(NationalUSNews.com) — Alex Murdaugh’s legal team won a significant victory in their pursuit of a new trial, as the judge overseeing Murdaugh’s double murder trial will not reside over future hearings involving Murdaugh’s murder conviction. A jury found Murdaugh guilty of murdering his wife and son, and South Carolina Judge Clifton Newman sentenced Murdaugh to two life sentences in prison.
Murdaugh’s team is now seeking a new trial, claiming that a Colleton County clerk manipulated the jury in Murdaugh’s trial to secure a conviction. According to defense attorneys Jim Griffin and Dick Harpootlian, Becky Hill interacted with jurors to convince them of Murdaugh’s guilt, preventing a fair trial for the accused double murderer. Hill claims she did not tamper with the jury and maintains her innocence.
Murdaugh’s defense attorneys requested the South Carolina Supreme Court remove Newman from future proceedings about the murder conviction due to his status as a potential witness in hearings relating to the request for a new trial. According to Griffin and Harpootlian, Newman remaining the judge in future trials would be a conflict of interest.
Murdaugh’s attorneys also referred to Newman’s public comments about Murdaugh, claiming he violated the Code of Judicial Conduct by speaking publicly about the infamous case. The South Carolina Supreme Court announced Newman’s recusal and requested a new judge to oversee Murdaugh’s trials involving the murder case. The South Carolina Supreme Court denied a request from Murdaugh’s attorneys to remove Newman from any future cases involving Murdaugh, meaning Newman will remain the judge in Murdaugh’s other criminal cases.
Murdaugh is also the subject of other criminal cases involving his drug use and some of his injured clients from his time as an attorney. According to authorities, Murdaugh stole more than $4 million worth of insurance payouts that should’ve gone to Gloria Satterfield’s family. Satterfield died on Murdaugh’s property while working as his housekeeper when she fell and sustained a severe injury on his property.
Murdaugh faces accusations of stealing insurance payouts from his other clients and possessing illegal narcotics, including opiates. Murdaugh admits his guilt in the financial crimes and drug abuse but maintains his innocence in the double murder case despite his conviction.
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