I was released from prison November 23, 2005 this was after spending more than twenty three years behind bars for a crime I did not commit.
I can not get the State of South Carolina to do an investigation into this injustice and make their finding public.
This is all I have ever asked.
I have openly stated that the Solicitor, who would later become Attorney General of the state, "conspired to put and innocent man in the electric chair" This statement has never been denied, only ignored.
I ask you, why would a person make such an accusation, knowing the conquenses of such a statement, if it were a lie.
I am now asking that all members become involved in my fight for the justice I have been denied of so many years.
L. G. Faircloth, who appeared personally before me, and after being duly sworn, deposes and says:
1. Iam a retired agent of the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division with over twenty years experience in the investigation of criminal cases.
2. I became involved in the investigation of the Paul Mazzell case in 1987. My investigation of this case has continued into my retirement. My investigative efforts are motivated by my belief that Paul Mazzell is not guilty of the murder of Ricky Seagraves and that justice has not been done in this case. This is not a statement I make lightly, and the case of Paul Mazzell is the only case I have ever encountered in my lengthy and successful career as a law enforcement officer about which I can say without reservation that I am convinced that the wrong man was convicted and imprisoned. I have no personal affiliation with, or interest in, Paul Mazzell. In fact, I met him for the first time in October, 1996, more than eight years after I began my investigation of this case.
3. In the course of my investigation, the following information has come to my attention:
* In December, 1996, M.C. Bellew and I interviewed Bobby Pooser, the resident of the house to which Ricky Seagraves was brought following his abduction from the Majic Market by Edward Merriman and Danny Hogg. Pooser told us that Hogg washed Seagraves' blood out of the truck that Hogg and Merriman were driving when they came to his house, and that Hogg's bloody pants were burned in the fireplace and Pooser gave Hogg a pair of his own pants to wear. Pooser also stated that he told a police officer what he knew about the Seagraves murder, but that no action was taken until years later when Hogg was sent to prison. The information we received from Pooser is detailed in a letter by M.C. Bellew to John Blume, Paul Mazzel1' s lawyer.
I personally interviewed SLED Agent Robert Greer, who related to me a conversation between himself and two SLED polygraphers, Dennis Coggins and Lieutenant Wyndham.
At the time of said conversation, Coggins had just administered a polygraph test to Danny Hogg, which he failed. Coggins remarked that Hogg had lied through his teeth, and Wyndham said that. Hogg was the person who killed Seagraves down in Charleston.
* I personally interviewed Edward Merriman, Paul Mazzell's co-defendant at the Ricky Seagraves murder trial. Merriman told me that Danny Hogg killed Ricky Seagraves, that he (Merriman) wittnessed the shooting and death of Seagraves, that Paul Mazzell was not involved in the killing of Ricky Seagraves, and that he (Merriman) and Paul Mazzell had requested, but were denied, the opportunity to undergo polygraph testing. Merriman later took and passed a polygraph test.
* Statements given to law enforcement by Lisa Hogg prior to Mazzell's trial strongly indicate that Danny Hogg was the person who murdered Ricky Seagraves. To my knowledge, these statements were never introduced at Mazzell's trial.
The SLED file on Mazzell's case is apparently missing from SLED's custody. In my experience, this is highly unusual, and it may indicate an effort by an unscrupulous person to make exposing the truth in this case more difficult.
I firmly believe that enough evidence exists at this time to successfully prosecute Danny Hogg for the murder of Ricky Seagraves. I base this conclusion on my many years of work as an investigator of criminal cases, during which I never lost a criminal prosecution.
4. The information I have gathered, along with the information available about this case from other sources, including what was presented by the prosecution at Mazzell's trial, have led me to the firm conclusion that Paul Mazzell is not guilty of the murder of Ricky Seagraves. I further believe that, if Paul Mazzell is granted a new trial, he will be found not guilty. Signed: L. G. Faircloth. Dated: July 18, 1997.
I am writing to you concerning the murder of my brother, Ricky Seagraves, in North Charleston back in 1978. As you may remember, his murder remained unsolved for three years, until a man named Daniel Hogg came forward claiming that two other men, Paul Mazzell and Edward Merriman, killed Ricky. Based on Hogg's story, Mazzell and Merriman were eventually prosecuted and sentenced to life in prison for Ricky's murder. What troubles my family and I deeply, however, is that we do not believe the State convicted the right men. I am a former law enforcement officer, and I have studied the evidence relating to my brother's murder in detail over the years. I have reviewed countless interviews, law enforcement reports and court documents, I have seen the polygraphs of Daniel Hogg, Edward Merriman, and Paul Mazzell, and I have talked to people with first hand knowledge about this case, including law enforcement officers and other people who have heard Daniel Hogg confess to killing Ricky himself. Based on all of this information, I do believe Merriman was involved and properly prosecuted, but I am convinced that Paul Mazzell is innocent of my brother's murder. I am also convinced that the real murderer in this case is Daniel Hogg.
I am aware that Mazzell has been fighting his conviction ever since he went to prison almost seventeen years ago, and I am sure you are aware of the details of his claims. I am writing to you now to tell you that I and other members of my family agree with him. The evidence against Hogg is overwhelming, and I can not understand why he has never been prosecuted for my brother's murder. As the victims in this case, we believe the time has come to make our position known. We ask that the investigation of this case be reopened, and that the State take whatever steps necessary to initiate the prosecution of Daniel Hogg. and to overturn the wrongful conviction of Paul Mazzell. Mr. Condon, the Seagraves family is very much in favor of having someone in prison for the murder of our loved one, but it must be the right person. The more time Daniel Hogg is allowed to remain free while Paul Mazzell remains incarcerated for a crime he did not commit, the more Ricky's memory is dishonored. We only want what is just in this case, and that is the prosecution of Daniel Hogg and the release of Paul Mazzell
Having made the decision to make our feelings known, I am motivated to do whatever is necessary to have this case reopened. I hope and expect that you will take this request very seriously, and that prompt action will be taken. Twenty one years is long enough for Daniel Hogg to be allowed to escape responsibility for my brother's murder, and seventeen years is far too long for Paul Mazzell to have served for another man's crime. After all this time, the Seagraves family and the Mazzell family are entitled to have this situation made right, and I believe that the State, whose job it was to solve Rickv's murder correctly, has a duty to fix the injustice it created. I intend to hold the State to its obligation, one way or another, until the mistakes have been corrected. I will do whatever it takes to get the State to take notice and reopen this case.
If I can be of any assistance in the reopening of this case, please call on me. Respectfully yours, Tony Seagraves
The above was not altered in any way. The under lines were made by Tony Seagraves.
Charlie Condon would later deny getting this letter. Mr. Seagraves then attached another letter to the first one and faxed them both to Condon. Charlie Condon, took no action, but then how could he?