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David Aylor Dead: How Did He Die?

by Ana Lopez
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Popular Charleston lawyer David Aylor died on January 2. Aylor, 41, was found dead at his home, but the cause and manner of his death are still unknown, according to the Charleston County coroner’s office.

The Charleston police are investigating. Stephen Schmutz, a former colleague and close friend of the deceased, claimed the legal world is in shock. The people in the legal field will miss him, he said. There will be a big gap there.

In 2007, Aylor founded the David Aylor Law Office as a personal injury practice. David had worked as both a criminal defense attorney and a civil litigation attorney before taking on the role of Acting Prosecutor for the City of Hanahan.

Hanahan used to be the assistant attorney for the Charleston County, Ninth Circuit Solicitor’s Office. He served as a clerk in Charleston for Senator Glenn McConnell’s Judiciary Committee, U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert S. Carr, and criminal defense attorney Andrew J. Savage III.

David Aylor dead
David Aylor dead

The College of Charleston and the University of South Carolina School of Law were both among his achievements. Stephen Bowden, a fellow attorney and member of the Charleston City Council, remembers Aylor as a “courtroom natural.”

One thing Bowden noticed was a large number of young lawyers who started in his firm while still in high school, college, or law school and then decided they wanted to be lawyers like him.

Mark Peper, another lawyer, has indicated that he will miss Aylor’s company both in and out of court. Anyone who knew him would agree that he was a great lawyer, but his friend was on a different level, he claimed.

To paraphrase an admirer, “He united his community in a way no one else could.” Aylor had previously defended high-profile clients, including Timothy Da’Shaun Taylor, who was falsely accused of raping and murdering Brittanee Drexel.

Based on evidence from a prisoner, Taylor was identified as a suspect in Drexel’s disappearance from a Myrtle Beach hotel in 2009. However, in May 2022, Raymond Moody came forward with a confession and led police to Drexel’s grave in Georgetown.

The charges against Moody include murder, kidnapping, first degree criminal sexual conduct and obstruction of justice. The FBI has stated that Taylor is no longer under investigation as a suspect. Aylor claimed that the federal government was unfairly targeting Taylor because they only had the word of a “jail rat” to proceed.

According to Schmutz, Aylor built close relationships with his clients and worked tirelessly for them. “He was so hardworking that he could easily outsmart you,” Schmutz remarked of him. On certain days, he worked as a lawyer until 9 p.m.

Schmutz also recalled that Aylor was a family man, that his parents moved to Charleston to be closer to their son, and that two of Aylor’s siblings were also lawyers. According to Schmutz, Aylor often traveled with his son throughout the United States and around the world.

The South Carolina U.S. Attorney’s Office charged Aylor in October 2022 with violating a court order restricting the dissemination of evidence in a case involving an alleged drug network.

Federal prosecutors alleged that Aylor allowed a client access to sealed court documents, which were then posted online, jeopardizing ongoing investigations and potentially exposing federal personnel and witnesses to danger.

David Aylor dead
David Aylor dead

However, according to court documents, the firm changed its mind two months later and on December 19 filed a termination clause that was signed by both Aylor’s attorney and the firm.

Aylor is held accountable for the violation of the warrant, although it is made clear in the agreement that he did not do so intentionally. And the prosecutors who asked for punishment against the lawyer also confessed that they had made mistakes.

On December 20, Aylor issued a statement to the media acknowledging that his office had not taken “due care in preserving and protecting the record material”, calling the incident an “unintentional blunder”.

Aylor’s lawyer and the government both agreed that Aylor did not want any evidence of the case to go to anyone but himself. Schmutz stated that the case was a mistake and “not an accusation of dishonesty or duplicity”.

Records show that after Aylor submitted the provision of resignation, he did not lose his good standing at the South Carolina Bar.

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