County Clerk Who Worked Alex Murdaugh Case Facing 76 Ethics Violations
Colleton County Clerk of Court Rebecca Hill listens as Prosecutor Creighton Waters makes closing arguments in Alex Murdaugh's trial for murder at the Colleton County Courthouse on March 1, 2023, in Walterboro, South Carolina.
Joshua Boucher/Pool/The State/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

A former county clerk in South Carolina who worked on the Alex Murdaugh murder trial is facing 76 counts of ethics violations, many pertaining to that trial.

Rebecca “Becky” Hill, who resigned in March, faces the ethics charges in part for spending thousands of county dollars on bonuses, meals, and gifts, the Associated Press reported. Hill was the Colleton County Clerk of Court when Murdaugh was convicted of killing his wife, Maggie, and youngest son, Paul.

In a 25-page complaint obtained by the AP, Hill is accused of letting a photo of Murdaugh sitting in a holding cell be taken so that she could use it to promote her book on the trial. She’s also accused of using county money to give herself bonuses, and buy dozens of lunches for her staff, prosecutors, and even a vendor.

She also made an arrangement with a documentary maker to use the county courtroom in exchange for promoting her book, the AP reported. She later admitted that passages of the book were plagiarized.

A hearing will be held on the ethics violations in December, the AP reported, unless Hill and her attorneys settle the case earlier. Hill may have to reimburse the county for unethical transactions and may have to pay additional fines as well. If the commission believes she broke any laws through her actions, she may be referred to prosecutors.

The State Law Enforcement Division told the outlet that an investigation into whether Hill tampered with the Murdaugh jury is still underway. Murdaugh’s attorneys attempted to use claims of tampering to get him a new trial, but the request was denied in January.

South Carolina Judge Jean Toal denied Murdaugh’s bid for a new trial while condemning Hill in her remarks about her ruling, CNN reported. Toal said Hill was “attracted by the siren call of celebrity,” and that she “wanted to write a book about the trial and expressed that as early as November 2022, long before the trial began.”

Hill has denied the allegations against her, but Toal determined that Hill had told another clerk and others of “her desire for a guilty verdict because it would sell books.”


“She made comments about Murdaugh’s demeanor as he testified and she made some of those comments before he testified to at least one and maybe more jurors,” Toal said, according to CNN. “Did clerk of court Hill’s comments have any impact on the verdict of the jury? I find that the answer to this question is no.”

Toal added that the jurors determined Murdaugh to be guilty “without fear or favor,” but that Hill “allowed public attention of the moment to overcome her duty.”

“I simply do not believe that the authority of our South Carolina Supreme Court requires a new trial in a very lengthy trial such as this on the strength of some fleeting and foolish comments by a publicity-influenced clerk of courts,” Toal said, according to CNN.

Toal further explained that she had personally interviewed each juror and that 11 of them said that they either hadn’t heard any comments from Hill or, of those who had, that those comments did not affect their judgment. The 12th juror, according to Toal, was “ambivalent” during testimony and only said she felt pressure from other jurors.

That juror, according to NPR, testified that Hill made comments that indicated that Hill thought Murdaugh was guilty. Brian Entin, senior national correspondent for NewsNation, posted on X during the hearing that the juror “said her verdict WAS influenced by the clerk of court.”

CBS reported that the juror, identified only as Juror Z, answered “Yes ma’am,” when the judge asked if Hill’s comments affected her vote. The juror later told the judge that she stood by an earlier sworn affidavit that said the other jurors influenced her to vote guilty more than Hill’s comments.

In his closing arguments, Murdaugh attorney Jim Griffin cited case law while arguing that any communication from court staff to jurors is considered prejudicial, and that the defense proved Hill had prejudicial communications with jurors. He argued that “one of those jurors says it influenced my verdict. How is that not prejudice?”

Murdaugh, 55, was sentenced to two consecutive life sentences without parole for the 2021 murders of his wife and son. He has denied killing his wife and son, but pleaded guilty to various financial crimes and was sentenced to 27 years in prison. In addition, he was sentenced to 40 years in federal prison for various financial crimes. He is appealing that sentence along with the murder conviction.

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  County Clerk Who Worked Alex Murdaugh Case Facing 76 Ethics Violations