Colleton Co. murder suspect files new motion to prevent jailhouse call release

Published: Nov. 10, 2023 at 5:45 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 10, 2023 at 6:58 PM EST
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COLLETON COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - Lawyers for the Colleton County man charged in connection with the deaths of six people have filed a new motion trying to keep his jailhouse calls from being released to the public.

Ryan Manigo’s attorneys don’t think a Circuit Court judge was correct when he previously ruled the calls were public record during a hearing last month. Manigo’s attorneys plan to appeal to a higher court, according to the filing.

Manigo, 33, is facing 21 charges, including five counts of murder and one count of first-degree arson after six people were found dead following a house fire in the Green Pond community in July.

In the months following the murders and while he was being held in the Colleton County Detention Center, media agencies requested the release of Manigo’s jailhouse calls under the South Carolina Freedom of Information Act.

His attorneys have repeatedly tried to prevent the release of the calls.

The latest filing from Manigo’s lawyers was sent to the state Supreme Court, arguing that the jailhouse calls are not public record and their release would violate five different amendments of the U.S. Constitution.

The filing claims the release of the calls would infringe on both Manigo’s right to privacy and his right to a fair trial.

Additionally, Manigo’s lawyers filed a motion asking a higher court to keep the release of the calls from happening until a decision is made on the appeal.

A few hours after the appeal was filed with the State Supreme Court, that court sent the motion back down to the State Court of Appeals.

It’s not clear when the jailhouse calls, which were deemed to be public records last month, may be released. If Manigo’s motion to prevent the release of the calls until after an appeal is denied, the calls could be released later this month.

In addition to the murder and arson charges, Manigo is also facing criminal sexual conduct, kidnapping, burglary, incest and weapons charges. He’s currently being held in jail without bond.