There will be no live video during the jury selection process. Listen to live audio above. Follow reporter Riley Benson @realrileybenson on Twitter for live updates from the courtroom and tune in to News 2 at 4:00 p.m., 5:00 p.m., and 6:00 p.m. for full coverage. Scroll down for live blog.
COLLETON COUNTY, S.C. (WCBD) – A jury pool of over 100 people returned to the Colleton County Courthouse Wednesday morning as final jury selection is set to begin on the third day of Alex Murdaugh’s murder trial.
Murdaugh is accused of killing his wife Margaret and son Paul at their family property in June of 2021.
Prosecution and defense will each be allotted a set number of juror strikes, with the hopes of getting an impartial 12-member jury plus six alternates.
The qualification process took a day and a half, with Judge Clifton Newman asking everyone called for jury duty a series of questions such as whether they have heard of Murdaugh’s case and whether they have already formed an opinion on his guilt or innocence. People were also asked about personal, professional, or social relationships with the Murdaughs, any of the parties involved in the case, or any of the 200+ potential witnesses.
If jury selection is completed Wednesday, opening arguments are expected to begin.
ALEX MURDAUGH MURDER TRIAL LIVE BLOG:
1:20 p.m. – Court is in recess for lunch and will resume at 3:00 p.m., at which point Judge Clifton Newman said he would charge the jury. Opening statements will follow.
1:20 p.m. – JURY SWORN IN FOR ALEX MURDAUGH MURDER TRIAL
1:15 p.m. – Six alternates were selected. Judge Newman dismissed the remaining jury pool.
1:04 p.m. – A panel of 12 was selected. The process now moves to selecting six alternates.
12:44 p.m. – Court gaveled back into session for jury selection. Each juror was called to stand in front of the prosecution and defense. Each party was then able to say whether they would like that juror to serve.
12:19 p.m. – Judge Newman excused the woman who said she had a cough when he asked about COVID-19 symptoms, bringing the potential jury pool down to 79. Court then went into recess for 15 minutes as lawyers reviewed names on the jury pool list.
12:13 p.m. – Judge Newman thanked the qualified candidates who were not chosen for the jury pool and dismissed them.
12:05 p.m. – The clerk began the swearing-in of the 80-person jury pool. The remaining members of the panel will be released. The final 12-member jury and six alternates will be selected from that pool.
11:52 a.m. – Judge Newman returned to the courtroom. He said that court will be at ease while clerks prepare an updated jury pool list.
11:38 a.m. – Judge Newman once again asked if anyone had any issues serving on the jury. Several jurors said yes. He then asked if anyone was experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms or had been exposed to any known contacts. One juror said yes. Judge Newman then called back the jurors who said they would have a problem serving for further discussion.
11:32 a.m. – Judge Newman returned and excused two jurors. The roll call resumed.
11:16 a.m. – The clerk began the roll call to make sure everyone asked to return to the jury pool is present. Shortly after, Judge Newman called three members of the jury pool, along with counsel, to come forward for further discussions. No reason was given.
11:15 a.m. – Judge Clifton Newman entered the courtroom. He greeted those in attendance, then audio was briefly cut.
10:30 a.m. – Alex Murdaugh arrives at the courthouse.
Click Here for the Full Article
Author: Chase Laudenslager