LIVE BLOG: Day 1 of jury selection wraps in the Alex Murdaugh murder trial
WALTERBORO, S.C. (WCSC/WIS) - The trial of former Lowcountry attorney Alex Murdaugh will begin in Walterboro this week with jury selection set to begin Monday morning.
Murdaugh will be tried for two counts of murder and two weapons charges in the June 7, 2021, shooting deaths of his wife, 52-year-old Maggie Murdaugh, and their youngest son, 22-year-old Paul Murdaugh.
Jury selection began Monday morning. Newman reversed an earlier decision to allow video from the court to be broadcast during the jury selection process, but the court is allowing audio from the live proceeding to be broadcast.
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Murdaugh’s defense team, attorneys Jim Griffin and state Sen. Dick Harpootlian, released a joint statement Sunday night on the eve of the trial, stating that they would not provide any further statements or responses to anything that occurs during the trial “in order to preserve the integrity of the trial process.”
“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,” the statement read. “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.”
Murdaugh told investigators he discovered the bodies of his wife and son at the family’s hunting property in the Islandton community of rural Colleton County after he returned from visiting his ailing father.
The investigation into their killings took many twists and turns with Murdaugh being indicted on scores of financial crime charges. A Colleton County jury indicted him on the murder charges in July of last year, more than a year after the killings.
The indictments alleged he allegedly used two different weapons, a rifle on his wife and a shotgun on his son.
He pleaded not guilty to the charges and has maintained his innocence.
“The evidence, in this case, is substantial and it all points to Alex Murdaugh,” Chief Attorney Creighton Waters said.
The trial is expected to last approximately three weeks, about three times longer than most murder trials in the state.
Jury selection could last for most of this first week.
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