Tag Archive for: crime


Police say they are investigating death of Buster Murdaugh’s classmate and rumored lover as a homicide.

Lebanon: Protesters try to storm government HQ amid economic turmoil.



Another “Murdaugh Murder”? Police re-investigating 2015 death of Buster Murdaugh classmate

Earlier this month, disgraced South Carolina attorney Alex Murdaugh was found guilty in the grisly 2021 shooting deaths of his wife Maggie and son Paul. The conviction followed a sensational 6-week trial, attended nearly every day by Murdaugh’s surviving son, Buster. 26. Now Buster himself is facing scrutiny in connection with another mysterious case.

In July 2015, the body of Stephen Smith, 19, was found lying dead in the middle of a rural road, about 15 miles from the Murdaugh estate. Authorities at the time ruled Smith’s death to be the result of a hit-and-run. However, some investigators who attended the scene expressed doubts, saying it looked more as if Smith had been killed elsewhere and dumped in the road.

None of the tell-tale signs of a car having struck a pedestrian were present. There was no broken glass or tire marks at the scene. Smith’s loose-fitting shoes were still on his feet and his phone was still in his back pocket, both of which are unusual in vehicular homicides. There was also no sign Smith had been dragged along the ground.

Nevertheless, the medical examiner ruled it a hit-and-run. When South Carolina Highway Patrol Trooper Todd Proctor went to the pathologist and questioned her conclusions, he said she was combative. “I asked her why she stated that in the report,” Trooper Proctor wrote in his report. “Her answer was ‘because he was found in the road‘.”

Rumors of rumors

It so happened that Smith, a nursing student, had been a high school classmate of Buster’s. Following Smith’s death, rumors circulated around the small town of Hampton, SC, that Stephen, who was openly gay, had been having an affair with Buster.

Other rumors had it that Buster and possibly his brother Paul were involved in Smith’s death. Investigators tried to track down these rumor to their source, but as so often happens in small towns, no one could, or would, say where the rumor began. At that time, the Murdaugh name was a respected and feared on in that area of South Carolina. Investigators now hope that people with knowledge about what happened to Stephen will be more willing to come forward.

Last week, Buster Murdaugh issued a statement attempting to distance himself from Smith’s death and dismissing any suggestion that he and Stephen had a sexual relationship. “These baseless rumors of my involvement with Stephen and his death are false,” Buster said. “I unequivocally deny any involvement in his death, and my heart goes out to the Smith family”.

Smith to be exhumed

Stephen’s mother Sandy has long believed that Stephen died by foul play and that the Murdaughs were somehow part of it. What is certain is that members of the Murdaugh family inserted themselves into the investigation at the crime scene. In fact, the Murdaughs knew Smith was dead before Sandy did. 

In 2021, the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) announced it was re-opening the investigation into Stephen’s death “based upon information gathered during the course of the double murder investigation of Paul and Maggie Murdaugh”. SLED has not divulged what that information is or where it came from. Yesterday, SLED confirmed they were investigating Stephen’s death as a homicide but named no person of interest.

The recent spotlight on the Murdaugh clan helped Sandy raise $86,000 on a GoFundMe, far exceeding her goal of $40,000 to have Stephen exhumed for an independent autopsy. But SLED investigators said an exhumation wasn’t necessary for them to believe Stephen was murdered. Despite the initial ruling that Stephen’s death was an accident, State Troopers have long believed otherwise. In fact, SLED said that based on the initial reports, there was no reason to conclude it was a hit-and-run.

Click here for the full story (opens in new tab).



Lebanon: Protestors attempt to storm government in Beirut

Since 2019, the Lebanese pound has lost more than 95% of its value. People who once lived comfortably on an income equivalent to $1000 a month have seen their incomes dwindle to about $50 a month. In February, the inflation rate was at 189.67%. Banks have compounded the misery by severely limiting the amount of cash people can withdraw, despite court orders giving depositors access to their funds. 

Decades of misrule by a corrupt elite has sent Lebanon’s economy into a death spiral. The government in Beirut has reached out to the international community for help in stabilizing their economy. However, they’ve resisted the political and economic reforms demanded by potential lenders, including the IMF.

On Wednesday, a crowd of thousands of retired soldiers and enraged depositors laid siege to the Grand Serail, a 3-story Ottoman era building that serves as the government headquarters. For nearly two hours, protesters hurled stones and attempted to break through the security fence. Police fired tear gas into the crowd, causing some protesters to suffer breathing problems.

Click here for the full story (opens in new tab).


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In October 2022, a young Black man went missing after calling to telling his mother white men were chasing him in three trucks. When his body was later found, authorities said they didn’t suspect foul play. His family disagrees. What really happened in Taylorsville, MS?



