BEAUFORT COUNTY, S.C. (WCBD) – Convicted murderer and disbarred attorney Alex Murdaugh is expected to appear in a Beaufort County courtroom Thursday morning for a status conference as he faces a slew of state and federal financial crime charges related to defrauding clients.
His two co-conspirators, Cory Fleming and Russell Laffitte, are also expected back in court Thursday. Fleming will likely be sentenced on the state financial crime charges after previously pleading guilty to the crimes.
Judge Clifton Newman will oversee the hearing.
Murdaugh was convicted of murdering his wife and youngest son and sentenced to two life sentences in state prison earlier this year.
Thursday morning’s hearing comes after allegations were made by Murdaugh’s attorneys that Colleton County Clerk of Court, Rebecca Hill, tampered with members of the jury in the weeks-long murder trial and filed a motion for a new trial.
Sources told News 2 that Murdaugh’s attorneys could bring up this jury tampering motion at the hearing. A partner at the Bland Richter Law Firm, Eric Bland, thinks these allegations could impact the tone of Thursday’s hearing.
“I think it’s going to be very dramatic, I think the issues surrounding Alex Murdaugh on if there is a discussion whether Judge Newman should continue on in the Murdaugh matter. Given that Dick Harpootlian in his press conference alleged that Judge Newman is a witness potentially,” said Bland.
Murdaugh is expected to plead guilty to similar federal financial charges in a downtown Charleston federal court next week.