When the evidentiary hearing in Alex Murdaugh’s quest for a new trial is finished, Justice Jean Toal will have heard testimony from all 12 of the deliberating jurors as she tries to suss out whether or not Murdaugh is entitled to a new trial based on allegations that Colleton County Clerk of Court Becky Hill tampered with the jury during the six-week trial that took place in early 2023. Ahead of the January 29, 2024, evidentiary hearing, we thought it was important to compile what we now know about the jurors and their statements to both the defense team and to officers from SLED investigating the jury tampering allegations.

The Original Jury

When jury selection in Murdaugh’s double homicide trial ended on January 25, 2023, there were 12 jurors and 6 alternates. This is the order in which they were chosen. The following list represents their perceived sex and race. You can hear the final jury selection proceedings here.

While the jury reportedly elected Juror 589 to be the foreperson at the beginning of the trial, judges in South Carolina pick the foreperson. On February 16, Judge Clifton Newman selected juror 826 to be the foreperson.

Original Jurors

785 – (Eggs) Replaced by 254 For Cause

572

578

220 – Replaced by 441 Then 530 (COVID)

528 – Replaced by 326 (COVID)

193

589

630 (Egg Lady’s Tenant)

826

544

729

864

Original Alternates 

741

254

326

441 – Replaced by 530 (illness)

530 – Replaced 441 (illness)

548 – Removed (illness)

As the six-week trial played out, there were several jurors who were dismissed…

Jurors 220 and 528 contracted Covid in mid-February and were replaced by Alternates 441 and 326. A week later, Juror 441 fell ill and was replaced by 530. Alternate 548 was dismissed after a trip to the emergency room.  Juror 785 — the egg-lady juror — was dismissed on the morning of March 2, 2023 and was replaced by Alternate 254. That left the following jury makeup as deliberations began on the evening of March 2, 2023.

The Deliberating Jury 

254

572  

578  

530  From Alternate Pool

326 From Alternate Pool

193

589 The “elected” foreperson

630 The egg lady’s tenant 

826 Appointed foreperson by Newman

544  

729

864

The Last Alternate

741  

The Juror Statements

Murdaugh’s defense team held a press conference on Sept. 5 alleging that Colleton County Clerk of Court Becky Hill had tampered with the jury and included a filing with several juror affidavits. The state replied later, including several statements that the jurors made to SLED (the State Law Enforcement Division) when they were interviewed as part of the investigation into jury tampering allegations.  Information about the jurors include denoting the foreperson, other facts discovered via court documents, and a notation of where each juror reportedly spent their breaks when not in the court room. According to Murdaugh’s pre-hearing brief, the jurors were split across two rooms during breaks — the actual jury room and Judge Perry Buckner’s office.

We have included the affidavit made by Alternate 741, but this juror will not testify during the hearing because she was not part of the deliberations as an alternate.

254 | Breaks In Jury Room

572 | Breaks In Jury Room

578 | Breaks In Jury Room

Juror 578 did not provide statements to neither the defense nor to SLED, but he is under subpoena to appear during the hearing.

530 | From Alternate Pool | Breaks In Buckner’s Office 

326 | From Alternate Pool | Breaks In Buckner’s Office

193 | Breaks In Buckner’s Office

589 | The Original Foreperson | Breaks In Jury Room

630 | The egg lady’s tenant | Breaks In Jury Room

826 | The Appointed Foreperson | Breaks In Buckner’s Office

544 | Breaks In Buckner’s Office

729 | Breaks In Buckner’s Office

864 | Breaks In Buckner’s Office

The Lone Alternate

741 | Affidavit from Dick’s Paralegal Holli Miller | Breaks In Jury Room

Contact Beth Braden

Beth Braden

Beth Braden is an award-winning journalist whose mastery of the deep dive is evident in her work.

In addition to Braden’s experience writing about local government, crime and courts, and engaging features from her home state of Tennessee, her byline appears on several internationally-known websites. She is passionate about communicating complex information in an easy-to-understand manner and loves to pore over public records.

Braden joined Luna Shark Media in 2023 armed with a love of truth as she seeks out data from the darkest places, drags it into the light, and provides illuminating analysis. In her spare time, she enjoys quilting, strange museums, and good cups of coffee.

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