South Carolina agency investigates Alex Murdaugh jury tampering claims
South Carolina officials announced Thursday they’re investigating allegations the clerk in Alex Murdaugh’s murder trial tampered with jurors, and Murdaugh’s defense lawyers objected, asking the FBI to step in.
State Attorney General Alan Wilson asked the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) to probe the claims made Tuesday in an explosive defense motion for a new trial.
“The state’s only vested interest is seeking the truth,” Wilson and SLED said in a joint statement.
SLED was the lead agency that investigated Murdaugh for the fatal shooting of his wife, Maggie, and his son, Paul, in June 2021, and Wilson’s office prosecuted the case, winning a jury conviction after a six-week trial.
Murdaugh, 55, who has insisted he’s innocent, was sentenced in March to two life terms.
The announcement from state officials came two days after Murdaugh’s defense lawyers, Jim Griffin and Dick Harpootlian, accused the trial clerk of misconduct and asked for an FBI investigation.
“That’s their decision, not our decision. We made our request,” Griffin told Fox News Digital. “Our concern is that the results won’t be accepted in the public domain because of SLED and the attorney general’s inherent conflict of interest involving Alex’s case.”
The stunning motion accuses Colleton County Clerk Rebecca “Becky” Hill of trying to sway the jury toward a conviction so she could score a lucrative book deal and secure media appearances.
She allegedly discussed Murdaugh’s guilt with jurors before deliberations began, pressured them to reach a quick verdict and lied to the trial judge in a campaign to remove a panelist who sympathized with the defense.
“We are shocked by the revelations of Ms. HiIl’s conduct that jurors provided to us in their sworn affidavits,” Griffin told Fox News Digital. “Alex, like the rest of us, was dismayed and upset, and we look forward to our opportunity to address these issues before the court.”
Hill has retained attorneys Will Lewis and Justin Bamberg in the matter. They declined to comment.
Fox Nation aired its hit series, “The Fall of the House of Murdaugh,” last week, which includes an interview with Hill.
Her memoir, “Behind the Doors of Justice: The Murdaugh Murders,” was released Aug. 1.
Her co-author, Neil Gordon, told Court TV the pair self-published the work and each had to put up $15,000 of their own money.