Alex Murdaugh’s attorneys Jim Griffin and Dick Harpootlian claim they have proof of jury tampering as they pursue a retrial for the murders of Paul and Maggie Murdaugh.
In the motion to suspend the appeal filed within the South Carolina Court of Appeals, Griffin and Harpootlian requested to file a motion for a new trial “based on after–discovered evidence.”
Murdaugh was convicted on both first-degree murder charges in March 2023 resulting in two life sentences.
During a press conference on Tuesday afternoon on the South Carolina State House grounds, Harpootlian and Griffin alleged that Colleton County Clerk of Court Rebecca Hill had “improper private communications” with jurors during Murdaugh’s trial.
Griffin alleged that he and Harpootlian received contact from multiple jurors after Hill self published her book on July 20, 2023.
The 238-page book titled Behind the Doors of Justice: The Murdaugh Murders recounts Hill’s experience during Murdaugh’s trial.
Griffin stated that jurors were separated in two rooms during the trial based on gender expression and that, “the comments that we’ve gotten under sworn affidavits come from the ladies room if you will, more so than the men’s room.”
Harpootlian and Griffin also claimed a juror was “coerced” into reaching a verdict before being allowed a smoke break.
“Once the jury went out they were told no more smoke breaks,” Harpootlian said during the press conference. “You people that want nicotine, you’re going to have to get a verdict first.”
When asked if Hill should be criminally charged and if she should lose her job, Harpootlian simply replied “no comment.”
In the motion acquired by the Lunashark research team, Murdaugh’s attorneys claim that Hill “tampered with the jury by advising them not to believe Murdaugh’s testimony and other evidence presented by the defense.”
The 65-page document cites 11 exhibits including emails, Facebook posts and juror affidavits.
The motion also stated that Hill, “instructed jurors not to be ‘misled’ by evidence” presented by the defense during trial and that she “pressured” jurors to reach a “quick guilty verdict.”
Murdaugh’s attorneys also claim that Hill told jurors “not to be ‘fooled by’” Murdaugh’s own testimony and that she participated in a “campaign to remove a juror she believed to be favorable to the defense.”
The motion also states that Hill actively pressured jurors to “secure for herself a book deal and media appearances that would not happen in the event of a mistrial.”
According to Murdaugh’s team, the Attorney General has 10 days to respond to the motion.
The full motion can be read here.
Sam is an award winning-journalist originally from Raleigh, North Carolina and currently living in Brooklyn, New York.
She graduated from Syracuse University in 2020 where she studied magazine journalism, photography, and sociology.
She joined Luna Shark Media in 2023 where she assists with research, producing, recording and editing for True Sunlight and Cup of Justice podcasts.
Through her detailed, ethical reporting and multimedia experience, Sam creates enterprise stories and works to unravel the truth around her.