Lawyer convicted of murdering wife and son seeks new trial

By 
 September 5, 2023

CNN reported in March that South Carolina attorney Alex Murdaugh was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the murder of his wife and adult son.

However, Murdaugh's attorneys have announced this week that they are seeking another trial based on new evidence. 

Court clerk accused of tampering with jury

According to CNN, a motion with the South Carolina Court of Appeals on Tuesday alleges misconduct by Clerk of Court Rebecca "Becky" Hill.

Specifically, Hill is accused of having "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."

"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," the filing continued.

"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," it added.

Attorneys point to affidavits and excerpts from clerk's book

CNN noted that the motion points to three sworn affidavits, one of which came from a juror while another was obtained from a dismissed juror.

What's more, the motion also pointed to excerpts in Hill's book titled "Behind the Doors of Justice: The Murdaugh Murders."

Jim Griffin and Dick Harpootlian are Murdaugh's attorneys, and they held a press conference discussing his request for a new trial.

State and federal investigation sought

"When I shared with him the affidavits, he’s a lawyer, he was astonished, he was shaking, he was in disbelief," Griffin told reporters.

Harpootlian declared, "The allegations in the petition filed today speak for themselves, but we believe they explain a number of peculiarities in the six-week trial."

In addition to seeking a new trial for their client, Griffin and Harpootlian are calling for federal and state authorities to investigate.

CNN noted that South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson has issued a statement explaining that his office is "reviewing the defense’s latest motion and will respond through the legal process at the appropriate time."

 

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