A Decade of Law



Published:

We’ve covered a range of legal goings on here in the lowcountry – lawyers held hostage, drug busts, executions, that flag flap – here are some of the best from the past 10 years.

 

Mike Hostilo / Issue 21

An attorney’s worst nightmare: a former client, unhappy with his day in court, threatens violence and returns for vengeance. That’s exactly what happened when Robbie Brower took Michael Hostilo hostage in his Statesboro law office in 2006. 11 years after serving time for brutally beating a man with a hammer, Brower and wife Connie bound and gagged Hostilo holding him at knifepoint for 24 hours. Hostilo’s courtroom savvy prevailed, though. Eventually his captors removed the duct tape from his mouth, and Hostilo negotiated his own release. Brower is currently serving an 85-year sentence, his wife a 65-year sentence for taking Hostilo hostage. Michael Hostilo has reduced the number of cases he takes on and now mostly works out of his Savannah office. “My whole perspective of life has changed,” says Hostilo, “I’m a better me. I’m a better person.”

 

Tempered and True:  The Iron Defense of Mike Schiavone / Issue 62

​ Long odds lingering over your head? Hard time staring you down? Your back’s against the wall and nobody’s on your side? Iron Mike’s your man. With more than 40-years’ experience as a defense attorney, he’s seen his share of ripped-from-the-headlines cases. The kind that become books and big-budget films. In the late ‘80s, Schiavone represented Carl Isaacs. Isaacs escaped from a Maryland prison with two others, broke into a Georgia farm house, killed five men and raped a woman before also murdering her. The trial carried on for a month, and the jury deliberated into the night before delivering its guilty verdict. The case remains one of Georgia’s grisliest tales of murder, going on to become both a book and a film. More recently, Schiavone defended former Miss Savannah pageant winner, Sharron Nicole Redmond, in the aggravated assault shooting of Kevin Shorter. The jury determined Redmond’s actions as self-defense. Redmond now lives in Atlanta and is pursuing a PhD. in career development.

 

Cover Shock / Issue 57

 That necktie with a nod to the “Stars and Bars” ignited fury and debate across South’s social media and digital platforms. On the cover of 2015’s late-summer “Money and Power” issue, the image was published on the heels of Dylann Roof’s racially-motivated rampage, in which he shot and killed nine African American parishioners in a Charleston, South Carolina, church. Roof embraced the Confederate flag as personal emblem for his deeds, a token of his racial hatred. Across the country, emotions ran high both for and against the flag. For many, it serves as reminder of the pervasive inequity that denied slaves their worth and recognition as humans. Others see the flag as part of southern culture and heritage, a symbol of pride, independence and of standing apart. Like it or not, the Confederate flag is a cultural artifact that remains uncomfortably situated in contemporary America and is undeniably a part of the South’s history. Everything the flag represents can’t be erased or whisked away; it’s a symbol that all us Southerners must come to terms with one way or another. For goodness sakes, we are headquartered in Savannah, Georgia! South magazine felt compelled to address the flag. National magazine consultant, Cable Neuhaus, offered, “And let’s face it, if a magazine named South failed to address the flap over the Confederate flag—if it simply permitted the national brouhaha to pass without remark—shame on such a book. It would not deserve the attention or loyalty of its readers.

 

Savannah’s war on drugs / Issue 62

From 2014 to 2015 violent crime in Savannah rose by 26 percent. Nationwide for that same time period, violent crime went up by 4 percent. In Savannah, those numbers continue to climb, significantly outpacing the national average. Local law enforcement is convinced drug trafficking has a lot to do with the uptick. And they are primed and ready to fight back. Law enforcement is reluctant to say the Lowcountry is in the midst of a drug epidemic, but they do acknowledge a flood of crystal meth users inundating southeast Chatham and surrounding counties in the past two years. The DEA has identified four cartels operating out of Atlanta. Super labs in the city refine the substance to its crystal form, which yields a stronger high. Then “mules” transport pounds of it to distant communities like Savannah, surrounding counties and as far away as Charleston. Savannah’s drug problem boils down to supply and demand. “Law enforcement has to aggressively target the dealers. Without the dealers, they simply can’t get the drugs,” said Sergeant Gene Harley of Savannah’s Counter Narcotics Team.

