship. And because of, you know, how the JMSC is set up.

What better person to have on your side than Senator Brad Hutto to get a recommendation

to the JMSC to give those slots to go before the legislature for election. That's pretty strong

back. And so that without being said, I don't know that Solicitor Weeks was fully.

But I don't think he was fully and had full knowledge of what was going on.

Now, that could be considered inexcusable. But, you know, I know they have a lot of

hell of a caseload like going on. So I mean, it's, you know, everything might not catch

his eye. But I would think something like that would happen. But nevertheless, I am trying to

defend it somewhat, right? But I did mention in that meeting that if all that's true.

And this was me speaking as a, as a cross man. That if I had an employee, whether it be in my

business or whatever, that my right hand guy represented me in that way. And this is exactly

how I put it to him. I said, I don't care if the guy did a million things right for me. I believe

I'd have to part company with him. And he said to me, he got angry.

So he got angry when Carl asked, why didn't you do something about the guy who did this

if it was so wrong? He got angry when this grieving father asked him a simple question

about accountability. This is the problem. He said, he put his hands on the table and said,

Mr. Stoller, you suggested that I terminate my deputy solicitor because of this. And I said,

he may have done a million things right in his career. But my Lord, what everything you've endured

in the, and he did say earlier in the conversation, let me catch that up a little bit, that he had

received hate calls and threats and that type of thing from the general public. I said, if he

brought that kind of storm down on me, and namely if I'm elected official, that this thing could

certainly jeopardize my future as a solicitor of a second judicial circuit. I don't believe I'd,

I think I'd make a statement that in my constituents and I'd say, hey, buddy, I'm sorry,

but you, you got to go. I know in my capacity and law enforcement working for the Sheriff

Williamsburg County, if I represented him that way, I wouldn't have a bag in my pocket. I wouldn't,

hands down, no matter how much good I'd done. So I know that's how it works on that end. So,

but anyway, he did stop that. Yes, ma'am. To Carl, this is about something much bigger than his

daughter. If the solicitors office reopened the case, it would send a clear message to anyone

who thinks that they can buy their way out of accountability. It would make legislators, judges,

and solicitors offices worry a little bit more about victims and a little bit less about preserving

the reputations and futures of defendants like Bo and Turner. That would have been extremely

impactful and it would have meant, and I don't want to speak for the public, but I think it would

have meant a lot to the public to say that the show that Mr. Weeks is very serious about this,

you know, saying, hey, we did make a mistake. We did make a mistake. My guy, I trust it whole

heartedly and have time and time again has dropped the ball in a major way. And unfortunately,

because of that, I've got to release him. And I think that would have gone

well in his favor to have done something like that. And with the spoken volumes to the public,

I'd say maybe to say something is actually going to get done. We're going to try to correct this

wrong, you know. The way up and out of this is judicial reform. Lawyer legislators need to be

taken out of the mix altogether. And we are not the only ones who want this. State Representative

Joe White, who we've talked about on this podcast before, gave one of the strongest calls to action

we've heard yet about changing the way our judges are elected and changing who they might feel

beholden to. He was brave enough to say what needed to be said, and then he was apparently punished

Suddenly, $300,000 that had been earmarked by the state legislator for Public Safety

and Joe's district was gone. No longer in the budget. The money was there at conference committee,

but then it was gone. How did that happen? It's not clear. It's likely not a coincidence that

House Speaker Merle Smith assigned Representative Todd Rutherford, you know, from the draw price

case as one of the three representatives on that committee. Both Smith and Rutherford are

reportedly upset with Joe White and Newberry County Sheriff Lee Foster because the two are out

spoken about judicial reform. As of right now, it seems like Newberry is the only county to have

lost that money. Do you see how wrong that is? Are we going to keep letting that happen? Are we

going to keep when it's clearly a judge who's friendly to law and your legislators because

he knows that's how he got his job? You know, that's, and I know that's a piece of the puzzle,

but in my opinion, I'm figuring out it's a big piece of the puzzle because the rest doesn't exist

or will be much smaller if you can get that piece big. I know there's a lot of pieces that

may be big, but maybe that's a huge piece. Right, it is. We got the Senate, I'm sorry,