Black man who said he was chased by whites later found decapitated; Sheriff says ‘no foul play’

Rasheem Carter, 25, a welder from Fayette in Jefferson County, MS, went missing on Oct. 2, 2022, near Taylorsville, MS, in Smith County, where he had undertaken contract work. Carter had previously texted his mother, Tiffany Carter, saying he’d had an altercation with someone at work. The text named a person and said “if anything happens… he’s responsible for it. … He got these guys wanting to kill me”.

On Oct. 1, Rasheem called his mother, telling her that a group of white men hurling racial slurs were chasing him in three trucks. Tiffany told her son to go to the police, believing they would protect him. But that was the last she heard from him.

Rasheem’s skull was found detached from his body. The dome of the skull was removed during autopsy. Photos were released by the family. 

When Rasheem’s remains were found on Nov. 2, dismembered and decapitated, in a wooded area near Taylorsville, Tiffany was in no doubt what happened to her son. But a day later, Smith County Sheriff Joel Houston posted on Facebook that there was “no reason to believe foul play was involved”.  

Rasheem’s remains were found scattered over two acres, and parts of him are still missing. The delay in finding his remains complicates the picture significantly, as there was evidence of animal predation. When a body lies undiscovered for months, animal activity can scatter remains over a wide area. 

An autopsy report by the Mississippi State Medical Examiner’s Office noted injuries. However the report states that the condition of the remains when they were recovered make it difficult to determine when and in what sequence those injuries occurred. For this reason, the examiner was unable to establish a cause and manner of death with any confidence. 

Ben Crump calls for federal investigation

What we have is a Mississippi lynching,” famed civil rights attorney Ben Crump told reporters on Tuesday. Crump, representing the Carter family, is calling for a federal probe into Rasheem’s death. During the press conference, Crump said, “This doesn’t seem like the act of just one individual. It kind of lines up with what Tiffany said. There was a lynch mob of three trucks chasing her son before he went missing.”

“One thing is for certain … This was not a natural killing. This was not a natural death,” Crump said. “This represents a young man who was killed”. Crump and the Carter family believe that the Sheriff’s conclusion that there was no foul play doesn’t stand up to scrutiny, given the other circumstances surrounding the case.

“This was a nefarious act. This was an evil act,” Crump said. “Somebody murdered Rasheem Carter, and we cannot let them get away with this.”

“Nothing to hide” says Sheriff

Carter was in Taylorsville for short-term contracting work. His mother Tiffany says Rasheem was saving money to reopen his seafood restaurant. The restaurant, named for Rasheem’s 7-year-old daughter Cali, had closed during the pandemic. But at the work site, Carter had a disagreement with at least one of his co-workers and fled.

Rasheem had twice visited the Taylorsville Police Department in the lead up to his disappearance. It was around that time Carter texted his mother indicating he was being targeted by at least one individual.

Despite this, Sheriff Houston initially stood by his department’s conclusion that there was no foul play. Earlier evidence “didn’t suggest anything,” he said. However, Houston has since backtracked following a backlash, saying foul play hadn’t been ruled out. “Nothing is being swept under the rug,” Houston said. “There’s nothing to hide.”

“Running for his life”

Carter’s family has also shared an image from a deer trail camera from the day Rasheem went missing. Carter’s mother says she believes her son was hiding from someone, and “running for his life”. Sheriff Houston said the department had reviewed trail camera footage and didn’t find evidence of anyone else in the area.

After months of refusing to share any details of his department’s investigation, either with the public or apparently with the family, Houston gave an interview to NBC. During the interview, he shared details of leads that had been followed and other information about the investigation.

Houston said the department had interviewed “everybody involved” with Carter’s last job. This includes four to five people Carter had mentioned to his mother. These individuals were “ruled out” as suspects in Carter’s death, Houston said, by phone records and GPS coordinates showing that they were at another job site nearly 100 miles away from Taylorsville when Carter was last seen alive.

“His whole demeanor had changed”

A trail camera captured an image of Rasheem on the afternoon of Oct. 2, 2022.

According to Houston, Carter’s colleagues and supervisor said in interviews that Carter “had not been himself” during the week before he went missing. “They said his whole demeanor had changed, they weren’t sure what was going on,” Houston said. “They just said he kept to himself more. He usually joked around, and in the last week or so they weren’t able to do that”.

Houston confirmed that Carter had “a couple of verbal altercations” with at least one co-worker. However, the Sheriff didn’t say what led to the altercation or whether the conflict might have prompted Carter’s change in behavior.

Having ruled out the prime suspects, Houston submitted search warrants to Google, starting in mid-November. Houston hoped this might reveal whether any devices pinged in the area where Carter’s remains were found around the time he went missing. “It’s a last-straw-type deal to determine if anyone else was with him or not,” he said. “It’s not uncommon to use this tool.” But the department has had to revise and resubmit this request several times, most recently last week.

The sheriff also said he would welcome the Justice Department’s involvement, saying he wants justice for Carter’s family “just as much as the family does.”

