The South Carolina Court of Appeals has granted Alex Murdaugh’s motion to suspend his appeal of his murder convictions, marking his first victory in his fight for a new trial. The case has been remanded back to the circuit court for a hearing regarding allegations of jury tampering involving the clerk of court, Rebecca Hill.
Murdaugh’s defense attorneys, Dick Harpootlian and Jim Griffin, released a statement expressing their satisfaction with the recent ruling. They stated their intention to proceed expeditiously and seek a full-blown evidentiary hearing to address the serious allegations pertaining to improper jury communications by the Clerk of Court.
Alex Murdaugh, 55, is currently serving life without the possibility of parole for the June 7, 2021 murders of his wife, Maggie Murdaugh, and youngest son, Paul Murdaugh. Harpootlian and Griffin filed a motion last month, claiming that Clerk of Court Rebecca Hill instructed jurors to not be misled by evidence presented in Murdaugh’s defense and told them not to be fooled by Murdaugh’s testimony.
The defense team’s motion also accused Hill of having frequent private conversations with the jury foreperson and fabricating a story to remove a juror she believed might not vote guilty. The motion includes depositions from members of the jury detailing Hill’s alleged behavior.
Harpootlian and Griffin further alleged that Hill was seeking a book deal and media appearances that would not happen in the event of a mistrial. Hill had previously released a memoir titled “Behind the Doors of Justice: The Murdaugh Murders,” which detailed her relationship with the Murdaugh family and her service during the trial.