Alex Murdaugh‘s trial has been dramatically evacuated after a bomb threat.
Lawyers, press and members of the public were seen streaming out of Colleton County Courthouse as police cars and fire trucks swarmed the building in Walterboro, South Carolina, at around 12.30pm EST.
Law enforcement confirmed a bomb threat was made to court personnel and that it is being investigated. No further information was given.
The black prison van which transports Murdaugh to and from the courthouse was seen leaving the area, however it is not clear whether the alleged murderer was in the vehicle.
Authorities directed everyone across the street and multiple roads around the courthouse have been blocked off.
Scroll down for LIVE video.
Lawyers, press and members of the public were seen streaming out of Colleton County Courthouse as police cars and fire trucks swarmed on the building in Walterboro, South Carolina
A police vehicle arrives at the scene after a bomb threat was reportedly made
Alex Murdaugh and his attorney Jim Griffin shortly after learning that the courthouse needed to be evacuated
Police cars and trucks are seen at the scene as members of the public, staff and lawyers gather outside
A police officer entered the court moments before the evacuation and signaled to the judge who immediately sent the jury out.
Confusion spread through the room as the Clerk of Court Becky Hill and a police officer then opened the rear doors, which are usually blocked off.
Judge Clifton Newman interrupted testimony just before 12.30pm and announced the building needed to be evacuated without stating why.
‘Ladies and gentlemen, we have to evacuate the building at this time, so we’ll be in recess until we discover what’s going on,’ he said.
A statement from the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division said: ‘A bomb threat was received by Colleton County courthouse personnel.
‘The building has been evacuated and SLED along with the Colleton County Sheriff’s Office are investigating the threat.
‘No additional information is available from SLED at this time.’
Security at the courtroom each day is tight, with attendees required to pass through a metal detector and identify themselves.
Cops have shut down two lanes of northbound traffic on North Jefferies Boulevard. A block of Washington Street directly behind the courthouse has also been blocked off to vehicles.
Sidewalks on each side of the courthouse on Hampton Street have also been cordoned off to pedestrians.
Cops outside the courthouse after it was evacuated around 12.30pm EST
Cop cars swarmed the building in Walterboro, South Carolina
People outside the court after Judge Clifton Newman announced the building needed to be cleared
A statement from Colleton County Sheriff’s Office said: ‘The Colleton Sheriff’s Office urges citizens to use an alternate route of travel and will update traffic conditions as needed.’
People were anxious as they walked down the stairs to exit the building with people shouting ‘go slow’ so that nobody would get hurt in the rush.
In a lighter moment, one attendee called out: ‘There’s a lot of lawyers here if you fall over.’
The double-murder trial is in recess until at least 2.30pm, however it is likely that proceedings will be suspended for longer.
Murdaugh, 54, is accused of shooting his wife, Maggie, 52, and their youngest son, Paul, 22, on the evening of June 7, 2021, at the family’s sprawling hunting lodge in Islandton, South Carolina.
The prosecution is still laying out its case in the trial that began three weeks ago.
Alex Murdaugh pictured with his wife Maggie and their two sons Paul (left) and Buster
Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk