South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson has requested an investigation into allegations of jury tampering in the murder trial of Alex Murdaugh. The defense team accused Colleton County clerk of court Rebecca Hill of influencing the jury towards a conviction. In a motion for a new trial, defense attorneys claimed that Hill advised jurors not to believe Murdaugh’s testimony and other defense evidence, pressured them for a quick guilty verdict, and misrepresented critical information to remove a juror favorable to the defense.
After a six-week trial, Murdaugh was found guilty of murdering his wife, Maggie, and his son, Paul, at their hunting estate in July 2021. He received two life sentences and faces over 100 pending charges for other crimes. State Attorney General Wilson stated that the investigation aims to seek the truth and ensure a fair and impartial process.
Hill and her lawyers have not yet responded to the allegations. In a letter to U.S. Attorney Adair Boroughs, Murdaugh’s defense team requested a federal investigation into potential witness tampering and violation of their client’s civil rights during the trial. The defense team also asked the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) to refrain from initiating any investigation, citing their alleged bias in maintaining Murdaugh’s conviction.
The defense motion outlined instances of alleged jury tampering, including conversations between Hill and jurors, private chats with the jury foreperson, and discouraging jurors from being swayed by Murdaugh’s testimony. The motion also accused Hill of fabricating a Facebook post from a juror’s ex-husband, resulting in the juror’s removal before deliberations. After the trial, Hill wrote a book about her involvement and allegedly helped jurors appear on television shows to discuss their experiences.
The investigation by SLED comes in the wake of the defense team’s request for a federal investigation and highlights the ongoing controversy surrounding the trial.