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Passenger in 2019 deadly boat crash sues Alex, Buster Murdaugh

Mallory Beach, 19, died in a boat crash near Parris Island on Feb. 24, 2019 when the boat in...
Mallory Beach, 19, died in a boat crash near Parris Island on Feb. 24, 2019 when the boat in which she was a passenger struck the Archer's Creek Bridge. Investigators charged Paul Murdaugh in connection with the crash.(WTOC/File)
Published: Sep. 21, 2021 at 10:56 AM EDT|Updated: Sep. 21, 2021 at 7:19 PM EDT
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HAMPTON COUNTY, S.C. (WIS) - One of the people aboard the boat that crashed and killed Mallory Beach in 2019 is now suing Alex and Buster Murdaugh.

In the suit, Connor Cook’s attorney, Joe McCulloch, alleges the Murdaughs tried to paint Cook as the one who is “criminally and civilly” responsible for the boat accident.

“The Defendant’s intentional or negligent conduct in misdirecting law enforcement...was so extreme and outrageous as to exceed all possible bounds of decency and must be regarded as atrocious, and utterly intolerable in a civilized community,” McCulloch alleges.

McCulloch says the Murdaughs used a “whisper campaign” throughout Hampton County, “law enforcement misdirection,” and “possible obstruction” to place blame on Cook. However, Cook wanted to tell law enforcement that Paul Murdaugh, 19 at the time, was the driver when the crash that killed Mallory Beach happened.

Paul Murdaugh, who was shot and killed along with his mother Maggie at their Colleton County home in June, was charged with Beach’s death. Those charges were dropped after Paul was killed. No arrests have been made in connection to the shooting that killed Paul and Maggie.

Cook’s attorney says after the crash that Alex Murdaugh told Cook to “keep his mouth shut,” that everything would be alright, and that Cook should tell law enforcement he didn’t know who was driving at the time of the crash.

“[Murdaugh] sought out all or most of the boat passengers in an attempt to control the narrative of what had occurred,” McCulloch writes in the suit.

The lawsuit also says that Cook’s family was told to retain Cory Fleming as his attorney in this case. The suit says Fleming is a close friend of Alex Murdaugh and Paul Murdaugh’s godfather and the Cook family was not made aware of Fleming’s “conflict of interest.” Fleming is no longer representing Cook.

Fleming has also been named by the attorney representing the former Murdaugh housekeeper Gloria Satterfield’s estate as the lawyer who originally represented Satterfield’s children after their mother’s death.

“It’s very strange that [Alex Murdaugh] would hand-carry them to a lawyer that would come sue him,” Satterfield’s estate’s lawyer Eric Bland told WIS.

In the allegations made against Alex Murdaugh, the suit states that Alex should’ve known that his son Paul liked to drive the family boat when he is drunk. The suit also says that Paul would drive the boat as “Timmy,” the suit says that is the name given to Paul’s “alcohol-induced personality transformation”

Buster Murdaugh is named in the suit for allegations of giving his driver’s license to Paul to use to illegally purchase alcohol.

According to the suit, when Cook was deposed in 2020 in the Beach case he said he was afraid of the Murdaughs because “just anything they get in they get out of. I’ve always been told that.”

WIS has reached out to a lawyer representing Alex Murdaugh for comment.

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