Murdaugh juror discharged ahead of defense closing argument

Posted at 11:07 AM, March 2, 2023 and last updated 11:07 AM, March 2, 2023

WALTERBORO, S.C. (Scripps News) — A female juror in the murder trial of Alex Murdaugh was dismissed from the panel Thursday after the court said the juror expressed her opinion on the case to at least three others, said Circuit Court Judge Clifton Newman.

Juror No. 785 was replaced by an alternate.


Newman said he received a complaint from a member of the public about the communications. The judge said the juror denied discussing the case outside of the jury and gave information on the people she was suspected of having conversations with.

Newman said they were interviewed about the conversations they had with the juror. He added that the conversations were not extensive, but involved the juror offering an opinion regarding evidence.

READ MORE: What the Alex Murdaugh trial says about us

“We have had some discussions with you over the last several days concerning indications of conversations with a few folks not in the jury concerning the case and expressing some opinion on the case,” Newman told the juror.

Judge Clifton Newman encourages potential jurors to stand and stretch as jury selection nears completion in Alex Murdaugh’s double murder trial at the Colleton County Courthouse in Walterboro, S.C, Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2023. (Joshua Boucher/The State via AP)

Newman said the juror defied an order not to discuss the case intentionally or unintentionally with those outside of the jury. He said the decision was made to preserve the integrity of the case.

“You have been by all accounts a great juror and smiled consistently and similarly been attentive to the case, and I am sure with all the time you have invested, you probably hate not to continue,” Newman said before thanking the juror for her service.

Newman requested the juror wait until after the case has concluded before speaking publicly, if the juror decides to speak at all.

READ MORE: SC v. Alex Murdaugh Daily Trial Highlights

Murdaugh is accused of fatally shooting 52-year-old Maggie Murdaugh and 22-year-old Paul Murdaugh on June 7, 2021.

The trial began Jan. 25.

For more coverage on the Alex Murdaugh trial, visit:

This story was originally published March 2 by Scripps News, an E.W. Scripps Company.