CONWAY, SC (WMBF) – Key evidence into claims made against members of the Coastal Carolina University cheerleading team came from another investigation that took place months before an anonymous letter was sent to the university president.
Billy Monckton, a managing partner at Monckton, Hembree and Humphries, Attorneys at Law, took a deeper dive into some of the documents obtained so far by WMBF News.
While the investigation truly started in the beginning of March when the university received an anonymous letters about the cheerleading team, one thing was clear to Monckton – the phone had been in the CCU police department’s possession since January of this year.
“They got the search warrant in a drug case,” Monckton said as he looked at the search warrant. “That is completely dealing with drug transactions not necessarily involving the cheerleaders, but it looks like a boyfriend of one of the cheerleaders.”
In a search warrant dated Jan. 20, 2017, the cheerleading team was not mentioned at all.
Monckton noted that, coincidentally, the same investigator into the cheerleading team’s case was probably looking for anything drug-related.
“If you look at the texts, without any context, you would have scanned right over it and it wouldn’t have made any sense,” he said. “So they had it, but they hadn’t gone back and looked at it. I think it’s just once that letter came in, it probably got tied back in by going back in to look at texts.”
The anonymous letter was sent to the university in the beginning of March.
Monckton said it is perfectly legal for investigators to go back into evidence from another investigation, adding it happens all the time,
“In today’s world, you do all of your communication on your phone – emails, texts, Instagram, Facebook. Everything is on your phone,” he said. “And law enforcement has the ability to dump your phone and obtain almost anything you’ve ever done.”
On Friday, CCU officials released a statement saying they had concluded its conduct investigation into the 2016-2017 cheerleading team, and no further action was being taken against them.
See the search warrant below:
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