Carter’s family has dismissed any suggestion that Rasheem was under the influence of any substances at the time of his disappearance. Tiffany Carter also says her son had no history of mental illness that could account for the change in behavior. “I just know what my son told me,” Tiffany said. “I don’t believe anything [police] say. It’s lies after lies.”


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NEMiss.News Bogue and McCammon arrested


An odd-ball series of crimes in five or more north Mississippi counties required attention from several law enforcement agencies during the first two weeks of March.

Two individuals are in custody on a variety of felony charges. Apparently, the two individuals know one another, but it is unclear whether they were working together. One may simply have been a victim of the other. The known facts raise questions about whether the two miscreants were dim-witted, chemically impaired or just somehow lacked the skills required for a successful life in crime.

The twisted tale goes like this:

NEMiss.News Kenneth Bogue

Kenneth Bogue

Thursday, March 2, Marshall County

On Thursday, March 2, Kenneth Bogue, Jr. appeared before Third District Circuit Court Judge Kent Smith in Holly Springs, Marshall County. Bogue had been convicted in Judge Smith’s court at an earlier date, and the purpose of the March 2 hearing was for sentencing.

  • Judge Smith sentenced Bogue to 20 years in the Department of Corrections (DOC).
  • But, then Smith suspended the sentence, allowing Bogue a form of “house arrest” that gave Bogue limited freedom of movement while wearing an electronic tracking bracelet on his ankle.
  • The deal was that if Bogue got in trouble, the court would then go ahead and remand him to DOC for his 20 year sentence.
  • A DOC officer locked the tracking bracelet on Bogue’s leg and released him near the Love’s Truck Stop in Holly Springs that same afternoon.

A few hours later – 6:30 p.m, March 2, Union, Panola Counties

  • A 2012 Freightliner truck tractor was stolen from where its owner had parked it near the Walmart in Holly Springs.
  • Later still, on the same March 2, the same Freightliner truck tractor was seen at some storage units in Etta in Union County. Someone had broken into the storage units. Union County deputies, when they reviewed the security video at the Etta facility, spotted the Freightliner on the video.
  • Law enforcement officers had begun to suspect Bogue had stolen the truck, but did not know for sure at that point. Data from the tracking bracelet showed Bogue had gone to Batesville in Panola County.
  • It was later learned that Bogue had cut the tracking bracelet from his leg. It was found in a road ditch in Panola County.

It was, indeed, Bogue driving the Freightliner spotted in Etta, and:

  • A short distance from Etta, near Highway 349 and Highway 30, Bogue spotted an empty 48-foot 2019 Great Dane flatbed trailer sitting near the road.
  • He hooked the flatbed to the stolen Freightliner and stole the Great Dane trailer, too.

One might say Bogue was on a  pretty good roll for a small-time player in the tricky game of larceny.

Friday night, March 3, Benton County

The next night, Friday March 3, law officers spotted the Great Dane trailer parked at Christy’s Truck Stop in Hickory Flat in Benton County. They recovered the trailer.

Tuesday, March 7, Union County

Four days later, Tuesday March 7, someone spotted a Freightliner truck tractor on a side road near the Myrtle-Poolville Road. It was stuck in the mud and out of fuel.

NEMiss.News Tindall McCammon

Tindall McCammon

Wednesday March 8, Union County

The next day, Wednesday March 8, a Union County deputy spied a blue Toyota pickup with an expired license tag. The deputy made a traffic stop. The driver of the pickup was Tindall McCammon, age 51.

  • The deputy discovered McCammon was in possession of a quantity of methamphetamine, and may have been impaired.
  • He also had in his possession a handgun, and was a convicted felon.
  • McCammon was arrested and booked into the Union County jail.

A female passenger was with McCammon when he was stopped. The deputy determined that she was not impaired, so allowed her, with McCammon’s permission, to leave with the blue Toyota pickup. A warrant was secured for a search of McCammon’s home. A much larger amount of methamphetamine was found at the home, enough that McCammon faces charges of trafficking, as well as simple possession.

Thursday, March 9, Tippah County

The Union County Sheriff’s office got a call the next morning, Thursday, March 9, saying that Bogue was at McCammon’s residence at 1152 County Road 50. The report said Bogue was now driving McCammon’s blue Toyota pickup and that he was loading items, including an all-terrain vehicle, onto a trailer. This while McCammon himself was locked snugly away in the Union County Jail.

Union County Sheriff Jimmy Edwards NEMiss.News

Union County Sheriff Jimmy Edwards

A number of officers, including Union County Sheriff Jimmy Edwards, sped to the McCammon residence on County Road 50. Edwards spotted Bogue in McCammon’s pickup and gave pursuit. It was raining heavily, and Bogue drove at high speed through a construction site, trying to evade Edwards. When the sheriff slowed up to avoid the possibility of injuring a construction worker, he lost sight of the blue pickup. Edwards and other officers continued searching for Bogue on several roads in that part of the county.

Edwards spotted Bogue again on Highway 2 headed toward Blue Mountain in Tippah County. The sheriff pursued Bogue east on Highway 2 and met a westbound Mississippi Highway patrolman, who turned around and followed Edwards in the pursuit.  Tippah County sheriff’s officers also joined the pursuit.

Finally, Bogue abandoned the Toyota pickup near the Hell Creek Wildlife Management area and fled on foot. Officers of  the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks joined the search. Bogue was found cowering in the weeds a few hundred feet from the Toyota pickup and was arrested by Sheriff Edwards.

In the Jailhouse Now

As fortune would have it, Circuit Judge Kent Smith was holding court at the Union County Courthouse in New Albany that week. It was therefore convenient for the sheriff to march Bogue before Judge Smith in New Albany. Smith immediately remanded Bogue to the Mississippi Department of Corrections to begin serving the 20-years prison term to which Smith had sentenced him on March 2.

McCammon will face charges for drug trafficking and felon in possession of a firearm.

As for Bogue, he could face grand larceny charges for stealing the Freightliner, the flatbed trailer, McCammon’s Toyota pickup; that’s up to the District Attorney and a grand jury. First, of course, is that twenty years he owes Judge Smith.

Several thousand dollars worth of meth is off the streets, and two veterans of the criminal justice system have stumbled into jail yet again.

Sheriff Edwards, reflecting on the events involving Bogue and McCammon, recalled a favorite quote from John Wayne: “Life is tough. It’s even tougher if you’re stupid.”



Virginia: 6-year-old who shot teacher won’t be charged.

Biden releases ambitious budget proposal, challenges GOP to show their hand in debt ceiling fight.



Virginia: 6-year-old who shot teacher won’t be charged

A little over two months ago, a 6-year-old boy in Newport News, VA, brought a 9mm pistol to school and shot his 1st grade teacher in the chest. The teacher, 25-year-old Abby Zwerner, spent two weeks in hospital and is still recovering. Now, the local prosecutor says that the boy won’t be charged with any crime, despite the fact that police described the shooting as intentional.

Commonwealth’s Attorney Howard Gwynn said the “prospect that a six-year-old can stand trial is problematic,” since the boy is too young to understand the legal system and assist in his own defense. However, Gwynn said his office may yet seek charges for adults connected with the case. Gwynn didn’t offer any specifics, but some have wondered whether the boy’s parents could be charged for not having their weapon properly secured. The family claims the weapon was properly secured and that they don’t know how the boy could have accessed it.

More disturbing details emerge

When the case first made headlines, it quickly became apparent that the shooting was the result of a series of failures by school administrators. On the day of the shooting, no less than three teachers attempted to raise the alarm about the boy’s behavior. Two of them even advised administrators they believed the boy had a gun and was threatening to use it. Administrators’ response was to “ride it out” since the school day was almost over. By Feb. 1, the school’s assistant principal had resigned and the superintendent of schools had been relieved of his position.

Since that time, more information has come to light about the boy’s disturbing behavior and missed opportunities for intervention. Several of these came from a letter from Ms. Zwerner’s attorney Diane Toscano, informing the school district of Zwerner’s intent to sue. According this letter, the boy had “choked his teacher until she couldn’t breathe” in one incident a year prior to the shooting. The boy had also taken off his belt at recess and attempted to whip other children with it, the letter said. The day before the shooting, the boy had received a 1-day suspension after he  “slammed Ms. Zwerner’s phone, breaking it”. 

About an hour before the shooting, Zwerner had texted a loved one, expressing her frustration with the situation. The recipient said Zwerner “was trying to get help with this child, for this child. And then when she needed help, no one was coming”.

Click here for the full story (opens in new tab).


Biden tries to force GOP to show their hand in budget fight

President Biden released annual budget proposal today which contained an ambitious set of objectives. The budget aims to reduce the federal deficit by $3 trillion over 10 years while expanding services to Americans.

Biden’s proposal reduces the deficit and increases revenue for benefits programs by raising taxes on the wealthy. Among the tax proposals are:

  • A 25% minimum tax on billionaires.
  • Increased taxes on corporations.
  • Repeal some of Trump’s tax cuts that benefit individuals making more than $400,000 a year.

The budget also seeks to improve the financial sustainability of Medicare and Medicaid:

  • Improve Medicare’s finances: 1) by negotiating prices and raising taxes on those making $400k+; 2) negotiating lower prescription prices for Medicare recipients.
  • Lower Medicaid costs: 1) by requiring private insurers providing Medicaid coverage to reimburse the program when they overcharge; 2) by empowering the Department of Health and Human Services to negotiate additional drug rebates on behalf of states.

