Murdaughs

‘Murdaugh Murders’ Appeal: New Trial Sought Based On ‘Discovered Evidence’

Attorneys for convicted killer hosting press conference this week …

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Attorneys for convicted murderer Alex Murdaugh announced today they are filing a motion seeking a new trial based on newly discovered evidence in connection with the case. Details of this evidence will be discussed during a press conference scheduled for this coming Tuesday (September 5, 2023) at 2:30 p.m. EST on the steps of the South Carolina court of appeals.

Murdaugh’s attorneys – led by state senator Dick Harpootlian and Jim Griffin – did not say what new evidence they had uncovered. Nor did their media advisory distinguish whether the evidence in question related to the crime or the ensuing trial.

Griffin previously hinted at alleged jury tampering in a nationally televised interview last week.

Murdaugh, 55, a disbarred attorney and accused/ admitted fraudster from Hampton, S.C., was found guilty by a Colleton County jury of the graphic 2021 murders of his wife – 52-year-old Maggie Murdaugh – and younger son, 22-year-old Paul Murdaugh, at the conclusion of a six-week trial in Walterboro, S.C.

He has been incarcerated at an undisclosed location within the S.C. Department of Corrections (SCDC) system since March 3, 2023.

Murdaugh’s trial garnered international attention given the gruesomeness of the crime – as well as his status as a member of the once-powerful “House of Murdaugh,” a family which ran the Palmetto Lowcountry like a fiefdom for nearly a century. Three Murdaughs held the post of S.C. fourteenth circuit solicitor between 1920-2006 – and Murdaugh himself was a badge-carrying assistant solicitor at the time of the murders.

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The evidence against Murdaugh was strong – but circumstantial. Still, the jury deliberated for only a few hours before returning its verdict. The following day, S.C. circuit court judge Clifton Newman handed down a pair of life sentences in the case.

Murdaugh’s attorneys filed a notice of appeal six days later – on March 9, 2023 – however they have yet to formally submit a document articulating the grounds upon which they believe their client’s conviction should be overturned. That’s not on them, though. They are still waiting for court reporters to provide the full transcript of the six-week trial.

It’s unknown what the newly discovered evidence is, but in an appearance with News Nation’s Chris Cuomo on August 31, 2023, Griffin indicated it could be related to the jury that convicted his client. Griffin told Cuomo Murdaugh’s legal team had been busy interviewing the jurors who served during the lengthy trial.

“We’re still waiting on the final transcripts so we can prepare the briefs,” Griffin told Cuomo. “Frankly, we have been working very diligently interviewing jurors and the information that we have unearthed so far has, in my experience as a lawyer, been unprecedented.”

“I don’t want to say any more about that,” Griffin added.

Pressed by Cuomo for more details, Griffin responded, “I promise you, you’ll be hearing a lot more about it in the very near future. There (are) serious questions as to whether this jury was subjected to outside influences during the case.”

(Click to View)

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Murdaugh’s trial had plenty of strange moments. During the trial, four jurors were replaced with alternates due to Covid-19 or illness, but the dismissal of a fifth juror by Newman midway through closing arguments had everyone buzzing.

Newman removed the juror in question for allegedly having improper conversations with three individuals regarding “evidence and testimony at that point in the trial.” The juror compounded the problem by allegedly lying to Newman about these communications – violating his order that jurors not discuss the case with anyone (or each other).

Following the trial’s conclusion, Columbia, S.C. attorney Joe McCulloch – a fixture at the Murdaugh trial – issued a statement on behalf of the juror asking the public and members of the media to stop trying to contact her.

“I am reaching out to the press and public today on behalf of juror No. 785 who was excused from the jury in the State v. Murdaugh case just prior to deliberations,” McCulloch said in the statement. “I am requesting that everyone respect her privacy at both her home and her place of work. While other jurors have chosen to comment, which is their prerogative, that is not her desire at this time.”

Most believed Murdaugh’s appeal would focus on the controversial admissibility of evidence related to his alleged financial crimes. However, as FITSNews previously reported, sources familiar with the situation say defense attorneys may have an “ace up their sleeve” on another subject.

Whatever cards wind up getting played, finding a majority of appeals court judges – or supreme court justices – to overturn Murdaugh’s conviction remains a steep climb, according to Palmetto State lawyers with whom we spoke.

