COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCBD) – The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) released Thursday a joint statement with the South Carolina Attorney General’s Office regarding allegations over jury tampering in the Alex Murdaugh double murder trial.
South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson has called on SLED to investigate the allegations in which Murdaugh’s defense attorney said Colleton County Clerk of Court Rebecca Hill tampered with members of the jury in the weeks-long trial, including comments made for jurors to not believe Murdaugh’s own testimony.
“The State’s only vested interest is seeking the truth,” the joint statement read. “As with all investigations, SLED and the South Carolina Attorney General’s Office are committed to a fair and impartial investigation and will continue to follow the facts wherever they lead.”
Murdaugh’s attorneys Dick Harpootlian and Jim Griffin files a 65-page motion to the S.C. Court of Appeals and a letter to U.S. Attorney Adair Boroughs accusing Hill of jury tampering and requesting a federal investigation.
“Defendant Richard Alexander Murdaugh…hereby moves the Court for a new trial after discovering that the Clerk of Court tampered with the jury by advising them not to believe Murdaugh’s testimony and other evidence presented by the defense, pressuring them to reach a quick guilty verdict, and even misrepresenting critical and material information to the trial judge in her campaign to remove a juror she believed to be favorable to the defense,” the filing stated.
Defense attorneys claim Hill “instructed jurors not be ‘misled’ by evidence presented in Murdaugh’s defense and “not be ‘fooled’ by Murdaugh’s testimony.”
The filing also accuses Hill of having “frequent private conversations with the jury foreperson” and asking jurors for their opinion about Murdaugh’s guilt or innocence.
Attorney Dick Harpootlian said they hope to receive approval for a hearing to investigate these allegations, possibly by the end of the month.
Hartpootlian said he was told the Attorney General has 10 days to respond to the filing.