Alex Murdaugh seeks new trial in murders of wife and son, claiming clerk tampered with jury

Alex Murdaugh seeks new trial in murders of wife and son, claiming clerk tampered with jury

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Convicted murderer and disgraced former lawyer Alex Murdaugh is seeking a new trial in South Carolina, alleging the court clerk tampered with the jury as his lawyers claim there is “newly discovered evidence” in the case.

Murdaugh, who is still facing charges of financial impropriety related to his family’s law firm and the death of his former housekeeper, was convicted in March of killing his wife, Maggie, and son Paul in 2021.

Attorneys for the 55-year-old alleged in a new court filing that Rebecca Hill, Colleton County’s Clerk of Court, engaged in intentional misconduct — deliberately violating a defendant’s constitutional right to a fair trial before an impartial jury — to secure financial gain for herself.

Hill published a book on the case called “Behind the Doors of Justice: The Murdaugh Murders” in July.

Murdaugh was convicted of both murders after a six-week trial in which he testified in his own defense. He was sentenced to life behind bars. He denied any involvement in the killings.

“I respect this court, but I’m innocent,” Murdaugh told the judge ahead of sentencing. “I would never under any circumstances hurt my wife Maggie, and I would never under any circumstances hurt my son.”

Now Murdaugh’s attorneys claim Hill “instructed jurors not to be ‘misled’ by evidence presented in Mr. Murdaugh’s defense. She told jurors not to be ‘fooled by’ Mr. Murdaugh’s testimony in his own defense,” they said in a court filing. 

The new filing contains sworn affidavits from three of the jurors, identified only by their numbers.

“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,” Murdaugh’s attorneys wrote.

Defense attorneys Jim Griffin and Dick Harpootlian said in a statement they also asked the South Carolina U.S. attorney to open a federal investigation. They spoke at a news conference this afternoon.

–Elizabeth Campbell contributed to this report.

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