Jury selection set to begin Monday in Murdaugh double murder trial

Published: Jan. 23, 2023 at 4:37 AM EST|Updated: Jan. 23, 2023 at 10:55 AM EST
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COLLETON COUNTY, S.C. (WTOC) - One of the most notorious crime cases in South Carolina history heads to the courtroom Monday.

Jury selection for the double murder trial of disbarred South Carolina attorney Alex Murdaugh is set to begin. Murdaugh is charged with killing his wife Maggie and youngest son Paul.

Both were found shot to death on the family’s Colleton County hunting property in June of 2021.

Over the next few weeks we will learn much about what happened on June 7, 2021. But we have already caught a glimpse of some of what could potentially be key evidence that would be used against Murdaugh inside the courthouse.

This evidence came to the forefront recently when attorneys for Murdaugh filed a motion asking the court to block the use of blood spatter testimony at the trial.

Part of the evidence centers around a white t-shirt that Alex was reportedly wearing at the scene of the shootings.

Defense attorneys point to where the state’s expert says he cannot form an opinion on whether the stains on Alex Murdaugh’s shirt are consistent with blood spatter from a gunshot.

The defense said the state’s expert later changed his stance after meeting with SLED agents.

That evidence would be key for the state in placing Alex at the scene when Paul and Maggie were shot and killed.

All of those pre-trial motions like this have to be addressed by the judge first Monday, then they will begin jury selection.

Once they do begin that process, we expect it to last a couple of days before they have agreed on a jury pool.

WTOC will have live coverage every day once the trial begins, giving you the latest updates both on air and on our website.

Impact on City of Walterboro

The City of Walterboro tells us they’re expecting up to 1,500 more people to be in the town. To put it in perspective this is a town with a population of about 5,000 people. So, this increase is significant.

For months, people from around the world have been following the case as it unfolded - everything from the financial crimes to the botched murder-for-hire-plot and, of course, the double murders.

Because of the interest in the case, the City of Walterboro has been preparing for Monday for months.

The Director of Tourism says the hotels are completely booked up and that various media outlets and court workers are renting out homes in the area.

To accommodate all of the people, the city is bringing in food trucks that’ll be set up across from the courthouse and opening up more parking spaces.

There will only be one street closed during the trial, North Walter Street, which is right next to the courthouse.

Otherwise, the city says residents shouldn’t be impacted too much.

“Main Street is not closed and nobody is going to have trouble getting to the post office. With the food trucks and things in here we’re not going to be affecting the outlying restaurants too much at lunchtime, so people will still be able to navigate and operate here in the city,” said Scott Grooms, Director of Tourism and Downtown Development.

The city says they expect the biggest crowds at the beginning of the trial and again toward the end of it in mid-February.

View a timeline of the Murdaugh case below: