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Murdaugh’s Fall From Grace Ends In Life Sentence For Murder

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SC, WALTERBORO — Alex Murdaugh was a well-known lawyer in a rural area of South Carolina. On Friday, he was given a life sentence for killing his wife and son at their large estate. This was the end of a legal family that had served the community for decades.

Even though Murdaugh played college football, was a high-powered attorney, and had a good name, the judge reminded him that he had to take the portrait of the defendant’s grandfather down from its place of honor in the courtroom to make sure the trial was fair. This was in the peaceful Lowcountry, which Murdaugh’s family had dominated since the days of Jim Crow.

Murdaugh maintained his innocence throughout the sentencing process and his six-week trial. But Circuit Court Judge Clifton Newman was curious whether he had nightmares about the mutilated bodies of Maggie and Paul Murdaugh or how he had shamed his family’s three-generation reputation for justice by cheating, stealing, and ultimately killing.

You have my utmost respect, as I have said before. However, I have done everything correctly. “I would never harm my wife Maggie or my son Paul-Paul,” Murdaugh said.

It could have been someone else and not you. There’s always the possibility that it was the monster you’ve become,” Newman suggested.

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Murdaugh stood before the judge in the same Colleton County courtroom.

Murdaugh stood before the judge in the same Colleton County courtroom where his family has been elected prosecutors for over 80 years. A century ago, Murdaugh’s ancestors established the most influential law firm in adjacent Hampton County. For decades, virtually everyone who went before a judge had a Murdaugh either at their back or staring them down, regardless of where they stood about the law.

Prosecutor Creighton Waters noted a daily stare.

I met his gaze directly. He always gave me the cold, hard eye whenever he passed me by during this ordeal. And when Alex Murdaugh looked at me, I saw the genuine article,” Waters said.

Even though prosecutors chose not to pursue capital punishment, Newman still imposed the maximum sentence of two consecutive life terms without the possibility of parole.

“Over the past century, your family — including you — have been prosecuting people here in this courtroom, and many have received the death penalty, probably for lesser conduct,” the judge said.

Waters stated that none of Murdaugh’s family members or his wife’s parents and relatives wished to speak on behalf of the prosecution before sentencing. Murdaugh was always supported in court by his family, including his brother and remaining son.

They became more convinced he did not do it after six weeks of trial. “They are completely on his side,” said defense attorney Jim Griffin after the hearing.

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Murdaugh was found guilty of murdering his son, 22, and his wife, 52,

Murdaugh was found guilty of murdering his son, 22, with two shots from a shotgun, and his wife, 52, with four or five shots from a rifle after the jury deliberated for less than three hours on Thursday.

Craig Moyer, a juror, told ABC News that the jury polled itself right after deliberations began and that the result was nine guilty verdicts. The other three were quickly persuaded.

The juror believed the prosecution’s contention that the most important evidence was a video that had been stored on his son’s phone for an entire year and which had been shot just minutes before the murders at the same kennels near where the bodies would be found.

All three Murdaughs are audible on the video, but Alex Murdaugh insisted for 20 months that he hadn’t been at the kennels that night. On the stand, he admitted to investigators that he had lied to them about his whereabouts at the kennels, claiming that he was paranoid about law enforcement because of his opioid addiction and had pills in his pocket the night of the killings.

“A skillful liar. But,” Moyer said, “it’s not good enough.

And what about all the weeping Murdaugh did, allegedly even while testifying? As far as we know, Moyer did not purchase them.

It was “all he did was blow snot,” Moyer said. There will be no tears shed. His eyes met mine. I was practically touching him.

The courtroom was once again jammed for the hearing on Friday. The intertwining of high-stakes politics, finance, and high-class privilege in the Murdaugh case has made it a global phenomenon among true crime fans.

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The prosecution had no hard evidence, such as confessions or blood spatter

After spending the night crafting a sign reading “Murderer,” Tracy Kinsinger showed up at the courthouse carrying it.

Truthfully, “he disgraced himself, his family, the community, and his profession,” Kinsinger said. That’s a fancy way of saying, “it’s shameful.”

Murdaugh was escorted into the courthouse with his head lowered so he didn’t see the sign.

The prosecution had no hard evidence, such as confessions or blood spatter, that could link the defendant to the Murdaugh killings. Despite this, they had a mountain of circumstantial evidence, including the video that placed Murdaugh at the scene of the killings just five minutes before his wife and son stopped using their cell phones permanently.

More than 75 witnesses and nearly 800 pieces of evidence were presented to the jury, including accounts of Murdaugh’s betrayal of friends and clients as well as his failed attempt to stage his death in an insurance fraud scheme, as well as details about a fatal boat crash in which his son was implicated, the housekeeper who died after falling in the Murdaugh home, and the scene of the murders.