A media advisory from Murdaugh spokeswoman Amanda Loveday stated copies of the filing will be distributed Tuesday morning prior to the press conference. Count on FITSNews to provide details of the filing as well as coverage of the press conference as the madness that surrounds the ‘Murdaugh Murders’ crime and corruption saga continues to unfold.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR …

Jenn Wood (Provided)

Jenn Wood is FITSNews’ incomparable research director. She’s also the producer of the FITSFiles and Cheer Incorporated podcasts and leading expert on all things Murdaugh/ South Carolina justice. A former private investigator with a criminal justice degree, evildoers beware, Jenn Wood is far from your average journalist! A deep dive researcher with a passion for truth and a heart for victims, this mom of two is pretty much a superhero in FITSNews country. Did we mention she’s married to a rocket scientist? (Lucky guy!) Got a story idea or a tip for Jenn? Email her at jenn@fitsnews.com.

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Jenn Wood

12 comments

Jackie September 4, 2023 at 10:18 am

Sounds like lawyers milking another couple million out of their client … is it a coincidence that nobody has been shot to death in Hampton/Colleton Counties since he’s been imprisoned?

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SubZeroIQ September 4, 2023 at 2:29 pm

People have been stabbed to death and their house burned while Alex Murdaugh (“AM”) was/still is in prison. AM is not the root of all evil; the love of money is. And neither AM nor his family holds/held a monopoly on the love of money.
It’s not as if there had been a series of look-alike murders “in Hampton/Colleton Counties” which suddenly stopped with AM’s incarceration.
For the love of God, please stop hating on a man who might, God willing, turn out to be an innocent grieving widower and father.
FYI, if you listened carefully to Corey Fleming’s (“CF”) state guilty plea, they were only two incidents of wrong-doing by CF which the Prosecution milked into 20-or-so indictments. My analysis of the first one confirms my suspicious that most personal injury (“PI”) lawyers in South Carolina (“SC”) get rich by faking cases and getting the defense lawyer hired by the insurance company to roll over and pay much for an imaginary claim then get half the fee.
This is only MY conclusion: Jean Folkes (“JF”) is a cousin to the maid of Eve Fleming (“EF”), CF’s lawyer wife. JF’s cousin’s husband/boyfriend physically abused a child by hitting with a heavy object/stomping on the child’s forearm, causing comminuted fracture of both the radius and the ulna. EF is a bleeding heart or she would not have been a public defender. Instead of reporting the abuser, EF wanted to help the child out; so, she got the child’s cousin to sue EF (a precursor to AM’s basically suing himself for Gloria Satterfield’s death) so the child’s medical treatment gets paid for. Whom did they get to file the suit? Why AM of course.
That is why AM gave CF half of AM’s 40% contingency fee.
The child gets necessary medical treatment, three lawyers (AM, CF and EF’s insurance defense lawyer) make a good bit of money; and everyone “wins” EXCEPT the rest of us whose insurance rates go up.
I am NOT in any way condoning AM’s or CF’s financial crimes. All I am saying is: insurance fraud (or at even mere exaggeration of claims) by PI lawyers if NOT acceptable. But there is a world of difference between insurance fraud and murder. Capice?

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VERITAS Top fan September 4, 2023 at 7:46 pm

Subzero IQ, you are in the same boat as Buster Murdaugh, speeding down the River of Denial. You’re going to crash. It’s only a matter of time.

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SubZeroIQ September 4, 2023 at 10:43 pm

If there is, God forbid, a boat crash “down the River of Denial,” I pray I won’t get killed before I testify it was Veritas, not I, piloting that boat.

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paige ward Top fan September 4, 2023 at 10:58 am

Jury tampering would not prove his innocence but could grant a new trial.

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Cholly September 4, 2023 at 6:37 pm

Who is paying for this nonsense?
First, Jim was chastised by Judge Newsome for unethical behavior on Twitter during the trial.
Second, these are the same people who said Alex had an ironclad alibi.
Finally, they’re the same folks who said they were working on finding the real killer.
Well, where is the real killer?
If I represented someone who lied to me about their alibi, I’d ditch them.
But, birds of a feather.

