EXCLUSIVE — A high-profile defense attorney for disgraced South Carolina lawyer Alex Murdaugh believes jurors were deaf to “very, very strong” evidence in favor of his innocence after sitting through weeks of damning testimony on unrelated fraud, theft and grift.
“That jury had heard almost three weeks of evidence not related to the murder, but to the financial crimes, which he’s always admitted to,” attorney Dick Harpootlian told Fox News Digital at CrimeCon 2023 in Orlando. “But we believe it so prejudiced them that when we put the forensic evidence in, which is very, very strong for his innocence, acquittal, they didn’t hear it.”
Murdaugh, 55, was convicted in March of the shooting deaths of his wife Maggie, 52, and their youngest son Paul, 22.
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He placed the 911 call himself on June 7, 2021, to report finding them on the ground near the dog kennels on a sprawling family estate.
“So this idea he’s been convicted is a misconception, that he was convicted on the evidence relating to the murders,” he said.
Murdaugh’s team has already appealed the conviction and filed a separate motion for a new trial, alleging jury tampering on behalf of Colleton County Court Clerk Rebecca Hill.
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Defense attorney Jim Griffin (left) objects while Alex Murdaugh and defense attorney Dick Harpootlian listen in the double murder trial of Alex Murdaugh at the Colleton County Courthouse in Walterboro, Monday, Feb. 6, 2023. (Andrew J. Whitaker/The Post and Courier/Pool)
Hill is accused of influencing jurors to reach a quick guilty verdict and manipulating the court to remove a juror viewed as favorable to the defense.
“We want them to stay the appeal and let us have a hearing on that issue,” Harpootlian said. “We just finished the filing on that yesterday. So we hope to hear something when two to four weeks in the court of appeals about that.”
Murdaugh began concurrent life prison sentences earlier this year.
A photo of the Murdaugh family taken days before Paul and Maggie Murdaugh were shot to death. From left, Buster, Paul, Maggie and Alex Murdaugh. (Defense exhibit)
Separately, Murdaugh admitted last week in federal court that he stole millions of dollars from his former clients.
The double murders received national attention, and as a result, state investigators said they found information that led them to reopen the investigation into the suspicious 2015 death of a 19-year-old man named Stephen Smith.
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Paul Murdaugh was awaiting trial at the time of his death for a 2019 drunken boat crash near Parris Island that killed 19-year-old passenger Mallory Beach and injured others.
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Fox News’ Jasmine Baehr and Rebecca Rosenberg contributed to this report.
Michael Ruiz is a reporter for Fox News Digital. Story tips can be sent to [email protected] and on Twitter: @mikerreports
Alex Murdaugh’s lawyer says jurors heard weeks of unrelated evidence as defense seeks new trial
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