Tuesday 9 January 2024

Hearing This Month To Determine If Alex Murdaugh Got A Fair Trial

 Later this month, a hearing is set to be held in South Carolina to determine whether convicted murderer Alex Murdaugh received a fair trial.

At issue is whether Colleton County Clerk of Court Becky Hill had improper communications with jurors during Murdaugh’s trial last year, and if she did, whether those communications created a bias or prejudice that influenced the outcome of the trial, KATU 2 reported. South Carolina state prosecutors and Murdaugh’s defense attorneys will meet on January 29 to present their arguments in the case.

Murdaugh’s attorneys, Dick Harpootlian and Jim Griffin, filed a pre-trial brief last Wednesday arguing that they don’t have to prove that Hill influenced the jury into finding Murdaugh guilty of killing his wife, Maggie, and youngest son Paul.

“Mr. Murdaugh does not need to show actual bias on the part of any juror to obtain a new trial.” his attorneys wrote, according to the New York Post. “If Mr. Murdaugh proves his allegation that Ms. Hill communicated with the jury about the evidence presented by the defense during his murder trial, South Carolina and federal law require that Mr. Murdaugh receive a new trial, irrespective of whether the court believes the outcome of the trial would have been the same had Ms. Hill’s jury tampering not occurred.”

State prosecutors, however, argued in their own pre-trial filing that Murdaugh’s defense attorneys do have to prove the jury was swayed by Hill’s communications.

Murdaugh’s defense team also accused Hill of presenting false information to the judge to get a juror kicked off the panel because Hill thought that juror wouldn’t vote guilty. The defense team also alleged that Hill discussed Murdaugh’s guilt with jurors in an attempt to secure a conviction so she could get a book deal.

Specifically, the defense team argued that Hill falsely told Judge Clifton Newman that the female juror’s ex-husband had accused the juror in a Facebook post of getting drunk and talking about the case – even telling people she planned to vote not guilty. That juror was kicked off the panel on February 28, just before jury deliberations began. Hill wrote about the incident in the book she published.

Hill has denied the allegations.


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.

Murdaugh also pleaded guilty in September to 22 counts of financial fraud and money laundering and was sentenced to 27 years in prison for those crimes.

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