Murdaugh's lawyers allege that Rebecca Hill, the Colleton County Clerk of Court, repeatedly discussed his case with the jury in ways that made him appear guilty
The hearing comes after Murdaugh's attorneys claimed Rebecca Hill, the Colleton County Clerk of Court, tampered with the jury and “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," according to a motion for a new trial filed by Murdaugh’s defense attorneys Richard Harpootlian and James Griffin, which was previously reviewed by PEOPLE.
Last March, Murdaugh was found guilty of the 2021 murders of his wife, Maggie, 52, and youngest son, Paul, 22. Jurors deliberated for less than three hours before delivering the guilty verdicts. His surviving son Buster Murdaugh — who testified during the trial — was in the courtroom when the verdicts were read.
Murdaugh's defense team moved for a mistrial after the guilty verdicts were handed down, but the motion was quickly denied by the judge overseeing the case at the time.
"The evidence of guilt is overwhelming, and I deny the motion," state Circuit Judge Clifton Newman said at the time. Murdaugh was subsequently sentenced to two life sentences in prison for the murders.
Murdaugh's lawyers are now alleging that Hill had repeatedly referenced Murdaugh to the jury in ways that made him appear guilty. They also claim she made efforts to remove a juror she wasn’t confident would turn in a guilty verdict. Murdaugh’s attorneys also claim Hill “pressured the jurors to reach a quick verdict, telling them from the outset of their deliberations that it ‘shouldn’t take them long,’ “ the motion reads.
Earlier this month, South Carolina Supreme Court Justice Jean Toal ruled that Murdaugh's lawyers must prove that the alleged misconduct by Hill caused the guilty verdict and prejudice against Murdaugh, the Associated Press and The Philadelphia Inquirer report. The AP also reports that Judge Newman recused himself from the case last year.
In November, Murdaugh pleaded guilty to 22 financial crimes, including wire fraud, bank fraud, money laundering, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, bank fraud and more, the South Carolina Attorney General's office previously confirmed to PEOPLE.
His financial crimes victims included the family of his longtime housekeeper Gloria Satterfield, who died in a mysterious trip and fall at the Murdaugh estate.
“He's a modern-day monster," Attorney Eric Bland, who represented the Satterfield family and others, previously told PEOPLE. "He’s the devil."
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