Juror Testifies Clerk’s Comments Influenced Guilty Verdict in Alex Murdaugh Murder Trial

Columbia, South Carolina—A juror in the murder trial of Alex Murdaugh, who was convicted of killing his wife and son, testified that comments made by Colleton County Clerk of Court, Rebecca “Becky” Hill, influenced her verdict. The juror, identified as Juror Z, stated that Hill’s remarks made it seem like Murdaugh was already guilty. This revelation came as part of a hearing to determine if Murdaugh should be granted a new trial, with his attorneys alleging that Hill tampered with the jury by discussing the case inappropriately and pressuring them to deliberate quickly.

Hill has denied these allegations, and another juror questioned on Monday, known as Juror C, testified that he was not influenced by her comments. The hearing also included the testimony of an additional 12 jurors from the original trial. However, the judge has restricted reporting on their biographical information. The defense team for Murdaugh claims that Hill misrepresented information about a dismissed juror and engaged in tampering to secure a book deal and media appearances that would not have happened in the event of a mistrial.

The South Carolina Attorney General’s office, which led the prosecution against Murdaugh, has urged the court to deny the motion for a new trial. The judge has set aside three days for the evidentiary hearing, but she hopes it can be completed in just one day. In addition to the tampering allegations, Murdaugh’s attorneys had expressed a desire to call alternate and dismissed jurors, as well as prosecutors and Judge Clifton Newman, as witnesses. However, the hearing will only focus on the 12 jurors who rendered the guilty verdict and Hill.

Murdaugh was sentenced to two consecutive life sentences for the murders of his wife and son. His appeal of the murder conviction has been suspended until the outcome of his quest for a new trial. During the original trial, prosecutors argued that Murdaugh killed his family members to distract from and delay investigations into his financial crimes. Despite the guilty verdict, Murdaugh maintains his innocence and denies committing the murders.

The allegations of jury tampering against Hill were first raised by Murdaugh’s defense team last September. Hill denied the allegations and is currently under investigation by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division for her alleged interactions with the jury and the alleged use of her elected position for personal gain. The judge has made it clear that questions during the hearing will only focus on what happened during the murder trial and not explore the faults of individual witnesses.

In conclusion, the ongoing hearing will determine if Alex Murdaugh will be granted a new trial based on allegations of jury tampering by the Colleton County Clerk of Court, Rebecca Hill. The testimony of jurors has shed light on potential influence by Hill’s comments, while Hill herself has denied any wrongdoing. The judge will weigh the evidence and decide whether a new trial is warranted.