In the months leading up to the widely publicized "trial of the century" involving Alex Murdaugh, Colleton County Clerk of Court Becky Hill had her sights set on more than courtroom proceedings. Email communications obtained from Colleton County officials reveal a preoccupation with the idea of penning a book, casting a new light on Hill's actions and adding layers to ongoing controversies.
In a correspondence dated November 2022, Hill expressed interest in authoring a book, reaching out to French journalist Arthur Cerf, who was documenting the Murdaugh trial. Although Cerf pursued his own book, "Les Meurtres du Lowcountry," Hill forged ahead with her literary endeavor, resulting in the publication of "Behind the Doors of Justice."
However, Hill's aspirations as an author have ignited a series of contentious issues. Accused by Alex Murdaugh's defense team of jury tampering to expedite guilty verdicts, she faces vehement denials. Allegations extend further, encompassing claims of misuse of authority, misappropriation of funds, and compromising confidentiality by Hill in relation to her book promotion and utilization of the Colleton County Courthouse.
The release of a trove of Hill's emails between January and early December has offered partial insights into her activities, particularly her sustained fascination with writing a book. Nevertheless, the emails present an incomplete portrayal, withholding attachments and omitting communications under investigation by state law enforcement and the Ethics Commission.
Amid these controversies, the focus remains on the aftermath of Murdaugh's trial, where he received life sentences for the murders of his wife and son. His legal team is appealing, citing jury tampering, partly attributed to Hill's actions as detailed in her book.
The emails also unveil Hill's persistent efforts to ensure ethical compliance in her writing endeavors. Seeking counsel from legal experts, including media attorney Jay Bender and Ethics Commission representatives, Hill appeared conscientious about ethical boundaries, particularly regarding the use of confidential information in her book.
However, as Murdaugh's defense team's accusations gained traction after the book's publication, Hill's communications grew scarce. Despite maintaining an air of confidence in the face of scrutiny, Hill's responses to public inquiries suggested a forthcoming account of events, promising a revelation of her "truth."
Beyond the courtroom drama, a separate controversy emerged surrounding Hill's son, the former technology director for Colleton County, charged with wiretapping by the State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) and subsequently dismissed from his position.
As the legal saga continues, the appointment of former South Carolina Supreme Court Chief Justice Jean Toal to preside over the case, following Judge Clifton Newman's impending retirement, signals a pivotal juncture. Toal's involvement in an upcoming hearing, potentially exploring jury tampering allegations, may position Hill as a central witness in the ongoing saga, further adding to the intricacies of this high-profile case.