Alex Murdaugh trial judge grills defence attorney over tweet: ‘Part of your strategy, Mr Griffin?’

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The judge in Alex Murdaugh’s double murder trial has compared one of his defence attorneys to Kyrie Irving as he scolded him for a social media post branding the criminal investigation “sloppy”.

At the start of day 19 of the disgraced legal scion’s trial in the Colleton County Courthouse on Tuesday, Judge Clifton Newman questioned Mr Murdaugh’s attorney Jim Griffin about one of his tweets about the case.

On Saturday, Mr Griffin shared a link to a The Washington Post op-ed titled: “Alex Murdaugh trial reveals a sloppy investigation.”

Before jurors entered the courtroom on Tuesday, Judge Newman brought up the post, saying that he had received emails “concerning a social media post by Mr Griffin commenting on witness testimony and the quality of the investigation by the state”. The judge said that the post then appeared on his own Twitter feed that morning.

“Mr Griffin is this part of your defence strategy?” the judge asked, eliciting a laugh from the gallery and an awkward pause from the attorney.

“Your honour, all I did was retweet an article that was published in The Washington Post. I didn’t put any comment or make any statement. I just retweeted an article that was in the newspaper,” Mr Griffin responded.

At this point, the judge compared Mr Griffin to NBA star Kyrie Irving who was suspended from the Brooklyn Nets last year for retweeting an antisemitic post.

“We had a professional basketball player who retweeted an article that resulted in him being suspended from the NBA for about 10 days and cost him about $10m in salary, so retweeting is the same as – to some – as if [it’s] your tweet,” he said.

Mr Irving was embroiled in controversy in late October when he tweeted a lin...