I keep saying Senate, but Representative White from Newberry County, great guy, Spider, he wants

this and he's doing it his own peril. I don't, you know, he lost $300,000 in state funding

to the Newberry County law enforcement because, and you can't say it's, you know, any other way,

Mandy, that that was in the budget. And then as soon as he presses for this judicial reform,

guess what happened? Yes, ma'am, it's a fact. And she mentioned he brought it up at that meeting

last Thursday night and I'm shocked. And any judge who has the gall, I know of two and I can't,

forgive me, I can't call their names, but they went against lawyer legislators in a criminal

case and then in a civil case. And guess what, they are not judges anymore. So tell me that it

doesn't exist. Those guys say and swear has no impact, but we know all too well that it does.

You have to be blind not to see it. It goes back to what you and I said here, which you've been

fighting passionately for others that, you know, you got to defeat David in the last, right? You

got to get that guy out there. Remember, Carl works in law enforcement. He looks like and talks

like a good old boy born and raised in South Carolina. He knows all of the players involved

including Brad Hutto, who walked past him and refused to look at him at an event the other day.

And Carl sees how wrong all of this is and he wants others to see it too before they are in his shoes.

How many more people are going to fall? How many more Stephen Smiths will there be?

Donald Stollers, Cory Besse's, her, just the name, the ones I'm immediately familiar with.

That's going to happen, you know. And how many times as a sheriff's deputy, I'm going to go

and see a victim of a crime who knows that I'm not going to be able to help them

if they press charges on a case because the reality of it is that person I locked up on

Friday night will beat me home before I get off that shift because they're going to already be out

on bond and I've had them tell me this. We know you mean well, Mr. Stollers, but here's the deal.

If I push this, you won't be able to get to me quick enough. Okay. And they know that. That's the

kind of thing. I get a unique insight on it on all sides, right? And I get the feeling,

I feel for these people, I feel the frustration, I feel the frustration of law enforcement,

not just because I'm involved in it. I feel the frustration of prosecutors that want something

done differently, sheriffs across the state, again, mainly victims, the press, I feel the pain,

but unfortunately, I don't have any answers. And but I know that we do have the power to change it.

And as a law enforcement officer, someone who knows the system, Carl said that he still believes

that there is a chance for justice in this case. And you know, the reality of his mandate is,

you know, the likelihood now of getting a conviction for criminal sexual conduct is

probably for all intents and purposes, nil, nil. However, there is still an opportunity

to go after him for the same thing they did for Unclei Bess's case for assault and battery

wine. And I mean, that's still, that's still in play. And you've got the Dallas's written statement,

you've got a recorded statement, you've got photos, you've got DNA evidence, you've got

in sled is continuing to work to get more information as the solicitor's office asks

for them to find it, then a bigger response to that need. And, and so it sounds to me like you

do have something to work with, right? And so why don't you just do it another year or two years

or three years? Because I mean, as long as I'm living, I'm in it for the long haul, you know.

But I just don't think that it should be the way it is. It's just, it shouldn't be drawn out like

this. And, and again, I don't want to ever take away from what happens to the people as a whole.

It is, it, we're just a, we're, yes, we're a bit of a family, but we're trying to be, and we're

nobody, right? But we're trying to be the voice and, and bring it out. And if people want to,

you know, I'm no preacher, I'm no big speech giver, et cetera. I'm not that person, but I'm,

I'm, but if people are willing to listen to me, if that's what it takes to get everybody to wake

up and make this, this change happen, I'm more than happy to be that guy. Because here's the deal.

I owe that to my child. I owe that to her. And I owe that to these other people or these other

victims. I do, and I feel like I need to carry that weight on my shoulder. I'm a big guy. So I

think I can carry it. And I owe that to them. Yes, ma'am. I asked Carl whether looking back on

everything now, he believed Solicitor Weeks just wanted people off of his back, or he actually

had intended to do something about this. That's an excellent question. I would like to think,

here's how I'm going to answer that. I would like to think that he had the best of intentions.

I have no doubt in my mind he feels badly for how things were handed. I have no doubt about that.

But at the same time, I can't help but believe because he won't do anything with his deputy

to write him in. Because of what the investigation for over a year now has yielded,

things we already knew, and I'm laughing about it because it's hilarious in a way.

I really have to believe too that maybe part of it is to get the media and people off of his back.

I think he's got great, and honestly, I want to give the man credit. I think he does. I think

his heart's in the right place. I don't think he's impressed by any kind of pressure from

Senator Hutter. I don't think that. His deputy is that guy. I think he just would like for it to

go away and then in the end, like I said earlier, say, Mr. Stollard, Brett, Sarah, man, I gave it

my best shot. I gave a shot. We screwed up so much stuff in the beginning. It was so hard to fix.

We did irreparable damage to the case, no question. There's just nowhere we can go.

There's no need to take this to the grand jury in Bamberg County, or if it is, we got defeated.

Right? The grand jury decided not to issue a true bill.

I think, again, his heart's in the right place, but at the same time, who wants the dog nipping

at your heels all the time too? When you're in his position, I would say, not to make this,

doesn't make it right, man, but you just don't want that. You just want this thing to go away

because you want to get real late. You need to get this thing in the rear view mirror as quickly

as you can. But the reality of it is, we don't think that, honestly, I don't think that they're

going to be able to do anything because the chain of evidence, the changing of the statements from

these witnesses, videos that surf surfaced that weren't obviously gotten initially,

or even, or at least gotten, but not seen by the solicitor's office, have done a lot of damage.

You know, there's probably could be, I dare say, those videos, it could be inculcatory evidence,

or inculcatory evidence for the defendant. Who knows, you know? But if you didn't research it,

how are you able to do that? So I asked Point Blank, do you want people to turn up the pressure

again? Oh, 100%. Yes, ma'am. I really think they should. And listen, maybe you can't have folks,

I'm inspired by those folks because here are these folks that are, that are elected officials,

and they're, and you hear me out, you can't help but be inspired by that if you think about it,

because they're risking everything, okay? They're risking their careers, their futures. It's already

a patented representative of white because of what I mentioned earlier about losing that funding for

Newberry County law enforcement, whether they say that's connected or not. But we all know, okay?

I can't not support those folks by, the only way I can support those folks is by saying,

talking to you and talking to every dad, somebody else willing to listen to me,

and that word out. So that, and that goes for you and everybody else. We got folks that are

throwing a side, they're standing up for their, their beliefs, if you will, that they're doing

the moral thing, okay? And they don't care, you know, if it costs them their career is the way I

take it from talking to those folks and listen to them. They're not just up there throwing a big

fiery speech, they're sincere. And if it costs them everything, then they're going to go down

fighting, right? And so how can I not support that? How can I not support that? And the way I don't

support it is to keep my mouth shut. So I gotta talk and, and, and fire it out there. And I want

everybody who's willing to listen to take a little time. I know everybody's busy. But again, I can't

emphasize enough that it does not matter who you are, what your social standing is, how much money

you have or don't have, who you know or who you don't know. I hope it never happens to anybody

else. But that's not real, right? Evil will come to visit you at some point in time. And don't you

want the best representation against evil that you can get? That's my message. And that's what I'm

saying. So I gotta support those folks. And again, I'm repeating it over and over, but people need

to understand it. You can't, you got people this now that's jumping out there on that political

scene and local and up in Columbia is sticking it on out there. And you got to support them and

you got to do it by talking and you can't just be quiet about it. So I'm back in action, so to

speak. So here it is, our true sunlight warriors. The Stoller family is asking for your support

and peskiness once again. We need y'all to do exactly what you did last year. In the description

of this episode, we've included contact information for both Bill Weeks and Brad Hutto and links to

our social media pages to follow. Later this week, we will be posting a call to action with numbers

to call emails to send and sample language for what to say. We want you to be pesky and effective,

but also civil. This is how we get it done. Remember, you are speaking for the victim's

families when you call. So be kind. We owe that to them. We don't, we're not, we're not looking

for recognition. We really are. I mean, yeah, we, we suffered from members lost in the Smith

did and others and the Murdoch situation. I mean, it's lost. It's lost after lost after lost. But

we really want to see, I really want to see that I really want people, I want to make sure that

people are waking up to it and they're, and they're going to say, listen, it is truly enough is enough.

