AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF)– Who can forget the murder trial if disgraced former attorney, Alex Murdaugh? The jury deliberated for less than three hours before returning four guilty verdicts.
Someone who dealt with those jurors everyday is now sharing her story. I spoke with Colleton County Clerk of Court, Becky Jill, ahead of the release of her book, Behind the Doors of Justic: The Murdaugh Murders.
“I had heard that it was going to happen and it did.”
Becky Hill has a front row seat to all kinds of courtroom drama, but nothing could have prepared her for the media circus surrounding the very high profile Murdaugh murder trial.
“I tried to prepare myself for what it was going to be, but yet I was told by a very wise judge to treat it as if it were any other trial. And so we tried to do that. But also to extend our hospitality to every person who came into that courtroom.”
And that includes the jurors, who were under a partial sequestration.
“They would stay with me through lunch, I would take care of them all through the afternoon when the judge would be done for the day. But the attorneys and the judge just decided, because it was going to be such a long trial- and he was going put an order for the jury to obey his order not to watch any kind of television and talk to people, and it was a successful order. The jury absolutely followed his rule.”
And when that jury delivered a verdict after just three hours, it signaled “go time” for Becky- this time, in front of a nationwide television audience.
“There was about 15 minutes before that that I called a friend of my in Hampton County, she’s the Clerk of Court there, and I said ‘Melinda, I just don’t know if I can do this!’ And she said, ‘Honey, you can do it, you’re gonna be fine.’ And I did!”
Despite a bomb threat and heightened emotions all around, Becky never feared for her safety during the month-long trial.
“The courtroom is like a second home to me and it’s guarded by some very good security guards that we have. Also, we had a lot of prayer going on in that courthouse. I prayed everyday with my security, with my staff, and I ultimately feel like we were protected by things that are unseen.”
I also asked Becky about that one juror who was dismissed, but she told the judge she needed to get her eggs from the jury room! Remember that? Becky told me the back story and a whole lot more. You can see my full interview Tuesday at 12:30, on Jennie.