Choose Newman Praised for ‘Private’ Strategy With Alex Murdaugh

The choose presiding over the Alex Murdaugh homicide case has obtained reward on-line for his “private” and “compassionate” dealing with of the trial.

Murdaugh, a former South Carolina lawyer, was convicted of murdering his spouse and son by a jury after six weeks of intense trial.

He was discovered responsible of two counts of first-degree homicide within the deaths of Margaret “Maggie” Murdaugh, 52, and Paul Murdaugh, 22, who had been discovered shot lifeless on June 7, 2021, on the household’s looking property in Colleton County, South Carolina. He was additionally discovered responsible of two counts of possession of a weapon in the course of the fee of a violent crime.

On Friday, Choose Clifton Newman sentenced the previous lawyer to 2 consecutive life sentences for the murders.

Choose Clifton Newman is seen on November 22, 2016, in Charleston, South Carolina. Choose Newman has obtained a slew of reward on-line for his dealing with of the Alex Murdaugh homicide trial that resulted in Newman sentencing Murdaugh to 2 consecutive life sentences for the homicide of his spouse and son.
Grace Beahm-Pool/Getty Photographs

Newman mentioned this case might need been worthy of the dying penalty, however mentioned he did not query the prosecution’s alternative to hunt life sentences, in line with WSAV-TV reporter Andrew Davis on Twitter.

The choose famous that defendants Murdaugh, and his household, prosecuted when he was a lawyer obtained the dying penalty “in all probability for lesser conduct.”

In the meantime, Murdaugh’s attorneys mentioned they plan to attraction the double-murder conviction after the choose allowed prosecutors to current proof of Murdaugh’s alleged monetary crimes.

All through the path, and particularly in the course of the sentencing listening to, Newman was praised for his kindness and humility by many.

Chris Trainor, a reporter with South Carolina’s The State, mentioned the choose’s sentencing was “particularly piercing.”

“It isn’t hellfire and brimstone, and that makes it *extra* efficient,” he said in a tweet. “He is making it private and intimate.”

WBZ reporter Mike Uva mentioned Newman has at all times executed “an unbelievable job” presiding over the trials for “some actually heinous crimes” over time and is glad he’s lastly getting nationwide consideration.

Earlier than delivering his sentence, Newman additionally praised Murdaugh’s “beautiful” household, calling them, and Murdaugh, “pleasant folks.”

In an announcement to the choose, Murdaugh maintained his innocence, saying he would by no means harm his spouse and son.

“I am harmless, I’d by no means, underneath any circumstances, harm my spouse Maggie and I’d by no means, underneath any circumstances, harm my son Paul Paul,” he mentioned in court docket.

Newman responded that it might need been the “monster” Murdaugh grew to become who killed his household.

“It won’t have been you, it might need been the monster you’ve got turn out to be,” he mentioned to Murdaugh, noting that after taking opioid tablets, “possibly you turn out to be one other individual.”

“I’ve seen that earlier than,” he added. “The individual standing earlier than me just isn’t the identical one who dedicated the crimes, although it is the identical particular person.”

Through the trial, prosecutors shared that Murdaugh had a decades-long opioid dependancy. Murduagh admitted throughout his testimony that he lied to investigators about the place he was earlier than the killings as a consequence of paranoia from his dependancy.

Newman additionally famous that Murdaugh lied a number of instances to the jury throughout his testimony and mentioned he is certain Maggie and Paul go to him at night time when he tries to fall asleep, as his crimes weigh on his soul.

Healy Baumgardner, a former adviser for Donald Trump’s presidential marketing campaign, additionally praised Newman for this second, saying she “felt Girl Justice in each fiber” of her being.

South Carolina state Consultant Roger Kirby mentioned Newman has a “regular judicial hand, exceeding knowledge and unfailing integrity.”

“Choose Newman, in his lengthy and stellar profession, is a testomony to the best aspirations for the judiciary in South Carolina,” he wrote in a tweet.

State Senator Thomas McElveen mentioned his first look in circuit court docket was earlier than Newman.

“He is a tricky, compassionate, and sensible jurist, and such an exquisite individual,” he tweeted concerning the choose.

This conduct was exemplified on Thursday when Newman needed to dismiss a juror after he obtained a grievance that she mentioned the case exterior of the courtroom.

“You may have been by all accounts an excellent juror and smiled constantly and equally been attentive to the case, and I’m certain with on a regular basis you could have invested, you in all probability hate to not proceed,” the choose mentioned earlier than thanking the juror for her service.

All through the extraordinary homicide trial, Newman was additionally battling his personal private grief. The State reporter Maayan Schechter mentioned the choose misplaced his son proper earlier than the trial started.

This comes because the lead prosecutor within the path, Creighton Waters, confronted criticism for his “bizarre” technique throughout his cross-examination of the suspect’s testimony.

When Murdaugh took the stand, Waters was criticized for focusing extra on his alleged earlier monetary crimes fairly than the small print of the homicide in a seeming try to discredit the suspect.

Newsweek attain out to the South Carolina Lawyer Normal’s Workplace and the Colleton County Courthouse for remark.