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Alex Murdaugh is denied appeal over jury communications

Justice Jean Toal ruled that attorneys for Murdaugh had failed to prove that comments by the clerk had directly influenced the jury's verdict.
Alex Murdaugh is denied appeal over jury communications
Posted at 5:01 PM, Jan 29, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-01 11:03:00-05

A judge has ruled Alex Murdaugh will not get a new trial following revelations about communications between a clerk of the court and members of the jury.

Justice Jean Toal ruled that attorneys for Murdaugh had failed to prove that comments by the clerk had directly influenced the jury's verdict decisions.

Murdaugh, who was sentenced to life in prison without parole for the killing of his wife and son in 2021, appealed his case on the basis of jury tampering.

Attorneys for Murdaugh claimed Colleton County Clerk Becky Hill made prejudicial comments to the jury before they delivered their verdict in the case.

The court heard testimony Monday from all 12 members of the jury who convicted Murdaugh.

One of the jurors testified that she was influenced by the clerk of courts to deliver that guilty verdict.

The juror testified that communications from the clerk about Murdaugh "made it seem like he was already guilty."

The juror also said that pressure from the other members of the jury influenced her decision to vote for a guilty verdict.

All 11 other jurors testified that they based their decisions solely on the evidence presented during the trial.

The defense argued that they should only have to prove that jury tampering had occurred — saying that even that may have been enough influence to prevent a truly fair trial for Murdaugh.

Murdaugh may make other appeals regardless. His attorneys are expected to argue that the judge allowed testimony on financial crimes that were not linked to the killings.

SEE MORE: Alex Murdaugh tries to prove jury tampering led to murder conviction


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