 

 

Innocent as Sin / Issue 15

Troy Davis: in the years leading up to his execution on Sept. 21, 2011, his name has become synonymous with that margin of injustice that sometimes results from justice. In 1989, Davis was alleged to have shot and killed a young, very popular Savannah police officer, Mark McPhail. After a local media frenzy and nearly two years of court proceedings, Davis was convicted and sentenced to death in 1991. But in intervening years, parts of that story just didn’t add up. In the four-day manhunt for Davis, police discovered that the man who implicated Davis in the murder owned a caliber gun that killed McPhail the night of the shooting. The information was not investigated or submitted in the murder trial. The prosecution also never produced a murder weapon. Between 1996 and 2005, seven witnesses came forward and recanted their testimony, indicating they’d been pressured by police to name Davis as the shooter. One witness went on record to say he was forced to sign a statement but didn’t know what it said because he couldn’t read. Between 2007 and 2009, Davis leveraged three stays of execution with support from Amnesty International, Pope Benedict XVI, Jimmy Carter, and Desmond Tutu. In 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court ordered an evidenciary hearing in which Davis’ death sentence was upheld, despite nearly a million signatures petitioning for clemency and a host of politicians and celebrities campaigning on Davis’ behalf. What’s the take away here? Humans are imperfect, we are biased and often victims of our emotions. Our legal system is a human endeavor and as such sometimes justice is tainted. Troy Davis’ death offers a light on human fallibility. May his story shine so that innocence will prevail and live when staring down similar circumstances.

 

To read more about A Decade of Law, subscribe now or pick up the June/July issue of South magazine. 

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South's Greatest Photographers 2018

We're looking for the greatest, most creative photographers. If that is you, or you know of any, don't hesitate to nominate!

South's Greatest Kids Contest 2017

When it comes to cute, the kids of the South are all way above average! Share the cuteness and nominate your kids today.
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Events Calendar

  • Charleston Cars & Coffee

    Jun 17, 2017
    7:30 AM - 10:00 AM @ Mount Pleasant Towne Centre

    7:30am - 10:00am  FREE ADMISSION  Mount Pleasant Towne Centre,1712 Towne Centre Way,Mt Pleasant, SC 29464,USA A bunch of car and...

  • Charleston Farmers Market

    Jun 17, 2017
    8:00 AM - 2:00 PM @ Marion Square

    8:00am - 2:00pm  FREE ADMISSION  Marion Square,329 Meeting St, Charleston, SC 29403,USA Join us every Saturday in beautiful Marion...

  • Forsyth Farmer's Market

    Jun 04, 2017
    9:00 AM - 1:00 PM @ The South end of Forsyth Park

    9:00 am- 1:00 pm Outdoors, kid and pet friendly Local food and plant vendors FREE ADMISSION  

  • Kirk Varnedoe: In the Middle at the Modern

    Sep 22, 2017
    10:00 AM - 5:00 PM @ Jepson Center

    Can you have an art exhibition without any artworks? Is a curator an artist? Who or what decides an object’s value? Through the lens of an art...

  • Lila Cabaniss SCCPSS Art Teachers Exhibition

    Sep 05, 2017
    10:00 AM - 5:00 PM @ Jepson Center

    Did you know that there are dozens of talented artists teaching every day in Savannah’s public schools? Named after the pioneering Savannah...

  • PRETTY IN PUNK: Images from the Punk Rock Era

    Sep 21, 2017
    10:00 AM - 6:00 PM @ PULP

    PULP time travels back to the 70s with The Ramones, Blondie, The Germs, The Sex Pistols, The Go-Go's, Patty Smith and more -- on stage and back...

  • Jazz Brunch

    Jun 04, 2017
    11:30 AM - 2:00 PM @ The Westin

    The Westin's weekly Jazz Brunch is a treat for all, with spectacular views of Savannah, delicious food and beautiful music performed by the...

  • Atlanta Streets Alive

    Sep 24, 2017
    2:00 PM

    Atlanta Streets Alive opens streets for people by temporarily closing them to cars to create a whole new vibrant city street experience. This is a...

  • Party at the Point!

    Jun 16, 2017
    5:30 PM - 9:00 PM @ Charleston Harbor Resort & Marina

    5:30pm-9:00pm  Charleston Harbor Resort,20 Patriots Point Road,Mount Pleasant, SC 29464,USA COST: $7 Join us every Friday at the Charleston...

