Welcome to our live feed from day one of the double homicide trial at the heart of the ‘Murdaugh Murders‘ crime and corruption saga in Walterboro, South Carolina.
Billed as the Palmetto State’s ‘Trial of the Century,’ media from across the nation have descended on this small Lowcountry town as we await the fate of Alex Murdaugh, whose family ran this area like its own fiefdom for more than a century.
He pleaded not guilty. Jury selection in his trial begins today.
Below is our live feed from the trial …
At the opening gavel of each day of the trial, we will launch two new polls asking readers to weigh in on 1) whether they think Alex Murdaugh is guilty or not guilty of murdering his late wife, Maggie Murdaugh and, 2) whether they think he is guilty or not guilty of murdering his late son, Paul Murdaugh.
The goal of our daily polls is to track how perception of Murdaugh’s guilt or innocence related to the murders of his two alleged victims changes over the course of the trial.
Here are today’s polls …
Based on the information you have now, is Alex Murdaugh is guilty or not guilty of the murder of Maggie Murdaugh?
Based on the information you have now, is Alex Murdaugh is guilty or not guilty of the murder of Paul Murdaugh?
For those of you keeping score at home, in our pre-trial poll a whopping 85 percent of respondents said they believed Murdaugh was guilty of killing his wife and 83 percent said they believed he was guilty of killing his son. Only 3 percent believed he was not guilty of both.
The rest were unsure …
9:45 p.m. EST – In case you haven’t seen it, here is the full witness list referenced earlier in the feed …
(Via: Colleton County Court House)
6:05 p.m. EST – An afternoon update …
(Click to view)
5:02 p.m. EST – Amanda Loveday, PR for Murdaugh and his legal team sent over two additional motions filed today on his behalf. Stay tuned to FITSNews for additional details.
4:24 p.m. EST – Click here for new article from Jenn Wood regarding the last minute motion filed by Murdaugh’s defense team.
2:48 p.m. EST – New article from Will Folks regarding media access at the trial …
1:56 p.m. EST – A new motion was filed this morning by Murdaugh’s defense team.
1:25 p.m. EST – Court is in recess for lunch until 2:30 p.m. EST.
11:53 a.m. EST – Judge Newman is asking the jurors if they know any of the potential witnesses. Some names he has listed include: Eddie Smith, Barbara Mixon, Shelly Smith, Blanca Turibiate Simpson, Rogan Gibson, Randy Murdaugh, Jeanne Seckinger, Annette Griswold, Mark Ball, Lee Cope, John E. Parker, Chris Wilson, Jason Chapman, Ronnie Crosby, Nolan Tuten, Nathan Tuten, Mark Tinsley, Eric Bland, CB Rowe, Nancy Drawdy, Morgan Doughty, Mary Dempsey, Donna Eason, Gray Laffitte Henderson, Norris Laffitte, Kristy Jarrell, John Peters, Kashyap Patel, Jan Malinowski, Chad Westendorf, Dr. Luis Vega, Arthur Badger, Jordan Jinks, Natasha Thomas, Hunter Wilson, John Marvin Murdaugh, Buster Murdaugh, the Branstetter family, Russell Laffitte, Charles Laffitte II, Charles Laffitte III, Jamien Risher, Liz Murdaugh, and Lynn Murdaugh Goettee.
11:44 a.m. EST – Judge Newman has asked anyone who has been represented by any attorney at PMPED or the Parker Law Group or if they have attended any functions events or gatherings hosted by the firm or any of the respective families to stand. Juror number 203 has been excused as he has and stated he could not be impartial.
11:37 a.m. EST – Judge Newman has asked all jurors who have known Murdaugh or been represented by him, to please stand. Two jurors stated Murdaugh represented them in some legal issues and it might affect their ability to be impartial.
11:35 a.m. EST – Lead defense attorney, Dick Harpootlian, has introduced himself and his team to the jury.
11:34 a.m. EST – Lead prosecutor for the state, Creighton Waters, has introduced himself and his team to the jury.
11:29 a.m. EST – Judge Newman is asking whether or not any of the jurors who have heard about the case have made up their minds about it.
“Based on what you have heard on this case have you formed an opinion on the guilt or innocence of Mr. Murdaugh?”Judge Clifton Newman
11:22 a.m. EST – Judge Newman is asking all jurors who have identified themselves as having heard details about the case and requesting they reveal from which source they received their information about the case. Some saying local news, Law and Crime network, podcasts, Facebook, and friends and family.
11:17 a.m. EST – Some jurors are being exempted and some jurors are having their service transferred to another time.
11:15 a.m. EST – I mean … not surprising, right?
11:03 a.m. EST – Jury selection is ongoing. Judge Newman is currently going through exemptions of service for individual jurors. Some examples are if a prospective juror has a child under 7 years of age and no one to care for them or if a prospective juror is self-employed and cannot afford to be away from their job.
10:42 a.m.EST –
9:33 a.m. EST – There will be no video livestream of jury selection …
9:10 a.m. EST – Video of Alex Murdaugh’s arrival …
8:59 a.m. EST – Alex Murdaugh has arrived at the Colleton County courthouse …
8:45 a.m. EST – Alex Murdaugh’s defense team has arrived at the Colleton County courthouse. Attorneys Dick Harpootlian, Jim Griffin and Margaret Fox were spotted hopping out of a white Suburban. Today is Harpootlian’s 74th birthday, by the way.
(Click to view)
8:27 a.m. EST – In what appears to be the first significant controversy of the trial – which has yet to even officially begin – members of the media are being told they are not allowed to bring cell phones into the courtroom (despite a court order explicitly permitting them). Digging on this now to see what the rules are going to be. I penned a column a few weeks ago on the media access component of the trial. To read that story, click here.
8:06 a.m. EST – That reminds me, stay tuned for a TON of coverage on the jury selection process later today …
7:59 a.m EST – Some thoughts on what to expect today: Jury selection is obviously going to be an ordeal in a case of this magnitude. It could take a day, it could take all week. But I wouldn’t expect to hear opening arguments anytime soon. We just don’t know how long it will take to seat the twelve-person panel (and anywhere from 4-8 alternates)… and we won’t know until the process gets started. I am informed both prosecutors in the office of attorney general Alan Wilson and Murdaugh’s defense attorneys have set up ‘war rooms’ devoted exclusively to the jury selection process – Will Folks
7:33 a.m EST – FITSNews has a front row seat …
7:10 a.m. EST – If you haven’t already, be sure to check out our page with information on all the key players in this unfolding Southern gothic drama …
7:00 a.m. EST – About to throw down some Mamma Mikki’s! food court breakfast for the win!
(Click to view)
6:52 a.m. EST – We are hearing up to 300 media outlets will be in Walterboro covering the trial this week.
6:45 a.m. EST – ICYMI: Yesterday, Alex Murdaugh’s attorneys – Dick Harpootlian and Jim Griffin – issued a news released indicating they would not be commenting to members of the media during the upcoming proceedings. Here is that statement:
“In order to preserve the integrity of the trial process, our team will not be providing any further statements or responses to anything that occurs at trial, which commences with jury selection tomorrow, Monday, January 23. We are fully prepared to challenge the State’s allegations, and to demonstrate the weaknesses in the State’s case before a Colleton County jury. Alex looks forward to this opportunity to clear his name of these heinous charges so that the Attorney General can finally begin looking for the actual killer or killers of Alex’s beloved wife and son.”
6:20 a.m. EST – According to VINELink.com, Alex Murdaugh has left the Alvin S. Glenn detention center and is en route to the court house in Walterboro, S.C.
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