The disbarred lawyer admitted to stealing millions from the family business and clients, claiming he needed the money to support his drug habit. Murdaugh had already been awaiting trial on roughly a hundred other charges, including insurance fraud and tax evasion, when he was arrested for murder.

Lawyers for Murdaugh’s defense have already announced their intention to appeal because the judge decided to admit evidence of crimes for which their client has not been convicted.

They portrayed Alex as a horrible person. “And that’s why they offered it,” Griffin explained.

After sentencing, Murdaugh was returned to the Colleton County jail to gather his belongings before being transferred to an evaluation center in Columbia. Like all new inmates receiving life sentences, he will be transferred to a maximum security state prison within the next month or so.

SOURCE – (AP)

Kiara Grace is a staff writer at VORNews, a reputable online publication. Her writing focuses on technology trends, particularly in the realm of consumer electronics and software. With a keen eye for detail and a knack for breaking down complex topics, Kiara delivers insightful analyses that resonate with tech enthusiasts and casual readers alike. Her articles strike a balance between in-depth coverage and accessibility, making them a go-to resource for anyone seeking to stay informed about the latest innovations shaping our digital world.

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Dickey Betts, Co-Founder Of The Allman Brothers Band, Dead At 80

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Dickey Betts, a guitarist and co-founder of the Allman Brothers Band, has died, according to a family statement released to CNN on Thursday by his longtime manager.

Betts was eighty.

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Dickey Betts, Co-Founder Of The Allman Brothers Band, Dead At 80

“It is with profound sadness and heavy hearts that the Betts family announces the peaceful passing of Forrest Richard ‘Dickey’ Betts,” according to the statement. “The well-known performer, songwriter, bandleader, and family patriarch passed away this morning at his home in Osprey, Florida, with his family by his side. Dickey was larger than life, and his absence will be felt around the world. During this terrible time, the family requests prayers and respect for their privacy in the coming days. More information will be provided at the proper time.”

Betts’ manager, David Spero, told Rolling Stone that the guitarist had cancer and chronic obstructive lung disease.

Betts, who was born in West Palm Beach, Florida, grew up listening to bluegrass, country music, and, subsequently, rock & roll. Betts, bass guitarist Berry Oakley, drummers Butch Trucks and Jaimoe, and brothers Gregg and Duane Allman formed the Allman Brothers Band in 1969, and are credited with helping create the sound and genre of Southern rock in the 1960s and 1970s.

Betts composed and sung the band’s biggest song, “Ramblin’ Man.” Initially, he created the song with the intention of having another artist sing it.

“I was going to send ‘Ramblin’ Man’ to Johnny Cash,” Betts stated in 2020, later adding that he “thought it was a great song for him.”

“But everyone liked the song. Even my father enjoyed the song before we recorded it or anything. And I’m thinking I’ll email this to Johnny Cash and see if he wants to perform it,” he added. “The producer (Johnny Sandlin) mentioned that we needed another song for the record and asked if I had any. I explained, ‘Well, I got one, but I was going to send it to Nashville for Cash to record.’ He said, ‘Let’s hear it. And then, ‘No! We gotta do it.'”

Betts also wrote the popular Allman Brothers songs “Blue Sky” and “Jessica.”

Duane Allman died in a motorcycle accident in 1971, and Oakley died in a motorcycle crash the following year. Betts and Gregg Allman became the band’s leaders, but creative disputes and substance misuse prompted the group to split up and reform several times.

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Dickey Betts, Co-Founder Of The Allman Brothers Band, Dead At 80

Cameron Crowe, then 16, followed the Allman Brothers Band on tour in 1973 for a Rolling Stone cover story that would later serve as the basis for Crowe’s Oscar-winning 2000 film “Almost Famous.” In 2017, Crowe described Billy Crudup’s key rock star character as “a tribute” to Betts.

In an email to CNN later that day, Crowe referred to Betts as “a guitarist for the ages, the musical glue that held together The Allman Brothers Band for many years.”

“Dickey’s quiet warmth, and his timeless contribution to American music was a big inspiration for our film,” said the writer-director.

Betts quit the Allman Brothers Band in a widely publicized separation in 2000. While the band continued to tour for nearly 15 years and issued one more studio album, Betts performed with his Great Southern ensemble, which included his son Duane, and released another studio album of new songs. Betts retired in 2014.

Also on Friday, the Allman Brothers Band issued an official statement, stating that Betts’ “extraordinary guitar playing alongside guitarist Duane Allman created a unique dual guitar signature sound that became the signature sound of the genre known as Southern Rock.”

