Lawyers on both sides of a hotly contested, internationally-followed wrongful death lawsuit are speaking out this week ahead of a hearing that could derail a civil trial four years in the making.
Renee Beach’s emotionally charged civil suit against Alex Murdaugh, Gregory M. Parker, Parker’s Corporation and the Murdaugh estates begins Aug. 14 with jury trial in Hampton County Court of Common Pleas before Judge Daniel D. Hall, but a motion to change location submitted late last week may interfere with that.
Even as Hampton County officials begin scheduling another expensive, challenging trial in the Murdaugh crime saga, Judge Hall will hold a hearing at the Hampton County Courthouse Friday at noon to hear how the venue changes and a second motion . to separate the defendants and try the now notorious and infamous Murdaugh, a convicted murderer and known fraudster, and Parker’s defendants separately.
What are the latest motions in the Beach wrongful death case?
The trial, centered around the 2019 Mallory Beach boat death in Beaufort County, may need to be rescheduled and further delayed if Judge Hall passes one of the recent motions.
Last Friday afternoon, July 7, Parker’s lawyers filed two motions: a motion asking for a change of venue “to ensure that Parker can receive a fair and impartial trial,” and a second motion to sever for the same reasons.
Parker’s motions state that by being “tied” to Alex Murdaugh and the Murdaugh family in this wrongful death case, a jury is more likely to find them liable given Murdaugh’s extensive criminal and civil charges.
Citing the “local, regional, national, and international interest and focus of the Murdaugh family,” the venue’s motion states that “all jurors in Hampton County, South Carolina will likely be aware of the Murdaugh family name. and news surrounding them. In the opinion of this court, the vortex of lawsuits surrounding the Murdaughs loves[s] possibly the most reactionary and publicized proceeding in the history of the South Carolina judiciary and legal system.
The motion does not call for a specific location, but anywhere “outside the 14th judicial circuit,” which includes Hampton, Beaufort, Jasper, Colleton and Allendale counties.
Accompanying the motions were two affidavits from citizens of Hampton County claiming that it would not be possible to find an impartial juror anywhere in Hampton County, adding that “Anyone involved in a lawsuit with the Murdaughs, by that engagement will be stained.”
The motion for divorce is almost identical to a previous motion for divorce filed by Parker’s, but rejected by Judge Daniel Hall.
Beach’s wrongful death lawsuit was first filed in March 2019 in Beaufort County, but was later refiled in Hampton County, after 19-year-old Mallory Beach of Hampton County was killed in a boating accident that left Murdaugh’s boat and his alleged drunken son, Paul Murdaugh, were involved. Murdaugh is accused of letting his underage son drink and run his boats, and Parker’s is accused of illegally selling alcohol to underage boaters.
Beach attorney Tinsley responds to “ridiculous”, “undeserved” motions
Mark Tinsley, lead attorney for the Beach family and the Mallory Beach estate, responded passionately to The Hampton County Guardian this week following the recent charges.
Tinsley called Parker’s legal positions “ridiculous” and stated that Parker’s motions showed “contempt” for residents of Hampton County and the 14th Circuit by suggesting that they were not smart enough or fair enough to follow the law and in this case to sit on a jury. .
“Parker’s claim that it will be somehow biased or harm
ed by ‘being tied to The Murdaughs’ in this case is equally ludicrous. ‘The Murdaughs’ are not defendants in this case, Alex Murdaugh is. And Alex Murdaugh is, like Parker’s, negative to the Beach family and their quest to detain these people, who have refused to accept responsibility and be held accountable for their wrongful actions. As such, Parker’s logic falls into how it will be biased apart It seems like an unfair advantage for ‘The Murdaughs’ as Parkers put it or for Alex Murdaugh would be against the Beach family and their fight for justice.
“More importantly, of the people remaining in this lawsuit, only the Beach family has been harmed or victimized by any of the wrongdoings or corruption associated with the criminal investigation into their daughter’s death. resident of Hampton County was involved. The Beach family is confident that the people of the Lowcountry, whom Parker’s treats so contemptuously, and especially the residents of Hampton County, will follow the law in this matter. is, like all of Parker’s other motions, baseless.”
Parker’s lawyers explain the legal position, calling boaters’ “bad decisions.”
PK Shere, lawyer for Parker’s Kitchen, provided the following statement to The Guardian, explaining his client’s legal position.
“At its core, this is very simple. Mark Tinsley wants Parker’s and the Murdaugh family tied together for one reason only: to anger a jury at the Murdaughs and make Parker’s pay for it. The real issue here is South Carolina’s joint and several liability law. If Mr. Tinsley has his way – if a jury believes Tajeeha Cohen, a customer service representative, and Parker’s were even 1% guilty – Parker’s would pay all verdicts against the Murdaugh family. In fact, Parker’s would pay for the repeated bad decisions of all these boaters and the Murdaughs.
Alex Murdaugh was convicted of the murders of his wife, Maggie, and his son, Paul. It is clear that Parker’s can only receive a fair trial from an impartial jury if there is severance pay and a relocation site for the upcoming trial. against Alex Murdaugh may constitute the most “reactionary and publicized proceeding in the history of the South Carolina judiciary and justice system.” Being tied to a convicted murderer, the most notorious criminal defendant in the past 50 years, allows Parker to potentially bears the brunt of a criminal judgment through joint and several liability We just ask for fairness – to try Parker’s separately from Alex Murdaugh – and leave the Murdaugh circus for another day.
This story will be updated Friday afternoon, after the hearing and again after Judge Hall issues a ruling. You can continue to follow this story and other stories in the Murdaugh legal saga by reading Michael DeWitt Jr.’s journalism. to support. You can follow DeWitt on Facebook and on Twitter at @mmdewittjr
This article originally appeared on Greenville News: Beach wrongful death hearing approaches, lawyers trade barbs on motions