WALTERBORO, S.C. (WCBD) – News outlets from around the world are arriving in Walterboro – a small Colleton County community known as the Lowcountry’s front porch – ahead of a massive trial centered around a disbarred attorney and the killings of his wife and youngest son.
From Dateline to HBO, the downfall of Alex Murdaugh and the burning question – who killed Paul and Margaret – have been documented from the beginning. But now people interested in the case want to see how it all plays out with their own eyes.
Vickie Shuler, who lives in Columbia, traveled to Walterboro because of the trial.
“I said, well, dang, it’s only 45 minutes away, let’s go- and we just came up here,” she said.
Shuler wanted to see the courthouse where a case that she had followed for a long time will take place.
“Because he’s a big name down in the Lowcountry. Everybody knew him and his family,” she said. “We’ve been kind of covering it since his son was in the boat accident.”
She plans to head back to Walterboro next week when the trial gets underway.
“We are going to be staying at Edisto Beach so will probably get here maybe about six or six thirty, just try to kind of get in and see what’s going on,” she explained.
Shuler has her own theories about what happened – but at the end of the day, she finds it all very fascinating.
“It’s just about all what the retired people talk about. He’s a big name, old money, old family. It’s kind of a shocker. It’s just a shocker.”
Meanwhile, the City of Walterboro is also preparing for the influx of visitors during the murder trial. Officials are expecting anywhere from 500 to 1,500 people in the city during proceedings.
That number includes about 300 expected members of the news media.
There are a number of parking areas around the courthouse that will be available for parking, and the city has increased security in place.
Metal fencing has been put up around the courthouse specifically to make sure people who have business at the courthouse can still get to and from the building during the trial.
One road, South Walter Street, right next to the courthouse, is a very small street that will be closed throughout the trial. They need to close it due to the number of cables laying across the roadway.
Food trucks will be set up across the street from the courthouse to allow people to be able to get food quickly. There is also a large truck now in place that will be used to house witnesses during the trial before and after their testimony.
“We’re trying to minimize the impact to the citizens of Walterboro so they can go about doing their daily business; do their banking, post office, without an impact. The food trucks are going to take some of the strain off of our local restaurants where in the daytime people are actually working. Their jobs can actually go out, get lunch and not be impacted by the trial as well,” said Walterboro Tourism Director, Scott Grooms.
There will be a limited number of seats inside the Colleton County courthouse for those who want to watch the trial in person. City officials say they will not allow anyone to line up until 8:00 a.m. each day for those seats.