The new taxes and savings will fund expanded benefits for individual Americans and strengthen the economy, while reducing the deficit:

  • $35 insulin for all Americans.
  • Restore the enhanced child tax credit that lifted millions of children out of poverty during its brief 7-month run in 2021.
  • Universal pre-school and affordable childcare.
  • Paid family and medical leave.
  • Increase grants for low-income college students.
  • Funding to reduce maternal mortality.
  • More funding for free school lunches.
  • Addressing climate change.

Biden stakes out his position in debt ceiling fight

With this budget proposal, Biden is showing Republicans his hand in the ongoing fight over raising the debt ceiling. Congress has to periodically raise the amount of money it can borrow to cover money it has already spent. Numerous economists, most recently the Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell, have warned of the dire consequences of failing to raise the debt limit.

Despite this, Republicans in Congress have not committed to raising the debt limit. Instead, they are holding the good faith and credit of the country hostage to demand massive spending cuts. However, the GOP hasn’t gone on record to say what they want to cut, only what they won’t cut.

GOP leadership has said they won’t consider spending cuts to the massive Pentagon budget or to programs like Medicare and Social Security. But that really doesn’t leave much to cut, except Medicaid.  According to a recent poll, any cuts to Medicare, Medicaid or Social Security would be wildly unpopular, even with the Republican base.

Republicans also aren’t likely to entertain any tax increases for the wealthy, despite the fact that Trump’s massive tax cuts alone will add nearly $4 trillion to the deficit over the 10 years following their passage.

Rather than staking out his party’s budget position publicly, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has sought to negotiate privately with Biden. By releasing this budget today, Biden is challenging the GOP to share their budget proposal. 

Click here for the full story (opens in new tab).

Read about what’s in Biden’s budget proposal in greater detail here.



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Texas: Five women sue after abortion bans put their lives at risk.

DOJ moves to block merger between discount airlines JetBlue and Spirit.

Was Mexico kidnapping a case of mistaken identity?



Texas: Five women sue after abortion bans put their lives at risk

Five women from Texas have filed a lawsuit demanding greater clarity for medical exceptions in Texas’ various abortion bans. All of Texas’ anti-abortion laws contain exceptions for preserving the life of the mother. However, according to women’s health advocates, these exceptions are written in a way that is deliberately vague and that make it unclear when a medically-necessary abortion is permitted.

The laws have discouraged healthcare providers in the state from providing or even suggesting abortions to their patients, even when there is no viable alternative. That lack of clarity put the lives of these five women, and countless others, at risk. Two healthcare providers have also joined them in the suit. 

Click here to read the women’s stories

Women and healthcare providers in many states that have laws banning abortion have faced similar problems. Most healthcare providers have interpreted the laws to mean an abortion is only permissible once the mother is at the point of death. Even in situations where a fetus cannot survive, such as when the mother’s water breaks prematurely, medical practitioners won’t provide abortions until the fetus no longer has a detectable heartbeat.

Putting off abortions in these situations puts mothers at risk of sepsis and other deadly complications. If an infection becomes too advanced, it can also necessitate a hysterectomy, an outcome that can be avoided with early intervention.

Click here for the full story (opens in new tab).


DOJ moves to block merger between discount airlines JetBlue and Spirit

In a rare move, the Department of Justice has sued to block a proposed merger between two discount airlines, JetBlue and Spirit. The DOJ argues that this merger will decrease competition and raise prices for travelers on all routes that these two airlines serve, whether or not they’re flying with one of the discount airlines.

According to Attorney General Merrick Garland, “Spirit’s own internal documents estimate that when it starts flying a route, average fares fall by 17%. And an internal JetBlue document estimates that when Spirit stops flying a route, average fares go up by 30%”.

The merger between JetBlue and Spirit would create the nation’s 5th largest airline. Thanks to decades of buyouts and consolidation in the airline industry, 80% of the US air travel market is controlled by just four airlines.

Click here for the full story (opens in new tab).



Was Mexico kidnapping a case of mistaken identity?

After a four-day ordeal, two Americans kidnapped in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas last week were released yesterday. Two friends that were traveling with them did not survive injuries from an initial shooting. Now theories abound as to why these four Americans, one of whom was there for a medical procedure, fell victim to this attack in the first place, and why they were held captive for so many days.

Kidnapping for ransom is common in several Mexican states. Usually, people traveling alone on a remote road are grabbed, forced to withdraw a large amount of money from an ATM, and then let go unharmed. However, ransom does not appear to have been the motive in this case. 

Some have raised the possibility that members of the Gulf cartel, which has long dominated this area, mistook the four Black Americans for rival Haitian gang members. As the political and economic situation in Haiti has worsened in recent years, thousands of Haitians have relocated to Mexico. Some Haitian gangs that smuggle drugs or people have also gained a foothold in this part of Mexico. Officials have not commented on this theory, but have said they believe the kidnapping resulted from a “misunderstanding”.

Mexican drug war analyst Alejandro Hope also speculates that the Gulf cartel members soon realized their mistake. Fearing that the full force of both American and Mexican law enforcement would soon come down on them, Hope says the cartel likely tipped off their local law enforcement and government connections to the location of the safehouse where the captives were. 

Click here for the full story (opens in new tab).



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Disgraced South Carolina attorney Alex Murdaugh convicted of killing wife and son, receives 2 life sentences. But this is not the end of the story.


Disgraced South Carolina attorney Alex Murdaugh convicted of killing wife and son, receives 2 life sentences

Last night, after just 3 hours of deliberation, a South Carolina jury found former attorney and volunteer prosecutor Alex Murdaugh, 54, guilty of murdering his wife Maggie Murdaugh, 52, and son Paul Murdaugh, 22, on his 1,700-acre hunting property. The trial had been expected to last for three weeks but stretched on to six. 

The shocking Southern Gothic saga of murder in a small town inspired successful podcasts and two major documentaries (from HBO and Netflix). These chronicled the Murdaugh family’s century-old legacy of power and influence in the Low Country of South Carolina. Three generations of Murdaughs had served as chief solicitor in the region, giving them control over prosecutions and the power of life and death. And it all came crashing down on a muggy night in June 2021.

The murders

The Murdaugh family from left to right: Buster, Maggie, Paul, and Alex.

The story began on June 7, 2021, when Alex called 911 at 10:06pm, saying he’d found his wife and son murdered. What no one knew at the time was that Alex, who was a partner in a prominent century-old law firm founded by his great-grandfather, had been fleecing his personal injury clients of millions of dollars for over a decade.

Prosecutors say Alex feared his theft would be soon be uncovered. In a few days’ time, a financial discovery motion would be filed in a wrongful death suit against Alex. Two years earlier, a drunken Paul had driven a boat into a pier, killing a young woman named Mallory Beach. The state contended that Alex killed Maggie and Paul in hopes that law enforcement would believe their murders were retaliation for “the boat case”. Alex believed the wrongful death suit would then be dropped, and his thefts would remain secret, prosecutors said.

Law enforcement did investigate the “boat case” lead (at Alex’s suggestion) and found no connection. In September, three months after the murders, Alex’s law partners uncovered the fraud and fired Alex. On September 4, Alex hired a hitman to kill him so that his surviving son Buster, then 24, could collect millions in life insurance. At the same time, law enforcement was zeroing in on Alex as the prime suspect in the murders of his wife and other son.

Lies unravel

Charges weren’t filed until July 2022, over a year after the murders. It wasn’t until October of that year that investigators managed to unlock Paul Murdaugh’s phone. There they found a video in which Alex’s voice could be heard. That video placed Alex at the scene of the crime minutes before Maggie and Paul were brutally gunned down.

That video, one juror has said, was the key piece of evidence that sealed Alex’s conviction. During the trial, after denying for months that he’d been present, Alex took the extraordinary step of taking the stand during trial. He admitted that it was his voice on the video and that he had lied repeatedly to investigators. However, he said he left the scene before Paul and Maggie met their gruesome fate.

The juror also said he was unconvinced by Alex’s display of emotion on the stand. “He never cried,” the juror said, “He was just blowing snot“.


After last night’s verdict – a surprise to many, if only for its speed – Judge Clifton Newman set a sentencing hearing for this morning. There were no impact statements from victims during this morning’s hearing. Understandable, as Alex’s son Buster still supports Alex, while it’s unclear where his mother’s family stands. Alex stood and briefly declared that he was innocent and that he would never have hurt Maggie and “PawPaw”.

Judge Newman delivered a powerful summation (opens in YouTube ~20 minutes) before condemning Murdaugh to two consecutive life sentences. Although Alex’s crimes qualified for the death penalty in South Carolina, the state was not seeking that sentence.

Newman (a nephew of the late Civil Rights leader Isaiah DeQuincey Newman) remarked on the fact that for over a century, Murdaughs had prosecuted cases in that very courtroom. Many of those defendants, Newman observed, had received death sentences, likely for “lesser conduct” than Alex’s crimes.

This is far from the end of the story

Alex Murdaugh’s defense team say they plan to appeal, all the way to the US Supreme Court if necessary.

There remain 99 separate financial crimes for which Murdaugh has yet to stand trial. Judge Newman will be presiding over all of them. But there’s so much more to the tapestry of crime and privilege that is the Murdaugh family, including two other suspicious deaths. Law enforcement has now reopened their investigations of those deaths due to evidence that emerged while investigating the deaths of Paul and Maggie. Here’s an excellent article (from before this trial) that sums up the other suspicions surrounding the Murdaughs.

Click here for the full story (opens in new tab).


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NEMiss.News Joyriding in mom's car


Two Union County children escaped serious injury when they led local law officers on a high speed chase Tuesday night, Feb 21.

A New Albany Police Department (NAPD) in routine patrol on West Bankhead St. spotted a Toyota Avalon with a headlight out, a moving violation, about 11 p.m. Tuesday evening. When the officer tried to stop the vehicle, it failed to stop and turned east onto Sam T. Barkley Drive. The officer gave chase as the vehicle fled down Sam T. Barkley, then turned south on Highway 15 at speeds up to 100 mph.

The officer did not know at that time was that the car was being driven by a 14-year-old boy, who had a 15 year old boy with him.

The Union County Sheriff’s office and the Mississippi Highway Patrol joined the chase.

The driver turned east from Highway 15 onto Highway 348.

The car with the two teens was ultimately stopped on Hwy 348 when officers deployed tire-puncturing spikes on the roadway. A New Albany Department vehicle was damaged when the fleeing car was finally stopped.

New Albany Police Chief Chris Robertson said there were no injuries to police officers and no apparent injuries to the two boys.

The children were turned over to their parents. It turns out that the Toyota belonged to the stepmother of one of the boys.

The boys will be charged in juvenile court.

“This was a very dangerous incident,” said New Albany Police Chief Chris Robertson. “We’re just glad that no police officers and neither of the children involved in this event were injured.”

Not to mention any uninvolved motorists or pedestrians who could easily have met with misfortune on that night.


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Majority Black Jackson may soon have courts, police run by majority white state government. State also moves to seize control of the city’s water system- and hundreds of millions in federal funds.


Majority Black Jackson may soon have courts, police run by majority white state government

Local residents and politicians in Jackson are outraged by recent proposals from the state legislature. Many see proposals for a new court system and expansion of Capitol Police jurisdiction as a paternalistic white takeover of a majority Black city. Others, including Jackson’s Democratic Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba, accuse state officials of attempting to set up a city within a city in Jackson – one white and affluent, the other Black and poor – tantamount to apartheid. 

Separate but equal judiciary

The first proposal would allow the state’s chief justice and attorney general (both white, neither from Jackson) to appoint judges and prosecutors for a new court system within Jackson. This would be a separate system from Jackson’s existing court system, whose judges and prosecutors are elected, which would supersede the elected court’s jurisdiction in parts of the city. Its judges would not have to live in Jackson, or even in Hinds County.

The white state legislators championing the bill (only one of which is from Jackson) say the new court would simply supplement the existing court and help to alleviate a case backlog. Critics say it is a naked power grab from the city’s elected Democratic government and its largely Black citizenry.

This bill initially passed in the statehouse earlier this month and is still under debate in the state Senate. Mayor Lumumba characterized the bill as “plantation politics”. He said of the legislators who voted for the bill, “I was surprised that they came half-dressed because they forgot to wear their hoods“. 

“If we allow this type of legislation to stand in Jackson, Mississippi, it’s a matter of time before it will hit New Orleans. It’s a matter of time before it hits Detroit, or wherever we find our people,” Lumumba said.

Policing a city within a city

The second proposal would expand the patrol of the Capitol Police force, which currently only patrols the Capitol district and state government buildings. The proposal would expand the bailiwick of the state-controlled Capitol Police to include wealthy (white) residential and shopping areas at the city’s heart. Recently, an amendment to the bill proposed giving Capitol Police jurisdiction over the entire city of Jackson.

Again, proponents of this proposal say that Capitol Police would not replace Jackson’s understaffed police force, but supplement it. However, this expanded district already has a much lower crime rate than the rest of Jackson. Critics see the move as an attempt to cordon off an affluent white-dominated power center, using intensified police presence as a show of force to intimidate Black residents.

Some fear this is the beginning of a return to the bad old days of segregation. It doesn’t help that the Capitol police have had several violent interactions with Black people in the past year. This includes two deadly encounters with Black motorists.

State takeover of Jackson’s water (and federal funds)

After a series of recent collapses, Jackson’s water system is currently under the control of a federal manager. But a third proposal seeks to transfer ownership of the system to a nine-member regional governing board to oversee Jackson’s water system. Again, most of the members would be appointed by Republican state leaders.

Locals are skeptical to say the least. Gov. Tate Reeves denied state financial aid requested by Jackson’s municipal leadership time after time. Reeves was so proud of this fact he even campaigned on it.

It wasn’t until the federal government pledged hundreds of millions of dollars to addressing the city’s water crisis that state leaders showed the slightest interest in helping. Skepticism is an understandable reaction. Reeves and his cronies don’t exactly have a stellar reputation when it comes to managing funds entrusted to them by the federal government to help disadvantaged Mississippians.

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NEMiss.News Burglary suspect Johnson


A burglary at Brown’s Automotive on West Bankhead St. in New Albany was resolved because of information from an alert citizen.

Someone broke into the business last Sunday night, February 19, and reportedly vandalized an automobile inside the shop building. Several items were also reported removed from the building.

An alert citizen reported having seen Tyler Zane Johnson, age 19, hanging about the premises Sunday night, during the hours the break in occurred. Officers of the New Albany Police Department (NAPD)) then questioned Johnson, who lives nearby. Johnson admitted to the break in.

