Saturday 18 November 2023

Judge In Alex Murdaugh Trial Won’t Oversee Bid For New Trial In Major Win For Convicted Killer

 The judge who oversaw Alex Murdaugh’s murder trial will not oversee any of the proceedings regarding his bid for a new trial.

Murdaugh’s defense team has repeatedly asked that South Carolina Circuit Judge Clifton Newman be removed from Murdaugh’s future cases, Fox News reported. Newman previously sentenced Murdaugh to two consecutive life sentences without parole for the murder of his wife, Maggie, and youngest son Paul, following a guilty verdict.

The defense team has argued that Newman shouldn’t oversee more of Murdaugh’s proceedings since he is a witness in an issue that would factor into the case for a new trial. That issue relates to concerns the defense team has about Colleton County court clerk Becky Hill, whom attorneys Jim Griffin and Dick Harpootlian have accused of tampering with jurors to sway them toward a guilty verdict so she could get a book deal. The attorneys filed a motion back in September to the South Carolina Court of Appeals arguing that Hill “tampered with the jury by advising them not to believe Murdaugh’s testimony and other evidence presented by the defense, pressuring them to reach a quick guilty verdict, and even misrepresenting critical and material information to the trial judge in her campaign to remove a juror she believed to be favorable to the defense.”

The filing, reviewed by CNN, went on to accuse Hill of seeking a book deal during the trial.

“Ms. Hill did these things to secure for herself a book deal and media appearances that would not happen in the event of a mistrial. Ms. Hill betrayed her oath of office for money and fame. Once these 2 facts are proven, the law does not allow the Court any discretion about how to respond. It must grant a new trial,” the filing said.

The filing cites at least three sworn affidavits, CNN reported, including one from a juror who decided Murdaugh’s fate and another who was dismissed. It also includes excerpts from Hill’s book, titled “Behind the Doors of Justice: The Murdaugh Murders,” which was published in August.

A jury found Murdaugh guilty of murder on March 2, and he was sentenced to two consecutive life sentences.

The decision came after just a few hours of deliberation and a six-week trial where more than 70 witnesses testified. Murdaugh has maintained his innocence, suggesting his son Paul was the main target for the murders due to his involvement in a 2019 boat crash that killed 19-year-old Mallory Beach.

Murdaugh spent nearly two days testifying in his own defense at his trial and immediately admitted to lying for years about his whereabouts on the day his wife and son were murdered.

The prosecution had already argued that Murdaugh lied about not going to the dog kennels on the day his wife and son were murdered. Prosecutor Creighton Waters previously pointed to cell phone evidence taken from Paul’s phone less than five minutes before he was killed. Paul had filmed one of the dogs to send to a friend, and prosecutors allege Murdaugh’s voice can be heard in the background of the recording. Murdaugh has said he wasn’t at the kennels that night. Prosecutors said that Murdaugh murdered his wife and son around 8:49 p.m., just a few minutes after the video was taken.

When Murdaugh took the stand, his defense attorneys asked him if he had lied to police about his whereabouts on the night his family was murdered, and Murdaugh admitted to lying.

“I lied about being down there, and I’m so sorry that I did,” Murdaugh said, according to People Magazine.

Murdaugh maintained that he did not murder his wife and son, whom he referred to by nicknames “Mags” and “Paul Paul.” He claimed during his testimony that his alleged drug addiction made him “paranoid,” which caused him to lie.

Post a Comment

Start typing and press Enter to search