And we got to get something, something different's got to happen.

We'll be right back.

That brings us to retired South Carolina judge Casey Manning and a case that bears some resemblance

to how the Bowen Turner case was handled. You remember Judge Manning, right? The man who in his

final year on the bench signed eight of the 27 sentence reduction orders that were issued between

January 2022 and mid April 2023. That was 30% of the total sentence reduction orders that we know

about, almost a full third. Manning, as it turns out, was the judge who had denied Bowen Turner

bond. The second time Bowen was arrested on rape charges, which we applaud him for doing,

even though it was the obvious thing to do there. But we all know that the bar is really low in

South Carolina. So until that changes, we will celebrate the victories where we can get them.

Proof of that low bar actually would be that nine months after Manning put Bowen Turner in the

Department of Juvenile Justice, another judge was brought in and oh, look at that. The new judge

granted Bowen home detention with an ankle monitor, which Bowen and his family totally disregarded

and violated as if it meant nothing. Because in South Carolina, it kind of means nothing.

Anyway, we began taking a bigger look at who Casey Manning is after the Jarod price case came to

light in April. You'll remember that Jarod is the South Carolina prisoner whom Judge Manning

released 15 years before Price's murder sentence was over. Manning's name had come up several times

in our work on the Murdoch case because of his connection to Judge Carmen Mullen,

the judge who had signed off on the Satterfield Settlement, despite the multiple red flags that

should have caused her to, I don't know, do her job. She is also the judge who all but demanded

a Buford County Sheriff's Deputy arrest a man who had not committed any crime. Manning, from what

our sources tell us, protected Mullen by making it clear to anyone who wanted to cross her that it

would be a mistake, which is a familiar threat of his apparently. And by cross her, we mean hold

her accountable for her actions. So the case that has some things in common with how Bowen

Turner's was handled. Let's talk about that because even though we already knew that Bowen's case

was emblematic of the problems that exist in our justice system, this is further evidence of that.

In November 2021, an 18 year old man named David Bennett Galway III was arrested for sexually

assaulting a 13 year old girl a month before that. The press at the time was referring to it as

statutory rape. Now Galway, who is described as a football star in just about every story

written about him, denied that this was a case of sexual assault. Also, he has steadily maintained

that he, A, didn't know the girl was 13, B, had passed a lie detector test about not knowing she

was 13, and C, had consensual sex with the girl, which as you know, there is no such thing as consent

when it comes to 13 year olds having sex with people who are legally considered adults.

Galway hired attorney Jim May. You might recognize that name as the attorney who is working with

PMPED in the aftermath of Alex Thefts. He is a formal federal prosecutor who left the U.S.

Attorney's office to join the prestigious Weish law firm shortly after the murders of Maggie and

Paul. He was seen at Alex's murder trial and also at Russell Lafitte's trial. At the time,

he was hired to represent Galway. He was still fresh on the scene as a defense attorney. Nevertheless,

Jim May was able to get a sweet plea deal for Galway with the Fifth Circuit Solicitor's Office,

which is the same office of Byron Gibson, who is also behind Gerard Price's early release.

The charges stemmed from a party that Galway had attended at a relatives' house where

there were no adults but apparently plenty of alcohol. It was fear that Galway met the 13-year-old

girl. Galway, according to news reports, was drinking. He offered alcohol to the girl but

she declined. Galway and the girl reportedly had a sexual encounter that evening, which

was stopped by someone at the party. Later that night, the two reconnected and had intercourse.

The incident was later reported to police by the girl's school. Shortly after his arrest in

November, Galway was released on a personal reconnaissance bond of $45,000. According to

the state newspaper, Jim May had told the court that his client had taken a lie detector test

and passed it. Galway has never been in trouble before, Jim told the court. He's a fantastic

student. He is the child people say they wish they had. Around this time, a petition popped up

online calling for justice for Galway. According to the state newspaper, the petition said,

Bennett is a good honest man who would never do something wrong and who helped his community.