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Dickey Betts, Co-Founder Of The Allman Brothers Band, Dead At 80

“He was passionate in life, be it music, songwriting, fishing, hunting, boating, golf, karate or boxing,” the statement went on to say. “Dickey was all in on and excelled at anything that caught his attention.”

When asked what he enjoyed most about music, Betts told the Sarasota Herald Tribune in 2020 that it was the impact it had on his listeners.

“I like the crowds mainly, and what the music did for them,” he went on to say. “They enjoyed the music more than I did. I just love how the crowd can drift off into another universe during a concert.”

SOURCE – (CNN)

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Taylor Swift Drops 15 New Songs On Double Album, ‘The Tortured Poets Department: The Anthology’

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NEW YORK — Could there be a Taylor Swift new album release without any added surprises?

No.

On Friday, the pop star released her 11th album, “The Tortured Poets Department,” which is an amalgamation of her previous work and reflects the artist who, at the height of her powers, has spent the last few years re-recording her life’s work and touring it, filtered through synth-pop anthems, breakup ballads, provocative and matured considerations.

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Taylor Swift Drops 15 New Songs On Double Album, ‘The Tortured Poets Department: The Anthology’

But it was midnight. At 2 a.m. Eastern, she released “The Tortured Poets Department: The Anthology,” which included 15 new songs.

“I’d written so much tortured poetry in the past 2 years and wanted to share it all with you, so here’s the second installment,” Swift wrote in an Instagram caption. “And now the story isn’t mine anymore… it’s all yours.”

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Taylor Swift Drops 15 New Songs On Double Album, ‘The Tortured Poets Department: The Anthology’

The songs are a natural continuation of the first half of the album, with many returning to her “evermore” and “folklore” style, aided by her partner Aaron Dessner.

Swift has surprised her fans before, and she has surely done so with a surprise album release. A few months after “folklore” was released in 2020, she revealed that “evermore” will be available at midnight on the same day. Speaking of midnight, she released a “3am” edition of “Midnights” with seven new tracks in 2022, just a few hours after the original release.

Taylor Swift’s album “The Tortured Poets Department” is now available.

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Taylor Swift Drops 15 New Songs On Double Album, ‘The Tortured Poets Department: The Anthology’

Music Writer Maria Sherman describes it as “an amalgamation of an artist who has spent the last few years re-recording her life’s work and touring its material, filtered through synth-pop anthems, breakup ballads, provocative and matured subject matter.”

Swift revealed a surprise two hours after the album’s release: 15 more tracks.

Swift’s first original album since her record-breaking Eras Tour debuted last year.

SOURCE – (AP)

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Britain’s Prince Harry Formally Confirms He is Now a US Resident

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LONDON — Prince Harry, King Charles III’s son and fifth in line to the British throne, has publicly certified that he is now a US resident.

Four years after Harry and his American bride, Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, moved to a villa in Southern California, a travel firm he owns filed paperwork this week alerting British officials that he has relocated and is now “usually resident” in the United States.

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Britain’s Prince Harry formally confirms he is now a US resident

The formal acknowledgment highlights the prince’s growing isolation from Britain, following his and Meghan’s departure from royal duties to chase lucrative media partnerships in America. Since then, Harry has often challenged the royal family, including claims of unconscious racism made in a Netflix series and the prince’s autobiography, “Spare.”

Travalyst Ltd, a company created in 2020 to “promote global awareness of the importance of sustainable tourism,” filed the paperwork. Harry owns at least 75% of the company. Companies House, the government body in charge of overseeing company incorporation in the United Kingdom, received the papers on Monday.

The filing further distinguishes Harry from his status as one of the king’s counselors of state, which are members of the royal family who can be deputized to carry out the monarch’s duties if he is ill or away from the nation.

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Britain’s Prince Harry formally confirms he is now a US resident

While Harry is still a counselor of state, the crown warned Parliament in 2022 that “in practice” only working members of the royal family will be called upon to fill in for the monarch.

Although Harry and Meghan, also known as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, have established themselves in the rich enclave of Montecito, where they are raising their baby son and daughter, Harry is also under investigation for his US status.

The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think organization, has questioned the Department of Homeland Security’s decision to grant Harry a visa to the United States following drug-related admissions in “Spare.”

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Britain’s Prince Harry formally confirms he is now a US resident

The organization, which has petitioned a judge to order the department to release Harry’s immigration records, claims that the prince either lied on his visa application or was given preferential treatment because a history of drug usage would typically preclude an applicant from receiving a visa.

SOURCE – (AP)

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