A South Carolina court docket clerk has been accused of plagiarising passages from her ebook about disgraced lawyer Alex Murdaugh’s homicide trial.
Rebecca Hill, the elected Clerk of Court for Colleton County, co-authored Behind the Doors of Justice: The Murdaugh Trial with journalist Neil Gordon. Now, Gordon says she took passages from a draft of a BBC article.
As a end result, the ebook can be faraway from publication and gross sales can be halted, in line with a statement from the Georgia journalist.
“When I confronted Becky about this, she admitted she plagiarized the passage due to deadline pressures,” he mentioned within the assertion. “As a veteran journalist myself, I cannot excuse her behavior, nor can I condone it.”
“This has blindsided me,” he added.
Because the ebook was self-published in July, it was the authors’ choice to halt gross sales, Gordon advised The Independent.
Ms Hill didn’t reply to The Independent’s request for remark. Attorneys Justin Bamberg and Will Lewis mentioned in an announcement that their consumer, Ms Hill, “accepts full responsibility for this unfortunate lapse in judgement” and has reached out to the BBC reporter to apologise.
Gordon made the allegations of plagiarism after Ms Hill’s emails from January to December 2023 had been launched to reporters following a Freedom of Information Act request.
The emails revealed exchanges between Ms Hill and a BBC News reporter, he says. Gordon alleges Ms Hill stole passages from the reporter’s draft of a narrative in regards to the Murdaugh Trial and submitted it as her personal work as a part of the ebook’s preface.
Gordon says attorneys for the BBC are investigating his claims. The BBC declined to remark when contacted by The Independent.
This will not be the primary time Ms Hill has come below hearth.
Earlier this yr, Mr Murdaugh’s authorized crew accused Ms Hill of tampering with the jury after their consumer was convicted of homicide.
Meanwhile, Jeffrey Hill, son of Ms Hill, was arrested final month on wiretapping fees after he was accused of recording conversations whereas working for the county administration’s expertise division. Ms Hill’s mobile phone was later seized by legislation enforcement as a part of the investigation into her son.