Bennett is an incredible athlete with gifts most people would dream of and he is now being stripped

of his dream playing football. The site called Galway a victim of a corrupt justice system.

Thankfully, only 18 people had signed the thing at the time of publication.

Let me say this and I hope you can hear the imaginary clapping between my words.

It is illegal for an 18 year old man to have sexual intercourse with a 13 year old.

In South Carolina, we have what's called the Romeo clause, which accounts for teenagers

having sex with each other and it still makes it illegal for an 18 year old to have sex with a

13 year old. Literally, the law that was written to protect 18 year olds from the

oopsie of I have a 14 year old girlfriend is like no son. 13 is too young for that.

So in January 2022, which is mere months after Galway was charged in a state where

rape cases tend to stay on the docket for years and years,

judge Manning allowed him to plead guilty to misdemeanor assault for quote unlawfully touching

the 13 year old and to the misdemeanor of being a minor in possession of alcohol.

He was sentenced to 60 days in jail, which was suspended to 240 hours of community service.

He was also ordered to pay $15,000 in restitution so the victim could pay for therapy.

Galway had originally been charged with second degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor,

which is a felony unpunishable by up to 20 years in prison. For his part, he did take full

responsibility for his actions in court. He apologized to the victim and to her family

and never spoke about not knowing the girl's age, at least not the courtroom,

but his attorney did that for him. Galway's attorney was quoted by the state newspaper as

saying quote, this is a nightmare for everybody. There are no winners. And he quote, emphasize

that the situation quote could happen to most teenagers. He said it was a case of kids being

kids. According to the state newspaper at that time, an advocate for the victim told the court

that the impact on her had been severe. Actually, here's what the paper wrote word for word because

doesn't this sound familiar quote. The advocate told the court that a friend of Galway's told

people that he had sex with the victim. That led to the victim and her family being bullied

throughout Chapin. The victim was forced to drop out of middle school classes and attend school

virtually quote. The bullying of the Chapin community has been horrendous, the advocate said.

There's more. According to the newspaper, the victim was getting photos sent to her on Instagram

with people flashing the number 21 for Galway's Jersey number. Classmates were yelling at her

in the halls of her school and her close relatives were getting harassed as well,

including one who lost their job over this. There's another familiar moment. Check this out.

quote the prosecutor, the prosecutor, quote, described the sex as consensual saying the victim

never indicated she did not want to have sex. A 13 year old, think about the 13 year olds in your

life and then re listen to what I just read to you. And again, get your clapping hands back out for

this one. A 13 year old cannot legally consent to having sex with an 18 year old, meaning it's

incumbent on the 18 year old to prevent this from happening, even if the girl seems okay with everything.

But the male prosecutor called it consent because, well, she didn't say no to it. It's amazing,

isn't it? Even when we have laws that are written specifically with these incidents in mind,

we still have people, including prosecutors, who look at it like it's an equivocal thing.

Buddy plays football, but he's a good student. When will people understand that good people

can do bad things and they still need to be held accountable for them?

A few days after the state reported on the soft plea deal that Judge Manning handed out,

the one Galloway and his family were essentially able to purchase by hiring an attorney of Jim

May's caliber and with Jim May's connections. The reporter followed up with a story about the

investigation into the assault. As it turns out, a witness had told law enforcement that Galloway

had known the victim was only 13 because he had asked her and her friends how old they were.

The girl told him she was 13 and in eighth grade. The witness also said that Galloway had misled

the girls, including the victim, about his own age, telling them he was only a high school sophomore,

meaning around 15 years old. In reality, he was an 18-year-old high school senior who was being

recruited by major universities. Why would he lie about his age? Hmm. The document, the reporter

wrote, raises questions about whether Galloway should have been allowed to plea to the lesser charge.

