South Carolina court official resigns as state probes allegations of tampering with Murdaugh jury

A South Carolina court official under investigation amid allegations of tampering with the jury in the Alex Murdaugh trial is resigning
FILE- Colleton County Clerk of Court Rebecca Hill is sworn in before taking the stand to testify during the Alex Murdaugh jury-tampering hearing at the Richland County Judicial Center, Monday, Jan. 29, 2024, in Columbia, S.C. Hill, under investigation amid allegations of tampering with the jury in the Alex Murdaugh trial, announced her resignation on Monday, March 25, 2024. (Andrew J. Whitaker/The Post And Courier via AP, Pool, File)

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

FILE- Colleton County Clerk of Court Rebecca Hill is sworn in before taking the stand to testify during the Alex Murdaugh jury-tampering hearing at the Richland County Judicial Center, Monday, Jan. 29, 2024, in Columbia, S.C. Hill, under investigation amid allegations of tampering with the jury in the Alex Murdaugh trial, announced her resignation on Monday, March 25, 2024. (Andrew J. Whitaker/The Post And Courier via AP, Pool, File)

WALTERBORO, S.C. (AP) — A South Carolina court official under investigation amid allegations of tampering with the jury in the Alex Murdaugh trial announced her resignation on Monday.

Colleton County Clerk of Court Becky Hill said that her resignation would take effect immediately during a news conference in front of the courthouse. Serving as clerk since 2020 was an honor, she said, citing the office's work and its management of the high-profile Murdaugh trial last year.

“Managing a trial with such importance to the people of South Carolina, as well as of the national and international media interest and public scrutiny, it has caused me to reflect upon decisions involving my stay in the office of the clerk of court,” Hill said. “And so after much reflection, I have decided that it is best not to run again for reelection.”

Hill said she wanted to leave time for Republican candidates interested in running for the position to act. When asked about the deciding factor for her final decision on Monday, Hill cited her grandchildren.

Murdaugh's fall from his role as an attorney lording over his small county to a sentence of life without parole for the murder of his wife and son at their sprawling estate has been exhaustively covered by true crime shows, podcasts and bloggers.

His lawyers sought another trial in the killings, citing allegations that the court clerk improperly influenced the jury. Hill denied the allegations. In January, a judge denied Murdaugh's appeal, saying she wasn't sure that Hill was telling the truth about never speaking to jurors, but jurors testified that their decision to find Murdaugh guilty wasn't influenced by any comments.

South Carolina Law Enforcement Division investigations into allegations of jury tampering and misuse of office against Hill are active and ongoing, spokesperson Renée Wunderlich said Monday. No charges have been filed against her.

Hill's attorney Justin Bamberg said at the news conference that her decision wasn’t about an investigation, but the people of the county, noting that there’s another week left for filing for the Clerk of Court office.

“Today is not in response to any new development of some investigation or anything like that,” Bamberg said. He said Hill’s resignation letter would be sent to the governor’s office Monday. Later in the day, Gov. Henry McMaster accepted Hill’s resignation in a letter and notified the county probate judge that he should take charge of the office until the position can be filled. McMaster's office said the governor would make an appointment to fill the vacancy in the coming days.