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SubZeroIQ September 4, 2023 at 11:08 pm

Alex Murdaugh (“AM”) DOES have an iron-clad alibi: he was in his mother’s bed holding her hand at the REAL time of the shooting.
The time of death is NOT the time the cell phone battery died or the time the cell phone was turned off for any reason. The time of death is when brain activity ceases completely; and it is NOT determined by a hand in the armpit as the Colleton County Coroner-without-a-thermometer testified. It is determined by other BIOLOGICAL, not internet-gossip, markers.
With an accurate time of death, where is ANY evidence against AM? No eye-witness, no fingerprints, no DNA, and most of all NO MOTIVE a reasonable person would credit.
AM lied about being at the kennel an hour or so before THE REAL TIME OF DEATH because lying is second-nature to a lawyer addicted to opioid before he went into recovery. That is ALL. Ever noticed how secretaries instinctively say their boss “is in a meeting” when the caller on the phone is someone to whom their boss does not want to talk?
Also, lawyers in South Carolina (and I assume in all other jurisdictions) are REQUIRED to file an appeal (if the client wants one) even if the appeal were frivolous.
The only times a lawyer is allowed to withdraw from representation in the middle of a trial or an appeal is if the lawyer knows the client INTENDS to give false testimony or asks them to write something false in an appellate brief.
If Jim Griffin had done something truly unethical, Judge Clifton Newman would have been required to report Jim Griffin for discipline.
The more serious ethical violations are, NOT from AM’s defense team, but from all those plaintiffs’ lawyers whose civil cases benefited from AM’s conviction in violation of Rule 4.5.
Here is Rule 4.5 again:
RULE 4.5: THREATENING CRIMINAL PROSECUTION
A lawyer shall not present, participate in presenting, or threaten to present criminal or professional disciplinary charges solely to obtain an advantage in a civil matter.
Comment
This Rule is not included in the Model Rules of Professional Conduct. The language of this Rule is based upon DR 7 105 of the Code of Professional Responsibility.

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B B BROCKMAN Top fan September 6, 2023 at 5:54 pm

You must have gone to a special stupid school. Why did he want the caregiver and the housekeeper to lie. How did some unknown killers get the Murdaughs weapons. I have never heard a more rehearsed 911 call. “My wife and child have been shot badly.” “Paul’s, (not Pau Pau), phoned popped out of his pocket and I picked it up and put it back down quickly”, like someone is going to come home and find his wife and “child” killed and be thinking, “I shouldn’t have picked up that phone”, really? He went back to the house and said, “I’m leaving”, not “Mags” I’m going to check on Mom, would you go with me”, wasn’t that the purpose of her coming to Moselle that night? The “Blue Rain Jacket” that the caregiver saw him bring upstairs, that has GSR all on the inside. Calling Maggie and Paul’s cell phones continuously when leaving for his mom’s house, if he wanted to talk to them so much, why didn’t he go back by the kennels, because he had already killed them and was only trying to fabricate an alibi! Why did he lie about being at the kennels until the video was presented as evidence? Now I can go on and on for days and days, but these things alone are plenty enough to convict him beyond a reasonable doubt. So if these things don’t prove his guilt to you, then, as I said, you had to go to some kind of special stupid school. You’re a sick puppy or a Murdaugh…which is it?

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Ralph Hightower Top fan September 4, 2023 at 8:17 pm

Prison inmates have no rights. They cannot vote. They cannot have press conferences.

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SubZeroIQ September 4, 2023 at 11:15 pm

Not true at all about “no rights.” The U.S. Supreme Court ruled UNANIMOUSLY, with Justice Alito writing the opinion, that they even have a right to grow a 1/4 inch beard if they want to UNLESS the prison officials can prove that a beard that short can be used to conceal a weapon.
I do not know if a Seikh inmate would be allowed to keep his hair; but fortunately not many Seikhs commit crimes in America. Let’s pray it stays this way.

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B B BROCKMAN Top fan September 6, 2023 at 6:05 pm

Now I get it SubZeroIQ, your IQ does have to be below zero and I’m sure you fit right in with Murdaugh, “Poot” and Biden, no question you’re nothing but a left wing, liberal, democrat. That explains it all, I guess you think Biden is doing a great job too……

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Dianne Driggers Top fan September 5, 2023 at 11:20 am

All the jurors should be given a lie detector test before anything goes forward.

Reply

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