Alex Murdaugh's defense seeks new trial based on claims of jury tampering

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WALTERBORO, S.C. — Lawyers for convicted murderer Alex Murdaugh filed a motion Tuesday seeking a new trial, alleging they had uncovered evidence of jury tampering.

Rebecca Hill, the Colleton County 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,” attorneys Richard “Dick” Harpootlian and Jim Griffin claim in the motion.

Harpootlian said at a news conference Tuesday that they collected sworn testimony from two jurors and interviewed a third to learn that Hill, an elected official serving her first term, had had “improper, private communications” with some jurors outside the courtroom.

“They’re not someone who should ever talk about the case,” Harpootlian said of the clerk. “I’ve never heard it happen, and I’ve been doing this a very long time.”