A female juror in the murder trial of Alex Murdaugh was dismissed from the panel Thursday after the court said the juror expressed her opinion on the case to at least three others, said Circuit Court Judge Clifton Newman.
Juror No. 785 will be replaced by an alternate.
Newman said he received a complaint from a member of the public about the communications. The judge said the juror denied discussing the case outside of the jury and gave information on the people she was suspected of having conversations with.
Newman said they were interviewed about the conversations they had with the juror. He added that the conversations were not extensive, but involved the juror offering an opinion regarding evidence.
“We have had some discussions with you over the last several days concerning indications of conversations with a few folks not in the jury concerning the case and expressing some opinion on the case,” Newman told the juror.
Newman said the juror defied an order not to discuss the case intentionally or unintentionally with those outside of the jury. He said the decision was made to preserve the integrity of the case.
“You have been by all accounts a great juror and smiled consistently and similarly been attentive to the case, and I am sure with all the time you have invested, you probably hate not to continue,” Newman said before thanking the juror for her service.
Newman requested the juror wait until after the case has concluded before speaking publicly, if the juror decides to speak at all.
Murdaugh faces two murder counts for the 2021 deaths of his wife and 22-year-old son.
The trial began Jan. 25.