No leniency for Pyscho killers: Judge denies Alex Murdaugh’s request for trial reconsideration

On Monday, a judge refused Alex Murdaugh’s request for a second trial in the murders of his wife and son.

Murdaugh’s counsel filed a motion last year alleging that Colleton County Clerk of Court Rebecca Hill tampered with the jury for the murder trial in order to safeguard a book deal. Judge Jean Toal dismissed the motion. Hill, who testified on the move, denied tampering with the jury.

No leniency for Pyscho killers: Judge denies Alex Murdaugh's request for trial reconsideration

Murdaugh was sentenced to two consecutive life sentences after a jury convicted him in March of murdering his wife, Margaret “Maggie” Murdaugh, 52, and son, Paul Murdaugh, 22.

They were discovered dead from numerous gunshot wounds near the dog kennels on the family’s hunting estate in 2021.

Prosecutors claimed Murdaugh murdered his wife and son to gain sympathy and divert from his financial crimes.

Murdaugh was sentenced to 27 years in jail in November after pleading guilty to 22 counts of offenses, including fraud and money laundering. He was accused of plotting to steal millions of dollars from his law company and customers.

Murdaugh’s attorneys filed a motion for a retrial in September, claiming that Hill “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.”

Several jurors, including Hill, spoke during the motion hearing on Monday.

A few jurors believe that Hill instructed them to pay attention to Murdaugh’s manner and actions while he testified in his trial. Hill rejected the charges, stating that she only gave the jurors a pep talk on the day Murdaugh took the witness, saying, “Pay attention, it’s going to be a big day today.”

No leniency for Pyscho killers: Judge denies Alex Murdaugh's request for trial reconsideration

Hill, who co-authored the book “Behind the Doors of Justice: The Murdaugh Murders,” which was removed from publication due to plagiarism claims, stated that she wrote things in the book that were not factual.

All of the jurors said that they stood by their verdict and were not persuaded by anything Hill did.

Toal chastised Hill for her activities, claiming that she was “attracted by the siren call of celebrity,” but determined that they had no impact on the verdict.

Toal also told the court that she read the entire trial transcript and believed the verdict was just.

“Each member of this jury took their involuntary assignment extremely seriously. They obeyed the court’s orders. “They followed the oath,” the judge stated.

South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson stated that it was “time to move on and forward.”

“As with all cases, the Attorney General’s office and SLED’s (South Carolina Law Enforcement Division) only mission is to seek the truth and deliver justice, wherever the facts lead,” the attorney general said in a statement.


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