(USNewsBreak.com) – On March 2, 2023, famed attorney Alex Murdaugh was found guilty of murdering his wife and son in 2021. He was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. He recently applied for a new trial on the grounds that a court clerk improperly influenced the jury against him. A judge recently ruled on the matter.
On Monday, January 29, Judge Jean Toal denied Murdaugh’s request. She ruled that he had not proven the court clerk’s comments were enough to sway the jury’s decision. Toal had some strong words for the clerk, Rebecca Hill, as well, saying she had been “attracted by the siren call of celebrity” and hoped the guilty verdict would help her sell a book that she co-wrote with another author about the Murdaugh murders. The two reportedly earned $100,000 from its sales.
— The Hill (@thehill) January 30, 2024
Hill is accused of telling jurors not to let themselves be “fooled” by Murdaugh’s defense and “to watch him closely.” One juror, who was not identified, said the clerk’s comments had influenced their decision, saying, “It felt like she made it seem like he was already guilty.” Of the other 11 jurors, nine said they didn’t speak with the clerk about the case, and two said they did, but their verdicts had nothing to do with the comments.
Judge Toal also accused Hill of lacking some credibility in her testimony. She is under investigation for potentially swaying the votes but has not been charged with any crimes pertaining to her alleged role.
Murdaugh’s legal team has said it will appeal the ruling and contends that an appellate court will see the law differently. However, the prosecutor in the case, Creighton Waters, said, “The evidence is overwhelming from the people who mattered,” saying that there were 11 jurors who were “strong as a rock who said this verdict was not influenced,” per The Associated Press.
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