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Clerk in Murdaugh murder trial accused of plagiarism by co-author, sales of book halted

Becky Hill, the South Carolina court clerk who oversaw the double murder trial of Alex Murdaugh and wrote a book about it, was accused of plagiarism by her co-author. 

Neil Gordon, co-author of “Behind the Doors of Justice,” said he has decided to unpublish the book and stop sales because Hill took a portion of an article written by a BBC reporter and passed it off as her own.

Gordon made the claim in a press release obtained by Fox News Digital. He said he discovered the plagiarism while reviewing thousands of pages of Hill’s emails released to reporters through the Freedom of Information Act.

He claimed he discovered a 12-page passage in the book’s preface, that Hill claimed she wrote herself, that was similar to an excerpt from an upcoming article about the Murdaugh trail written by the BBC reporter and shared with Hill.

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“When I confronted Becky about this, she admitted she plagiarized the passage due to deadline pressures,” Gordon said. “As a veteran journalist myself, I cannot excuse her behavior, nor can I condone it.”

Gordon said he was “blindsided” by Hill’s actions and apologized to readers, the BBC and the reporter. He said he will no longer partner with Hill on any projects.

Gordon notified the BBC reporter about Hill’s actions and said he was told the BBC’s attorneys are investigating.

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Alex Murdaugh and Becky Hill holding.

Hill’s attorneys, Justin Bamberg and Will Lewis, released a statement on Tuesday saying Hill is “deeply remorseful” about the allegations of plagiarism.

“The pressures of developing additional content under tight time deadlines resulted in Ms. Hill taking material written by BBC reporter Holly Honderich and submitting it to her co-author Neil Gordon as if it were her own words,” the statement read. “Ms. Hill accepts full responsibility for this unfortunate lapse in judgment and has personally reached out to Ms. Honderich to express her sincere apologies.”

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Becky Hill carries papers, her phone and a drink as she heads towards a white truck

Hill has also been accused of tampering with the jury to sway them toward a conviction. Murdaugh’s defense lawyers Jim Griffin and Dick Harpootlian filed a motion for a new trial based on the allegations. Hill has denied the allegations.

Fox News Digital has reached out to Hill for comment, but has not yet heard back.

The court clerk on the Alex Murdaugh trial, Becky Hill with a drink in hand as she walks through a party

Former South Carolina attorney general Charlie Condon issued a statement on X, formerly known as Twitter, stating that Hill’s credibility will be attacked using this plagiarism charge if she testifies in a hearing on the jury tampering allegations in the Murdaugh double murder case.

“I believe Becky Hill’s testimony may well be the most important part in the new trial hearing, depending on the scope of the hearing and the standard used by Justice Toal in evaluating the allegations,” Condon posted. 

In October, the South Carolina Court of Appeals granted Alex Murdaugh’s petition to lobby a lower court for a new murder trial over accusations of jury tampering.

Murdaugh, 55, was sentenced in March to two life terms for fatally shooting his 52-year-old wife, Maggie Murdaugh, and his son, Paul Murdaugh, 22, in June 2021.

Murdaugh was also sentenced to 27 years in November for his financial crimes. He agreed to plead guilty to 22 counts — including breach of trust, money laundering, forgery and tax evasion — out of about 100 total counts totaling as much as $10 million in exchange for the 27-year prison sentence.

Murdaugh previously pleaded guilty to 22 counts of financial fraud and money laundering in federal court.

Fox News Digital’s Lorraine Taylor, Rebecca Rosenberg and Audrey Conklin contributed to this report.

Read the full article here

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