You think? Shortly after these stories ran in the state, the newspaper ran another follow-up,

this time featuring victims' advocates who seemed pretty well horrified by not only Jim May's comments,

but by the public's reaction to the story as well. One person commented on the story that

13-year-olds sometimes looked 21 years old and quote, aren't so innocent. Another was like,

it happens. Galloway's attorney Jim May had earlier said there were no winners in the situation,

but it kind of seems like Galloway won, no? And not for nothing. Is there anything more disgusting

than to hear a grown man brush off sex with a minor as something that could happen to anyone?

Actually, turns out May was right. Because it happened again.

Three months after Judge Manning oversaw the soft plea deal for Sir Galloway III,

Sir Galloway III was again accused of sexually assaulting a minor. This time, it was a relative

of a Newbury County Sheriff's Office. And because of that, the Sheriff's Office turned the case over

to sled. Again, doesn't this sound familiar? A young man with enough money to hire an attorney

with access to power gets a little flick on the wrist by our justice system for deviant behavior

that if ignored, can and will get worse. And then guess what? It got worse. And no one in these

decision-making seats seems to get held accountable for that. The press reported on this new case

in June 2022. One month after that, Sled closed the case, noting that there was insufficient

evidence to support a conviction. So I guess that's an instance when the system wasn't being

corrupt if we're going to use the logic of that petition writer. By the way, for funsies,

you should Google David Bennett Galloway III's name. You might notice that the stories about his

plea deal and the second accusation aren't at the top of the search results. What does this mean?

Hard to say, but it sure does seem like Sir Galloway III followed some perhaps professional

advice to AT about managing a negative reputation online and getting the positive stuff to rank

higher in search results. Here's what one janky site that's been padding the results says about

him in the preview. Quote, David Bennett Galloway is an integrity man. Yes, integrity man.

Living up to the highest ethical and moral standards, he has been very active in his community.

I mean, obviously, he's been active in his community. A judge told him he had to be active in

his community or he'd go to jail for 60 days. So there we are. Another case that shows just

how absolutely unapologetic our justice system is about rewarding those who can afford to buy

their way out of it. The question we're constantly asking ourselves when it comes to the good old

boy system is why does it continue to be this way? Why does so few people speak out against what is

going on? And why do so many people just keep on keeping on with the confidence that no one is going

to call them out for it? They should all be shaking in their boots right now, but there's a pact,

mostly an unspoken one, that if you speak up, you'll be sorry. You'll regret it. Oh, look at me

quoting Judge Casey Manning. That's right. I was quoting him. Next week, we have a story to share

with you about yet another case that was handled by Judge Manning that is working its way through

the appellate court right now. It's a doozy, but it will give you the best look ever into South

Carolina's crazy court system. And we say this knowing that you tuned in to like Murdoch's trial

for six weeks. Just like Carl Stoller said, enough is enough. There's one thing that always sticks

out to me about Dallas's story. She wanted Bowen to get the help he so clearly needed. Dallas,

a compassionate and kind girl who was tortured by her own community for something she didn't do,

wanted Bowen to be able to build a future for himself after he repaid his debt to society.

So I want to be clear. No one is saying that people don't deserve second chances because

they often do. We're saying that second chances should not come in the form of special treatment

at the expense of everyone but the perpetrator. We're saying that second chances should include

accountability and that the same measures of justice should be accessible by everyone.

Enough is enough.


Machine-generated transcript that may contain inaccuracies.

True Sunlight co-hosts Mandy Matney and Liz Farrell revisit the Bowen Turner case as new details emerge from a victim’s family.
After bringing much needed sunlight to the secret plea deal being struck between a lawyer-legislator and the prosecution, the family of Dallas Stoller went suddenly quiet. They said they were told to stay out of the media so Dallas’ case could be reopened.
Also, we expose a sexual assault case involving a football star named David Bennett Galloway III that looks like it was handled a lot like Turner’s case.

Call the elected officials Involved
Second Circuit Solicitor’s Office
(803) 642-1557 (ask for David Miller or Bill Weeks) 

State Senator Brad Hutto:
Business Phone (803) 212-6140
Business Phone (803) 534-5218
Send message to Brad Hutto here:

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