He was arrested and has been charged with burglary of a commercial establishment. Bond was set at $10,000.

NEMiss.News Couple arrested for counterfeiting.


Arrests have been made in a significant counterfeiting operation in northeast Mississippi. The key tip came from an alert retail clerk at Union Grocery and Supply Company (formerly Stokes) in New Albany, Wednesday evening, Feb 22.

A man and a female accomplice entered the store about 8 o’clock Wednesday and tried to cash one or more payroll checks. The clerk carefully examined the check and the identification of the person seeking to cash the check. The clerk suspected the authenticity of the documents and called police.

Officers of the New Albany Police Department (NAPD) arrived moments later and took into custody:

  • Stevie Lynn Pace, age 40, a white male who used the alias “Michael Moore.” Pace is believed to have lived previously in Mendenhall.
  • Carrisa Elizabeth Moore, age 37, a white female who used the alias “Kari Janet Sisk.” She is believed to be from the Booneville area.
NEMiss.News Counterfeit items seized in New Albany MS

Counterfeit items seized by New Albany Police Dept.

NAPD officers found that Pace and Moore were in possession of several thousand dollars in U.S. currency. They also had about $400 in counterfeit U.S. currency. The pair had 70 forged payroll checks. Most of the phony payroll checks were on Ashley, a furniture manufacturer located in Ecru.

NAPD Chief Chris Robertson said Pace and Moore would be arraigned before a judge Thursday evening. Robertson said charges would include uttering a forgery and possession of counterfeit U.S. currency.

Chief Robertson said he believed it likely that other businesses here and in nearby counties may already have been victims of the pair. He cautioned all retailers, banks, etc. to be alert to forged checks.

The chief said NAPD had already been contacted by Corinth law enforcement officials Thursday afternoon and believes Corinth may have a case against the pair arrested in New Albany.


NEMiss.News Confiscated arms and drugs

Two adult females and one adult male, all from Oklahoma, are in the Union County Jail on drug and firearms charges.

Two 16-year-old females, one reported as a missing person from Texas, were with the adults when the arrests were made.

Union County Sheriff Jimmy Edwards said Deputy Sheriff Chris Whiteside spotted the vehicle, eastbound on Interstate 22 with a Texas license plate, commit an illegal moving violation as the vehicle was about to enter New Albany at 11 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 10.

Whiteside and other Union County deputies arrested and booked into the Union County jail:

Tericka Jackson, age 32, of Elk City, Oklahoma. She is charged with trafficking in a controlled substance and bond was set at $200,000.

Graylan Ninedors, age 23, of Oklahoma City. He is charged with trafficking in controlled substances and possession of firearms by a convicted felon. Ninedor’s bond on the drug trafficking charge was set at $200,000 and $10,000 on the firearms charges.

Isis Abriana Edwards, age 20, Lawton, Oklahoma (near Fort Sill). She is charged with trafficking in controlled substances and possession of firearms by a convicted felon. Her bond was set at $200,000 on the drug trafficking charge and $20,000 on the firearms violations.

Sheriff Edwards said the Mississippi Bureau of Investigations  (MBI), Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) had been notified of the arrests.

He said he believes he FBI will bring charges based on evidence that the two minor females may have been victims of sex trafficking and “headed for a very dark and dangerous life” in Atlanta.

The 16 year-old-girl, who had been reported missing from Texas, has been picked up and returned to Texas by that state’s child protective services people. The other teenage girl, still in Union County, had a hearing before a juvenile court Monday and measures will be taken to for the child’s safety.

Besides the three felony arrests and the recovery of the two teenaged girls, Union County deputies also confiscated 18 pounds of marijuana and several semi-automatic firearms including at least one AK-47 type assault rifle. The weapons could involve the ATF in the case.

NEMiss.News Suspects arrested for convenience store robbery

Two men enjoyed less than a full day of freedom after being released from the Union County Jail on Monday, Jan. 25.

New Albany police officers arrested Jack Clyde Emrick, age 33, and David Wayne Renfrow, age 47, who are accused in connection with the robbery of the Shell convenience store on Highway 30 West at about 9:30 Monday evening.

Police say Emrick entered the store sometime after 9 p.m. and told the clerk “this is a holdup.”  No weapon was actually displayed, but the clerk said Emrick pointed a finger from under his clothing indicating he had a handgun. The clerk handed over an undisclosed amount of cash from the cash register.

New Albany Police Chief Chris Robertson said Renfrow met Emrick after the “holdup, and they divided the money between them. Robertson said Emrick is charged with strong-arm robbery, and Renfrow is charged as accessory after the fact.

Emrick and Renfrow apparently spent part of the money a short while after the holdup at another story nearby. Based on facts determined by the investigation, law enforcement officers located the pair in the area of Starlyn Drive and arrested them about midnight.

The pair had been released from jail earlier in the day, having been charged with other crimes.