COLLETON COUNTY, S.C. (WSAV) — It’s the calm before the storm in Walterboro as the Colleton County Courthouse prepares for maybe the most publicized trial in state history, Alex Murdaugh’s murder trial.

“We are really expecting between 500 and 1220-1500 people during the trial itself. We don’t really have a guess on how many outsiders are coming in. News media alone we are expecting a couple of 300,” said Scott Grooms the Walterboro Tourism Director. 

The self-proclaimed front porch of the Lowcountry will be front and center for the next month as Alex Murdaugh goes on trial for murder. It was June 7, 2021, when Maggie and Paul Murduagh were found dead at the family’s Moselle property. Maggie was shot and killed with a rifle, and Paul with a shotgun that nearly “blew his head off” according to sheriff’s investigator and medical reports. 

It took more than a year for Alex to be charged with those murders – he was already in jail on more than 80 different financial charges – all connected to a series of schemes designed to steal insurance settlements from his clients. 

But this trial is all about the murders – and whether – as South Carolina Attorney General’s Office prosecutors say – Alex pulled the trigger. It starts with jury selection Monday – where almost 900 people have been called in – to get a “fair and impartial jury” of 12 from an area that many have called “Murdaugh country.”

“You want to know a lot about that juror. I can talk to an Alex devotee and I think as a lawyer if that person is open-minded, just because they may be partial to Alex doesn’t mean they won’t listen to me. So no I don’t want somebody who lives under a rock,” Eric bland told WSAV News 3. 

“I think you will have a very hard time finding anyone who is completely unaware of this case. and that’s not really the cutting edge of the selection process. It is not whether you know or have heard about this matter, it is whether you can be fair and objective in light of what you have heard what you know or what relationship you have,” said Joe McCulloch. 

Alex Murdaugh’s legal team said in a statement today:

“In order to preserve the integrity of the trial process, our team will not be providing any further statements or responses to anything that occurs at trial, which commences with jury selection tomorrow, Monday, January 23. We are fully prepared to challenge the State’s allegations, and to demonstrate the weaknesses in the State’s case before a Colleton County jury.  Alex looks forward to this opportunity to clear his name of these heinous charges so that the Attorney General can finally begin looking for the actual killer or killers of Alex’s beloved wife and son.”

Jury selection could take 2 days or as long as a week. From there, there will be motions from both sides including letting blood spatter evidence into this trial and should Alex Murdaugh’s financial crimes be allowed as a potential motive for killing his wife and son. 

That is something the prosecution wants to introduce during their opening arguments. We will be here from then beginning with all the updates for you, and for the trial itself you can go to our website wsav.com to watch the livestream.