Police defend withholding details in South Carolina murder


Walterboro, South Carolina (AP) —State police told judges that they did not want to disclose details about the killings of two members of a prominent South Carolina statutory family, after more than a month of investigation. , Said that it has not been released yet. Know what evidence is important to resolve the case.

State Law Enforcement Appeared in Court on Wednesday Post and courier. Charleston Newspaper I sued the agency, He said he violated the state’s public records law by first refusing to publish police reports on the killings and then significantly blacking out the information in the published reports.

The agency is investigating the June 7 deaths of Maggie Murdo, 52, and her son, Paul Murdo, 22.

After investigating his seriously ill father, Alex Murdo found his wife and son shot several times outside the family’s land home in Colleton County, officials said.

State agents released little information about their investigation, and lawyers seemed to suggest that the investigation did not focus on the theory of a particular person or what happened. Disclosure of incorrect information can affect witnesses’ memories and prevent agents from catching lies.

“At this stage of such an investigation, it is very difficult to know exactly which evidence, witnesses, and information are ultimately important and which evidence, witnesses, or information proves to be of little value. “It’s difficult,” the State Legal Affairs Department and the Coleton County Security Officer’s Office wrote in a court document.

Colleton County lawmakers handed over the investigation to state police almost immediately.

The· Post and courier lawyer State agencies claimed to be generous about how the information in the report was blacked out. South Carolina Information Disclosure Law requires authorities not only to say that they can cause problems, but to say exactly how undisclosed information will affect the investigation. He said.

State police released 18-page report last month. All but one page had edits, and some pages were completely blacked out.

The unedited information includes a lieutenant asking for a tent to submit evidence while a crime scene technician is working, another lieutenant outlining where the crime scene tape was placed, and Pointed to a road that contained details about other officers asking nearby homes and businesses if they had surveillance cameras.

“They aren’t thinking about disclosure laws,” said newspaper lawyer Edward Fenno. “They are just editing what they think is appropriate.”

At the end of the hearing, Circuit Court Judge Bentley Price said he would consider editing and order more information to be released if they felt it was not legal.

The Murdaugh family $ 100,000 reward For anyone who provides information that could lead to the conviction of the murderer, the State Law Enforcement Department will continue to promote the 24-hour tipline of the case at (803) 896-2605.

Alex Murdaugh’s father, grandfather, and great-grandfather have all been elected prosecutors for many years and, along with other families, have succeeded in private law practices in nearby Hampton County and the surrounding area.

At the time of his death, Paul Murdo was awaiting trial on suspicion of drunk driving. February 2019 crash It killed 19-year-old Mallory Beach. State officials are also considering whether local law enforcement agencies have attempted to thwart the investigation into the death of the boat.

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