WALTERBORO, S.C. (WCBD) – A judge has ordered the South Carolina Attorney General’s Office to turn over discovery evidence in their case against Alex Murdaugh to his legal team.
Monday’s hearing was focused on two motions: one filed by Murdaugh’s legal team and another by state prosecutors.
In the motion to compel evidence, Murdaugh’s attorneys said they cannot prepare for the trial without the evidence but would submit to certain protective orders over things like autopsy reports and crime scene photos, but not records and phone data.
During the hearing, Dick Harpootlian also raised concerns over the ability to review the evidence with his client, Alex Murdaugh, at the Alvin S Glenn Detention Center due to visitation restrictions.
State Prosecutor Creighton Waters said South Carolina is ready to turn the evidence over, but had some concerns about potential leaks or the information getting into the wrong hands and jeopardizing the case. He said the state’s evidence could be worth upwards of a million dollars.
Harpootlian over the past two weeks has filed motions accusing the state of failing to turn over evidence while also leaking evidence to family and members of the media. The state adamantly denied the allegations during Monday’s hearing and things between the two parties became testy at times.
Judge Clifton Newman ruled the state must turn over evidence to Murdaugh’s attorneys and issued a temporary protective order while he gives it further consideration.
It all comes just weeks after the AG’s office and State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) announced indictments against the disbarred attorney in the killings of his wife Margaret and son Paul. The indictments by a State Grand Jury in Colleton County claim that Murdaugh shot his wife and son using a shotgun and rifle on the family’s property in June 2021.
But shortly after the indictment was announced, Murdaugh’s attorneys Dick Harpootlian and Jim Griffin demanded to see evidence that led to the decision within 30 days.
Harpootlian later said prosecutors failed to hand over that evidence. In a motion filed last week, Harpootlian said that investigators found audio and video recordings from the day of the killings on the family’s Colleton County property. Those recordings were allegedly found during a search of Paul’s phone.
Murdaugh’s legal team, subpoenaed agents with the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) last week, including agents Ryan Kelly, Charles Ghent, David Owen and Ryan Neill. The agency confirmed to News 2 that it had received those subpoenas and that they were being reviewed.