Jury selection begins in Murdaugh double murder trial

Published: Jan. 23, 2023 at 2:54 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 23, 2023 at 5:32 PM EST
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WALTERBORO, S.C. (WTOC) - Jury selection began Monday for the double murder trial against former attorney, Alex Murdaugh.

Murdaugh is accused of killing his wife, Maggie, and youngest son, Paul. He’s charged with two counts of murder and two counts of possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime.

Both Maggie and Paul were found shot to death on the family’s Colleton County hunting property June 2021. According to the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED), Murdaugh told investigators he found their bodies.

Murdaugh has pleaded not guilty to the crimes.


Three groups of jurors, varying in size from about 60 to about 90 people each, came through the Colleton County Courthouse.

About 60 of those were approved for the next round of the selection process.

Through the jury selection process Monday, there have been a lot of questions Judge Clifton Newman asked potential jurors. One of those questions was if the potential jurors know any of the witnesses that could be involved in the case.

The list went on for about 10 minutes, due to the length of the list of possible witnesses. A few names that stood out included Buster Murdaugh, who is Murdaugh’s only remaining son, Morgan Dowdy, who was on the boat the night of Mallory Beach’s death, and Eric Bland, who represents the family of former Murdaugh housekeeper, Gloria Satterfield.

“That’s what we would be testifying to, that the financial pressures that Alex was under - not only from his law firm, but from being discovered and having stolen money from clients - forced him take that extraordinary step of killing his wife and his son,” Bland said.

Jury selection will come first, then the judge will hear motions including what prosecutors are able to argue might have been a motive. That’s when Bland thinks he could be called as a witness.

Jurors were also asked if they had previously heard of this case. Many responded “yes”, that they had heard of the trial through a myriad of ways: news, social media, word of mouth and one person even responded through the grapevine.

A timeline of events is available below: