In an interview with CNN, defense attorneys Dick Harpootlian and Jim Griffin shared their thoughts on the proceedings which lasted nearly six weeks and ended in a double conviction for the murder of their client, Alex Murdaugh.
Harpootlian said: “I think he (Murdaugh) expected it… After the financial crimes, we were hoping for a mistrial, you know, a hung jury. It was the best we could do,” asked about his client after the unanimous verdict.
“I think he (Murdaugh) was, he was realistic about it, he’s obviously not happy about it, but he believes like us, being lawyers, that we have a good chance on appeal,” said the defense attorney. .
Harpootlian told CNN he and Griffin spent nearly a year working with Alex, his son Paul and his wife, Maggie, on a criminal boat case from 2019.
“We saw them holding hands, we saw a relationship between Paul and Alex,” Harpootlian said, adding that it’s “inexplicable that he would execute his son and his wife that way, in my mind.”
When asked if Murdaugh believed he was innocent, Harpootlian replied: “Absolutely, he says he is innocent.”
Both attorneys said they were surprised at how quickly the jury reached a verdict on Thursday after deliberating for less than three hours.
“We were surprised that the deliberations didn’t take longer than they did. And that was a little disturbing,” Griffin said.
But Harpootlian said there was nothing they wished they had done differently.
The matter “was over” once attention turned to Murdaugh’s financial troubles for two weeks, he said.
During Friday’s sentencing hearing, Griffin said “it struck me how personal it was” for Judge Clifton Newman and that the judge prompted Murdaugh to speak.
“This whole case is somewhat personal for everyone involved, and that’s what makes it an unusual setting for a criminal case,” he said.
“Alex planned to limit his words, and he didn’t,” Griffin added.