(NewsNation) — Jury selection began Monday for the trial of former South Carolina attorney Alex Murdaugh who is charged in the 2021 deaths of his wife and son — allegations that potential jurors were well acquainted with.
Prosecutors have said Alex Murdaugh shot and killed his wife Maggie, 52, and son Paul, 22, to buy sympathy and time amid a series of separate alleged financial crimes.
On Monday, Alex Murdaugh’s legal team said they look forward to the “opportunity to clear his name” so “the attorney general can begin looking for the actual killer.”
Alex Murdaugh arrived Monday at the Colleton County, South Carolina courthouse, the sleeves of his suit jacket covering the handcuffs around his wrists.
A connected Lowcountry attorney, 54-year-old Alex Murdaugh is well known in the area, and details of the case didn’t escape the pool of potential jurors in the courtroom Monday.
When the judge asked the group to identify themselves if they had heard of the case, nearly everyone stood. The judge then asked who had formed an opinion about the case wouldn’t be swayed by the trial. Several jurors were excused as a result.
Jurors who are ultimately chosen will be expected to remain impartial.
Neither the prosecution nor the defense have filed motions requesting a venue change.
Alex Murdaugh called 911 on June 7, 2021, to report that his wife and son had been shot. Prosecutors say it took him more than an hour to call 911. About a year later, Alex Murdaugh was indicted on charges accusing him in the killings.
The man’s legal team filed a request Monday seeking to block testimony about alleged blood stains on the white T-Shirt Alex Murdaugh was wearing the night of the shootings.
Details about the case have been protected under gag orders that both sides requested.