COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCBD) — Attorneys for Alex Murdaugh on Wednesday morning issued a statement saying their team received an order compelling the state to comply with a request to see evidence against their client in the killings of his wife and son.
While the defense team, Dick Harpootlian and Jim Griffin, said they expect to receive those materials at some point on Wednesday morning, the prosecuting attorney told them some of those materials will temporarily be under a protective order as ordered by Judge Clifton Newman.
“We look forward to reviewing the State’s materials and allegations immediately so we can continue to build a defense for our client so we’re ready for trial in less than six months,” the attorneys said.
Judge Newman ordered the South Carolina Attorney General’s Office to turn over that discovery evidence to Murdaugh’s defense team during a hearing in Colleton County on Monday.
It comes after his team filed a motion to compel evidence, saying they could not prepare for trial without the evidence against their client.
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 lay 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.