  • ALJ Monday Night Ceramics

    Jun 12, 2017
    6:00 PM

    Students will learn how to build ceramic sculptures as well as hand crafting with various techniques in form and technique $60 for 4 sessions, $80...

  • "How I Became a Pirate"

    Sep 23, 2017
    7:00 PM - 9:00 PM @ The Savannah Children's Theater

    Come watch the amazing cast perform "How I Became A Pirate" on September 23rd and 30th from 7:00pm- 9:00pm! Family friendly fun...

  • Boo Bash Halloween Party

    Aug 28, 2017
    7:00 PM - 11:00 PM @ Alee Temple

    The Boo Bash Halloween Party is an event sponsored by Heads-Up Guidance Services (H.U.G.S.), a local 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.  H.U.G.S....

  • Blues & BBQ Harbor Cruise on the Carolina Queen

    Jun 15, 2017
    7:00 PM - 9:00 PM @ Carolina Queen River Boat

    7:00pm-9:00pm Admission- $44.95 for adults/ $25 for children 4-11 Carolina Queen Riverboat,17 Lockwood Boulevard,Charleston, SC 29401,USA...

  • Reggae Nights Summer Concert: Mystic Vibrations

    Aug 04, 2017
    7:30 PM - 7:30 PM @ James Island County Park

  • “Rewind” at the Savannah Theatre

    Mar 15, 2017
    8:00 PM - 10:00 PM @ Savannah Theatre

    The Savannah Theatre presents “Rewind!” March 1-26, Sept. 1-Nov. 17 and Dec. 27-30, 2017. Rewind back to the first time that...

  • "Rodin: The Human Experience"

    Sep 01, 2017
    All Day @ Jepson Center

    Rodin: The Human Experience presents a selection of 32 figures in bronze by Auguste Rodin (1840-1917), the legendary French sculptor whose...

  • Animal Instinct

    Jul 15, 2017
    All Day @ Jepson Center

    The diversity of animal imagery in Animal Instinct reveals the wide-ranging roles animals inhabit in an anthropocentric world. From wild...

  • "I'm Trying To Tell You" Artist Talk and Reception

    Jul 28, 2017
    All Day @ Jepson Center

    Maggie Mullin O’Hara (American, b. 1991) is a multimedia artist from Pittsburgh currently based in Columbia, SC, and Savannah. Her exhibition...

  • Jacob Lawrence, Lines of Influence at SCAD Museum of Art

    Sep 07, 2017
    All Day @ SCAD Museum of Art

    Jacob Lawrence Lines of Influence Sept. 7, 2017 - Feb. 4, 2018 The SCAD Museum of Art and the Jacob and Gwendolyn Knight Lawrence...

  • Hattie Saussy: Rediscovery of an Artist

    Jun 30, 2017
    All Day @ Telfair Academy

    Savannah artist Hattie Saussy (1890-1978) pursued her passion for painting from the time of her youth until near the end of her long productive...


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Scenes of the South

Craft Brew Fest 2017

Craft Brew Fest was a day to remember...or not remember depending on how many drinks you sampled. There were several breweries from near and far showing off their crafts on Saturday, Sept. 2. Craft Brew Fest was held inside the Savannah International Trade and Convention Center. Keystone Postcard performed live while the beer was flowing. People danced and sung as the night went on. Many lined up to get a photo at the South Magazine photo booth where a red carpet and backdrop made everyone feel like a celebrity.

Private Preview of 1540 Room at The Desoto

The Desoto debuted a private preview of their restaurant, 1540 Room, which will be officially open to the public on September 21. Many gathered on the last day of August to celebrate the accomplishment. The new chef, Kyle Jacovino, prepared samples of the food that will be served in the restaurant. The DeSoto reigns as “Savannah’s hotel,” a beloved landmark that has played gracious hostess to presidents, local personalities and visitors since 1890. Treasured period details, including original crystal chandeliers and terracotta tiles, mix seamlessly with contemporary art, creating a thoughtful juxtaposition between history and modern-day style. 1540 Room will open to the public on September 21.

