Alex Murdaughs safeguard lawyers: Who are Dick Harpootlian and Jim Griffin?
COLUMBIA When a deadly boat crash in 2019 hauled Alex Murdaughs family into the focus of a criminal examination, the affluent and all around associated Hampton legal advisor had his decision of expensive protection lawyers.
He picked Dick Harpootlian and Jim Griffin, a couple of prepared Columbia legal counselors with many preliminaries under their belts.
This time around, Murdaugh himself is being investigated, blamed for killing his better half and most youthful child in June 2021 in a frantic endeavor to conceal his monetary violations and forestall his own ruin.
Specialists say Harpootlian and Griffin, initially recruited to protect Murdaughs late child Paul in the boat crash case, will give Murdaugh the highest quality safeguard available anywhere in South Carolinas trial of the century regardless of whether they arent being completely paid for their endeavors.
These examiners turned-protection lawyers are known as splendid legitimate tacticians with dovetailing qualities and differentiating styles in the court.
Harpootlian, a Popularity based state representative who turns 74 on the trials first day, is forceful and dramatic, a fight scarred veteran of in excess of 100 homicide cases.
Griffin, 60, is more saved and mentally collected, a cerebral workhorse who spends significant time in shielding middle class crooks.
Eyewitnesses say their reciprocal ranges of abilities are ideally suited for a respondent like Murdaugh, who is facing a wide cluster of criminal accusations and an enthralled review public who frantically need him viewed as blameworthy.
Whoever set up this group, they understood what on earth they were doing, resigned government judge Dennis Shedd said.
In front of the long distance race preliminary, The Post and Dispatch talked with almost two dozen South Carolina lawyers, including Harpootlian and Griffin themselves, to study Murdaughs powerful protection group and what watchers ought to hope to see from them in the court.
Experiencing childhood in the court
The impetus for Harpootlians lawful vocation was, unrealistically, the Vietnam War.
As an understudy at Clemson College in the last part of the 1960s, Harpootlian realized his forthcoming graduation would make him qualified to be drafted into the disliked struggle.
A long-haired, doobie-smoking liberal who had dealt with The Tiger understudy paper, Harpootlian pointedly went against Americas contribution in Vietnam.
He applied to the College of South Carolinas graduate school to fight off the draft. It didnt work Harpootlians genuine redeeming quality was failing his military physical with a stomach ulcer.
However, Harpootlian stayed with graduate school and eventually got some work as an associate examiner in Columbia. He found his adoration for jury preliminaries on his most memorable day at the fifth Circuit Solicitors Office. His managers doled out him to pick a jury for a homicide case. Then they left for the afternoon.
I cherished it. I never comprehended what an egomaniac I was, Harpootlian said with a giggle. Twelve individuals who cant get up and leave while Im conversing with them?