Judge says he had portrait of Murdaugh's grandfather removed to ensure fair trial

Judge says he had portrait of Murdaugh’s grandfather removed to ensure fair trial


Alex Murdaugh attends his sentencing hearing on Friday, March 3. (Pool)

Judge Clifton Newman spoke about Alex Murdaugh’s lies during the investigation, saying that his slain wife and son must “come and visit” while he is trying to fall asleep, to which Murdaugh responded that he sees them “all day and every night.”

Newman said Murdaugh’s murder conviction qualifies for the death penalty.

“I don’t question at all the decision of the state not to pursue the death penalty. But as I sit here in this courtroom and look around at the many portraits of judges and other court officials and reflect on the fact that over the past century, your family — including you — have been prosecuting people here in this courtroom, and many have received the death penalty, probably for lesser conduct,” Newman said.

The judge then asked Murdaugh about his statement during testimony about lying to investigators about his whereabouts on the night of the murders.

“Remind me of the expression you gave on the witness stand. … ‘Oh, what tangled web we weave.’ What did you mean by that?” he asked, and Murdaugh responded, “I meant that when I lied, I continued to lie.” 

The judge then said, “And the question is, when will it end? When will it end? And it has ended already for the jury, because they’ve concluded that you have continued to lie and lied throughout your testimony.” 

“It has already ended for many who have heard you and concluded that it’ll never end but within your own soul, you will have to deal with that. And I know you have to see Paul and Maggie during the nighttime when you’re attempting to go to sleep. I’m sure they come and visit you, I’m sure,” he said.

Murdaugh said he sees his wife Maggie and son Paul “all day and every night.”

“And they will continue to do so and reflect on the last time you looked them in eyes, as you looked the jury in the eyes,” Newman said.

Murdaugh again said he is innocent.

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