HAMPTON, S.C. (WCBD) – A Petition for Deposition/Subpoena Duces Tecum filed July 7 on behalf of Connor Cook seeks exculpatory evidence in what the petition alleges is a “conspiracy to misdirect the criminal investigation” into a fatal boating accident “away from now deceased, Paul Murdaugh, and to wrongfully shift the focus to” Cook.

Cook was one of six teens onboard during a February 23, 2019 boating accident which resulted in the death of Mallory Beach. Prior to his death, Paul Murdaugh faced multiple charges of boating under the influence.

Now, Cook believes that he is the victim of “a ‘campaign’ to cloud the investigatory issues and disseminate false information” claiming that he — not Murdaugh — was the driver of the boat at the time of the crash, and is thus responsible.

Reports gathered during the investigation revealed what the petition claims to be “the failure to conduct an appropriate investigation… as well as other investigative irregularities,” including “the loss of evidence potentially exculpating Petitioner Cook and potentially inculpatory as to Paul Murdaugh.”

The Murdaugh family has significant reach not only in the small, rural area in which they live, but in the area’s greater law enforcement and judicial systems as well, with generations of the family having served as Solicitors and others having served as prominent lawyers.

According to the document, certain law enforcement officials involved in the case “through their official positions with their respective law enforcement agencies, in concert with others unnamed, may have information of collusion and/or a civil conspiracy to shift the blame for the boat accident away from Paul Murdaugh by wrongfully shifting the focus to [Cook].”

Cook alleges that the depositions and phone records of certain law enforcement officials involved in the case are necessary to “confirm or refute evidence” of the conspiracy.