Leopold's 98th Anniversary Celebration

Hundreds of Savannah visitors, neighbors and long-time residents attended the 98th Birthday Celebration of famous, Leopold's Ice Cream Shop, closing down the block in front of the Broughton Street location for the afternoon. Attendees devoured the delicious ninety-eight cent scoops of the delicious ice cream while enjoying live music and performances throughout the event.

South Magazine's Power Party 2017

Attendees at the South Magazine Power Professionals Party 2017 arrived to the red carpet at the Hyatt Hotel in Downtown Savannah on August 3rd to strike their best pose before enjoying an interactive evening of networking and music by Danielle Hicks and the Resistance. Delicious food was provided by the Hyatt's new resturant, Moss & Oak Savannah Eatery! Before leaving, guests had the opportunity to take their photos with our amazing Scenes photographers and pick up the latest August/September issue of South magazine.

South Night at Savannah Bananas

South Magazine welcomed clients and friends to join them on the VIP deck where visitors could pick up a copy of the magazine and meet the staff at Thursday's Savannah Bananas game against the Redwolves. It was another sold out game at Grayson Stadium on their Budweiser Thirsty Thursday. Visit the Savannah Bananas online to see their remaining schedule for this year's season!

Love the Wine You're With July

South Magazine and 39 Rue de Jean Savannah host an evening of Power Networking and Fundraising on the third Wednesday of each month to raise awareness and funds for non-profit organizations. Free to attend, guests enjoyed $7 glasses of select regional wine and delicious passed appetizer's while networking and raising funds to benefit the featured charity of the month. Each month, a different local charity will offer a silent auction, raffle or fun game to help raise awareness and money. In addition, 39 Rue De Jean will donate $1 from each glass of select wine purchased during the event to benefit the non-profit.

Prohibition Museum Grand Opening

In December of 2015, a summit of Historic Tours of America management met together to discuss the potentiality of something new, something original for not only the city of Savannah, but for the nation as a whole- a museum dedicated to the prohibition of alcohol in the United States. The American Prohibition Museum is the first of its kind in the country and takes guests back into the 1900s as anti-alcohol rallies swept the U.S. and the booze problem was pushed into the forefront of American politics. Through immersive displays and state-of-the-art exhibits, guests learn how Prohibition and Temperance shaped thinking and culture for more than two hundred years of American history.

4th of July River St. Celebration 2017

Hundreds of residents and tourists came to celebrate American patriotism at the 2017 River Street Fourth of July Celebration. enjoying live music from 8-10pm with local favorites the Hynotocs on the WSAV Military Stage. Families were able to bring their children to the kids zone while waiting on the fireworks display! The Savannah Waterfront Association was excited to help WSAV celebrate their 60th Anniversary during the event and teamed up to host a military VIP seating area for viewing fireworks! VIP seating will be limited to first come first serve and a VIP pass must be presented to enter. VIP passes will be given away on air with Alpha Media and a limited number will be available the day of at the WSAV tent. Chairs, blankets, are welcome and make sure to get there early to grab a spot along the riverfront.

Grand Opening of Ghost Coast Distillery

Ghost Coast Distillery embraces Savannah's spirited and storied history - one of indulgence, light-hearted mischief, and jubilation. They honored The Spirit of Savannah by opening Ghost Coast Distillery, Savannah’s first distillery since just before the era of prohibition. Beginning in 2017, Ghost Coast Distillery will be open for tours and tastings at its home in vibrant Downtown Savannah. Come see how they make some of the South’s finest craft spirits, while learning about the history of spirits and revelry in our fine city.

Grand Opening of Edgar's Proof and Provision

In a town renowned for its spirited libations and tall tales, Edgar’s Proof & Provision offers lush libations and chef-inspired small plates on East Liberty St. in Savannah. With year-round front porch seating, Edgar’s P&P delivers southern hospitality at its best! Savannah's newest restaurant, Edgar's Proof and Provision, had its grand opening on Thursday June 22nd inside the Hilton DeSoto hotel on Liberty St. Edgar's Proof and Provision will serve breakfast, lunch, dinner and drinks. It's open from 6:30 a.m. until midnight with a perfect view of the historic district, spread out over three levels. "The service is always smiling and fun and friendly and everybody's saying how locally centered that we are here in Savannah, that we are here for the locals and we want everybody to come back and have a good time," says host Kolin Podell. Residents are encouraged to check out Proof and Provision soon because another new restaurant is in the works!