The trial of Alex Murdaugh began Monday, Jan. 23 and we have the latest from the Colleton County Courthouse.
Murdaugh will face his first charges in a long list of criminal and civil allegations in the deaths of his wife, Maggie, and son, Paul, on June 7, 2021. These two deaths were the catalyst to the ruins of the Murdaugh dynasty and the unfolding of a much larger story.
The Greenville News will be in the courtroom to give you the latest updates starting with jury selection until a final verdict is reached.
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Monday pm updates from the Colleton County courthouse
The aroma of food trucks wafting through the crowds and lighted tents produced a carnival-like atmosphere outdoors, but inside the Colleton County Courthouse serious public business was at hand.
The double murder trial of Richard Alex Murdaugh, charged with the 2021 murders of his wife, Maggie, and son, Paul, got underway Monday with the first rounds of jury selection. Murdaugh has pleaded not guilty in the killings, but the SC Attorney General’s Office is seeking life in prison.
During the opener, a roster of 900 potential judges was whittled down, and a lengthy list of potential witnesses was published by the court.
How did Alex Murdaugh act in the courtroom?
At the start of each jury selection group, Judge Clifton Newman asked Murdaugh to stand and face the potential judges. “Good afternoon,” greeted Murdaugh, dressed in a blue sports coat, a while shirt with no tie, gray slacks and black sneakers.
At times, Murdaugh looked like the attorney he used to be, entering the courtroom carrying a large folder of files, reviewing documents, chatting and smiling with a young blond female on the legal team. At one point, he shook his head no as the judge read the charges against him.
Witness list includes lawyers, bankers, accountants
Judge Newman read a list of 254 potential witnesses that may be called to testify.
Witness list includes Curtis Edward Smith, Rusell Laffitte, several Laffitte family members, employees at PMPED, Buster Murdaugh, Randolph Randy Murdaugh IV, Alex’s mother’s caregiver, Michelle “Shelley” Smith, Murdaugh family housekeeper Barbara Ann Mixon, Murdaugh family friends Nathan Tuten, Nolan Tuten, and Rogan Gibson, Gloria Satterfield family members Eric Harriott and Scott Harriott (her brothers). Alex and Maggie’s friend and the HC Fire Chief Greg Cook, Eric Bland, Bamber attorney Chris Wilson, PMPED attorneys Lee Cope, John E. Parker, Ronnie Crosby, Mark Ball, and Daniel Henderson, and Hampton accountant Alice Hazel.
Several members of Maggie Murdaugh’s family may be called, as well as Buster Murdaugh and John Marvin Murdaugh. At least one boat crash survivor, Morgan Doughty, may testify.
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Jury pool whittled down
Judge Newman and attorneys for the state and Murdaugh conducted jury selection with three groups of 225 potential jurors today, with one group remaining. Of those roughly 675 possible judges, just over 90 were qualified for further service – the rest were excused, exempted, or no-shows. Jury selection is expected to continue around 9:30 am Tuesday, after which Newman is expected to begin hearing pre-trial motions.
Prior to Monday, Murdaugh had been detained in the Richland County detention center. During the trial, he will be held each day at the Colleton County Detention Center for the duration of legal proceedings, which are scheduled to last until roughly Feb. 10.
This article originally appeared on Greenville News: Murdaugh trial live updates: Here’s what is happening in the courtroom