Judge Newman steps away from one of Alex Murdaugh’s trials — but not all

Posted at 2:54 PM, November 16, 2023 and last updated 9:51 PM, November 16, 2023


BEAUFORT COUNTY, S.C. (Court TV) — The judge who presided over disgraced attorney Alex Murdaugh‘s murder trial has stepped aside, saying he will not be on the bench for any future hearings in the case’s appeal process.

Judge Clifton Newman presides as he charges the jury during Alex Murdaugh’s double murder trial at the Colleton County Courthouse, Thursday, March 2, 2023, in Walterboro, S.C. The 54-year-old attorney is standing trial on two counts of murder in the shootings of his wife and son at their Colleton County home and hunting lodge on June 7, 2021. (Andrew J. Whitaker/The Post And Courier via AP, Pool)

Judge Clifton Newman sentenced Murdaugh to serve two life sentences after a jury convicted him on charges he murdered his wife and son at their Moselle home.

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Murdaugh has appealed his conviction and, through his attorney, has alleged that the Clerk of Court tampered with the jury. The Supreme Court granted a motion to remand the case back to the circuit court for a hearing on whether there is enough evidence to merit a new trial.

The Supreme Court, however, declined to grant a separate motion from Murdaugh to remove Newman from the case. Murdaugh’s attorneys had argued that the higher court needed to intercede to remove Newman because of his personal knowledge of Hill’s conduct as well as statements Newman made in interviews following sentencing. The court similarly denied Murdaugh’s request to stay the other trials he is currently facing for financial crimes.

Murdaugh in court wearing orange jumpsuit

Disbarred attorney Alex Murdaugh arrives in court in Beaufort, S.C. Thursday, Sept. 14, 2023. Murdaugh appeared publicly as a convicted murderer for the first time at the state court hearing regarding the slew of financial crimes allegedly committed by the disbarred South Carolina attorney. (AP Photo/James Pollard)

Court documents obtained by Court TV indicate that Newman decided to recuse himself from future post-trial motions and hearings in Murdaugh’s murder case, but will remain on the bench for the other cases currently pending.

READ MORE: Alex Murdaugh requests change of venue ahead of trial

Newman will be on the bench this Friday, Nov. 17, as Alex Murdaugh appears in court with his attorneys for a motions hearing before his upcoming trial, scheduled for Nov. 27. On Friday, Murdaugh’s attorneys will ask for the trial in Beaufort County to be moved or stayed for at least one year, due to pre-trial publicity.

Court TV will be in the courtroom on Nov. 17 and will bring you the hearing live.