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Alex Murdaugh trial: Key revelations from authorized dynasty inheritor’s homicide case | NEWSRUX

Legal dynasty inheritor Alex Murdaugh is at the moment on trial in a South Carolina courtroom for the brutal double homicide of his spouse and grownup son.

Maggie, 52, and Paul, 22, had been each shot lifeless on the household’s sprawling 1,700-acre property in Islandton, South Carolina, on the night time of seven June 2021.

Mr Murdaugh, 54, claimed that he returned house from visiting his aged mom to search out the victims’ our bodies on the canine kennels on the land.

No arrests had been made for greater than a 12 months, till – in July 2022 – Mr Murdaugh was charged with their murders.

Prosecutors allege that Mr Murdaugh killed his spouse and son to distract from the rising variety of scandals and crimes swirling round him.

It’s a dramatic saga that now consists of homicide, a botched hitman plot, multi-million-dollar fraud schemes and a sequence of unexplained deaths.

The now-disbarred legal professional denies the allegations and has pleaded not responsible.

Mr Murdaugh’s trial bought underway at Colleton County Courthouse in Walterboro on 23 January.

Listed below are the important thing revelations from the trial thus far:

Prosecutor’s opening assertion reveals Snapchat video will probably be key to trial

Opening arguments kicked off the trial on 25 January, with the prosecution telling jurors that cellphone information and a Snapchat video taken by Paul minutes earlier than he died are “important” in proving Mr Murdaugh’s guilt.

Legal professional Creighton Waters gave a timeline for the murders, saying that Paul was shot on the canine kennels first at 8.50pm and Maggie minutes later.

Cellphone information allegedly place Mr Murdaugh on the canine kennels minutes earlier – when the suspect had “advised everybody he was by no means there”.

Alex Murdaugh reacts as lawyer describes second his spouse was murdered

Mr Waters additionally described a video Paul made on the kennels minutes earlier than his homicide as he was filming a canine to ship to a buddy. In keeping with the prosecution, three voices – Paul, Maggie and Mr Murdaugh – may be heard.

Different proof the prosecution promised to point out jurors included gunshot residue present in each Mr Murdaugh’s automotive, on him and on a raincoat that he allegedly left at his dad and mom’ house every week after the murders.

Defence particulars horror accidents of victims in opening assertion

Within the defence’s opening assertion, Mr Murdaugh was seen breaking down in tears as his legal professional Dick Harpootlian described the deadly shot which killed his son Paul, saying it “exploded his mind, like a watermelon”.

Mr Murdaugh then arrived house and located his son’s brains by his toes, he mentioned.

Mr Harpootlian insisted Mr Murdaugh is an harmless man, saying that jurors will see a Snapchat of him and Paul fortunately spending father-and-son time collectively lower than two hours earlier than the murders.

“Paul, the apple of his eye. You’re going to see a video from the night time of the murders of Paul and Alex driving round taking a look at timber they planted, a Snapchat despatched to different folks. They had been laughing, having time,” he mentioned.

He additionally argued that cellphone information from that night time are “incomplete” and that Maggie’s cellphone was thrown on the aspect of a street halfa mile from the household property on the identical time that Mr Murdaugh was on the property.

The suspect would “need to be Houdini to be in each locations”, he mentioned.

Buster, Maggie, Paul and Alex Murdaugh left to proper

(Maggie Murdaugh/Fb)

Murdaugh ‘instantly’ advised police murders had been tied to 2019 boat crash

Mr Murdaugh “instantly” prompt that his spouse and son had been murdered due to a 2019 deadly boat crash as quickly as the primary regulation enforcement officer arrived on the scene of the grisly slayings, bodycam footage performed in courtroom revealed.

Within the footage, taken from the bodyworn digital camera of Colleton County Sheriff’s Sgt Daniel Greene when he was the primary officer to answer the scene, Mr Murdaugh says he believes the murders are linked to the boating incident.

“This can be a lengthy story. My son was in a ship wreck,” Mr Murdaugh says. “I do know that’s what that is.”

On the time of Paul’s dying, he was awaiting trial over the dying of 19-year-old Mallory Seashore.

Paul was allegedly drunk driving a ship of his pals together with Seashore in 2019 when it crashed and so they had been thrown overboard. The remainder of the group survived however Seashore’s physique washed up days later.

Paul was charged with boating below the affect and confronted as much as 25 years in jail.

Mr Murdaugh can be heard mentioning the boat crash within the 911 name alerting regulation enforcement to the scene and in his first interview with regulation enforcement on the night time of the murders.

Suspect shed ‘no tears’ after discovering spouse and son’s our bodies

Colleton County Sheriff’s Workplace Sgt Daniel Greene testified that Mr Murdaugh appeared to shed “no tears” after he claimed to have discovered his spouse and son’s our bodies.

Sgt Greene advised the courtroom that Mr Murdaugh appeared “upset” and repeatedly requested if his spouse and son had been lifeless however didn’t seem to have any bodily tears in his eyes.

“Did you ever see any bodily tears?” the prosecutor requested.

“I didn’t,” the officer mentioned.

As bodycam footage from the night time of the murders was performed in courtroom, Mr Murdaugh was seen breaking down in tears.

Bodycam exhibits Murdaugh’s ‘clear’ shirt after claiming to the touch bloody our bodies

Bodycam footage from the night time of the murders revealed Mr Murdaugh sporting a “clear” white shirt after he claimed he touched his spouse and son’s bloodied our bodies on discovering them shot lifeless.

Within the footage, Mr Murdaugh is wearing a white T-shirt and darkish shorts with no apparent indicators of blood.

Throughout courtroom testimony, a number of regulation enforcement officers described how Mr Murdaugh was “clear” and didn’t seem to have any blood on him once they arrived on the scene of the murders.

Alex Murdaugh seen in bodycam footage on the scene of the murders

(Colleton County Court docket)

But, based on the 911 name made by Mr Murdaugh and bodycam footage from his first police interview on the night time of the murders, Mr Murdaugh claims he touched his spouse and son’s our bodies when he discovered them by the kennels.

Within the interview footage, he’s heard telling regulation enforcement twice that he “tried to show over” his son’s bloodied physique and that he had checked him and his spouse for pulses.

“I might see his mind … I ran over to Maggie, truly I feel I attempted to show Paul over first… um… , I attempted to show him over, I dunno, I figured it out,” he’s heard saying.

Mr Murdaugh mentioned that his son’s cellphone fell from his pocket when he tried to maneuver him and that he dealt with it briefly.

“His cellphone popped out of his pocket, I began attempting to do one thing with it however I put it again down actually shortly, after which I went to my spouse,” he says.

Detective Laura Rutland of Colleton County Sheriff’s Workplace contradicted his model of occasions as she mentioned that Mr Murdaugh was “clear from head to toe” with no indicators of blood on his physique, shirt, shorts or sneakers.

She mentioned she didn’t say the place he checked for a pulse however, in a gripping reenactment, agreed that if Mr Murdaugh had touched pulse factors on Paul’s neck or wrists he would have been coated in blood.

As jurors have beforehand heard, the crime scene was particularly violent and bloody, with Paul’s mind shot out of his cranium and each he and Maggie mendacity in swimming pools of their very own blood.

Crime scene images present blood on the ground of the canine feed home

(Legislation & Crime)

911 name performed at trial

The unredacted 911 name positioned by Mr Murdaugh on the night time of the murders.

Within the dramatic audio, Mr Murdaugh cries and and sobs down the cellphone as he tells the dispatcher “it’s dangerous” and “my spouse and baby have been shot badly”.

He additionally the dispatcher in regards to the 2019 boat crash involving Paul, saying that the 22-year-old had been getting threats “for months and months and months”.

The legal professional then says he’s going again to his home to get a gun “simply in case”. When officers arrived on the scene, Mr Murdaugh had a shotgun which he handed over.

Murdaugh tells wild story about Black Panthers

Alex Murdaugh recounted a wild story a few farmhand claiming to “kill radical Black Panthers” when he was interviewed by regulation enforcement on the night time of the double homicide of his spouse and son.

In footage of the interview, Mr Murdaugh says he can’t consider anybody “overly suspicious” who might be answerable for the murders however suggests regulation enforcement converse to a farmhand he had not too long ago employed to work on the 1,700-acre property.

Mr Murdaugh claims that the person had advised Paul a “actually bizarre” story only one week earlier than the murders.

“He advised Paul a narrative the opposite day of how when he was in highschool he bought in a battle with some Black guys and an FBI undercover groups noticed him preventing these guys,” he says. “And so they put him on an undercover group with three Navy Seals and their job was to kill radical Black Panthers.”

He provides: “Paul was so shocked by it that he recorded it on his cellphone”.

Mr Murdaugh tells the officers that Paul had “been working with him rather a lot” and the story was “actually bizarre”.

Nonetheless, he provides that he doesn’t imagine the person might be behind the murders, saying that it’s “such a silly” that he was “embarrassed” to even convey it up.

Hypothesis over whether or not Murdaugh unintentionally confessed

Audio from Alex Murdaugh’s second interview with regulation enforcement was performed in courtroom on 30 January, revealing that the disgraced authorized dynasty inheritor could have unwittingly slipped up and confessed to the murders of his spouse and son.

“I did him so dangerous,” a sobbing Mr Murdaugh appeared to say about his son in a police interview on 10 June 2021.

Alex Murdaugh’s surprising 5 phrases after alleged murders revealed

SLED Particular Agent Jeff Croft was requested by prosecutor Creighton Waters to make clear what he heard Mr Murdaugh saying.

“It’s simply so dangerous. I did him so dangerous,” he responded.

Whereas prosecutors sought to counsel that the 54-year-old father and husband slipped up through the police interview, Mr Murdaugh was seen shaking his head and showing to mouth “I didn’t say that” to his attorneys in courtroom.

Nonetheless, the audio of the interview has additionally raised doubts, being considerably unclear as as to if Mr Murdaugh says “I” or “they”, with some inside and outdoors courtroom believing he truly says: “They did him so dangerous.”

Throughout cross-examination on Tuesday, Mr Griffin grilled Agent Croft as to why – if Mr Murdaugh’s assertion raised alarm bells – he didn’t observe up on it.

The particular agent testified that he “made a psychological be aware” about Mr Murdaugh’s remark however mentioned it was early within the investigation when officers had been in additional of an “info gathering” stage.

The audio was performed once more in courtroom – twice in actual time and as soon as at one-third velocity.

When requested by Mr Griffin if he heard “they” not “I” when the recording was slowed down, Agent Croft testified that he nonetheless heard “I”.

Weapons and ammo at Murdaugh house match crime scene

Bodycam footage launched by the courtroom on 30 January revealed an enormous stash of firearms contained in the Murdaugh household house within the days after the murders.

SLED Particular Agent Jeff Croft advised jurors how he seized firearms and ammunition from the Murdaugh house – together with weapons and ammo that matched the kind of gun and bullets used to kill Maggie and Paul.

A .300 Blackout semiautomatic rifle, 12-gauge Browning shotgun, Benelli shotgun and 12-gauge pump shotgun which had been seized from the household house had been all introduced into the courtroom and proven to jurors.

The agent testified that a number of empty containers of ammunition had been additionally discovered throughout searches of the Murdaugh house on 8 June and 13 June.

Contained in the .300 Blackout rifle was Sellier & Bellot .300 AAC BLK ammo – the identical kind of ammo that was used to kill Maggie.

Additionally seized as proof was a bank card receipt for an $1,021.10 merchandise from Gucci – the merchandise had been circled.

Alex Murdaugh: Police bodycam exhibits weapons inside household’s searching lodge

On 31 January, Agent Croft additionally testified that ammunition – metal shot ammo particularly Winchester DryLok – matching the deadly shot fired by way of Paul’s mind had been positioned on the Murdaugh household property.

Two separate weapons – a rifle and shotgun – had been used to kill Maggie and Paul. They’ve by no means been discovered.

Defence’s two shooters’ concept

Mr Murdaugh’s authorized group sought to push its concept that there might have been two shooters individually answerable for killing the mom and son.

Jurors had been proven images and diagrams of the crime scene from each the night time of the murders and multiple month afterward 16 July, with defence legal professional Dick Harpootlian honing in on two bullet projectiles particularly – one which travelled by way of the canine home and one by way of the quail pen.

Below cross-examination of SLED particular agent Melinda Worley, Mr Harpootlian pushed the concept, as a result of the bullet projectiles had been shot at completely different angles, it was a “affordable” risk that there was two killers.

“One affordable rationalization is there are two folks there: one with a shotgun, one with an AR. May somebody have been a lookout, they went there to kill Paul and Maggie shocked them?” Mr Harpootlian pressed.

Agent Worley admitted that the speculation is “doable” however mentioned that it’s only one “one rationalization” as to what could have taken place that fateful night time. She added that the angles is also defined as one single shooter shifting round.

Victims’ final texts and calls revealed

Jurors discovered in regards to the closing textual content messages and cellphone calls made by Paul and Maggie earlier than their brutal murders.

On the night time of seven June 2021, Paul positioned a name on his cellphone to buddy Rogan Gibson at 8.40pm, lasting 4 minutes, adopted by a second name at 8.44pm. The second was the final incoming communication Mr Gibson obtained from Paul’s cellphone.

5 minutes later, at 8.49pm, Mr Gibson despatched Paul a textual content message: “See if you will get image of it. Marion desires to ship it to a lady we all know that’s a vet. Get him to sit down and keep. He shouldn’t transfer round an excessive amount of.”

5 missed calls made by Alex Murdaugh to Maggie Murdaugh’s cellphone after her homicide

(Colleton County Court docket)

The message – believed to be a few canine Paul was taking good care of for him – went unanswered.

From that time onward, neither Paul nor his mom Maggie responded to any messages or calls on their cellphones.

Prosecutors mentioned in opening statements that Paul was shot lifeless first at 8.50pm and Maggie minutes later. Their cellphones had no exercise from 8.49pm onward.

After sending the textual content message at 8.49pm and receiving no response from his buddy, Mr Gibson despatched a follow-up textual content at 9.58pm, which merely learn: “Yo.”

Mr Gibson additionally tried calling Paul a number of occasions at 9.10pm, 9.29pm, 9.42pm, 9.57pm and 10.08pm.

Getting no response from his buddy, jurors heard that he additionally texted Paul’s mom Maggie at 9.34pm, saying: “Inform Paul to name me.”

Shortly after, Mr Gibson had 4 missed calls from Alex Murdaugh at 10.21pm, 10.24pm, 10.25pm and 10.30pm.

Doubts solid on preservation of crime scene

Throughout a lot of his cross-examination of SLED Particular Agent Worley, Mr Harpootlian sought to choose holes within the proof gathered from the bloody crime scene.

He raised doubts a few mark or potential footprint noticed on Maggie’s calf on the night time of the murders.

Whereas Mr Harpootlian prompt it was a “footwear impression”, Agent Worley mentioned she “couldn’t say” that was what the mark was however that it “might be”.

Drone footage of Moselle property the place Maggie and Paul Murdaugh had been murdered

The mark was not examined on the scene and no impression of the imprint was taken, she testified.

She additionally confirmed {that a} bloody footprint discovered within the feeding room was later decided to be that of a regulation enforcement officer – one thing that supported the defence’s line of questioning that some proof was not preserved accurately and was even “destroyed”.

“Are you aware what different proof they could have destroyed?” requested Mr Harpootlian.

“I do not know,” the agent mentioned, to which he responded: “That’s proper you don’t.”

Murdaugh’s cousin testifies he bought him weapons – matching one used to kill Maggie

On 31 January, Mr Murdaugh’s cousin John Bedingfield testified in opposition to him, revealing how the 54-year-old purchased a number of firearms from him within the years previous to the murders – ones that match the kind used to kill Maggie.

Mr Bedingfield, who works for the Division of Pure Sources however has a aspect enterprise making and promoting firearms below a federal licence, advised the courtroom that Mr Murdaugh approached him earlier than Christmas 2016 wanting to purchase each Paul and his surviving son rifles as presents.

He bought two subsonic 300 BlackOut rifles – one black, one tan color – for $9,188 so his sons might hunt hogs, he testified.

Two years later in April 2018, he mentioned that Mr Murdaugh purchased a 3rd rifle from him for $875 as a result of he mentioned that Paul had misplaced his different one.

Murdaugh’s chilling textual content message to spouse after murders revealed

On Alex Murdaugh’s chilling closing textual content to his spouse moments after he allegedly killed her and their son was revealed in courtroom throughout his homicide trial on Tuesday.

Jurors had been proven information from the cellphones of Maggie, Paul and Mr Murdaugh on the night time of the murders.

Prosecutors say that Mr Murdaugh shot Paul first at 8.50pm and Maggie after.

Nearly instantly after, cellphone information exhibits Mr Murdaugh made a number of calls to Maggie and different relations.

Mr Murdaugh first known as Maggie at 9.04pm – minutes after he allegedly shot her lifeless – and the decision went to voicemail.

He then texted her cellphone at 9.08pm, claiming he was going to go to his mom: “Going to examine on M. Be proper again.” The textual content was by no means learn.

Alex Murdaugh’s brother John Marvin Murdaugh and surviving son Buster Murdaugh within the courthouse


In whole, Mr Murdaugh known as his spouse 5 occasions between 9.04pm and 10.03pm after allegedly killing her. Not one of the calls had been answered.

His final textual content message to his spouse got here at 9.47pm, writing: “Name me babe.”

In addition to calling Maggie, Mr Murdaugh’s cellphone information present he additionally made a number of calls to different numbers within the hour between the time prosecutors say the homicide occurred and he known as 911. Prosecutors allege that Mr Murdaugh was looking for to construct an alibi for that night time.

Minutes after the ultimate name, Mr Murdaugh known as 911 at 10.07pm claiming to have discovered Maggie and Paul’s our bodies.

Somebody was holding and shifting with Maggie’s cellphone after homicide

SLED Lt. Britt Dove, who works within the laptop crimes centre, testified that he processed the three cellphones.

Based mostly on the cellphone information, he mentioned that the final textual content Maggie learn was a message from her sister-in-law Lynn Murdaugh in a gaggle chat which she learn at 8.49pm.

After 8.49pm, she didn’t open or reply to messages or calls from a number of folks together with her husband, oldest son Buster and Mr Murdaugh’s brother John Marvin Murdaugh.

Jurors additionally heard how the cellphone information exhibits Maggie’s cellphone orientation modified from portrait to panorama at 8.54pm after which once more at 9.06pm, indicating that it was in somebody’s fingers. One minute later, at 9.07pm the display went on and off as if somebody tried – however failed – to unlock it.

Well being app information was additionally introduced to jurors, exhibiting that Maggie’s cellphone recorded 59 steps in two minutes after 8.53pm – after prosecutors allege Maggie and Paul had been already lifeless.

“It tells me somebody was holding this cellphone and took steps, and it recorded these steps,” mentioned Lt Dove.

Maggie’s cellphone was locked between 8.49pm on 7 June 2021 and 1.10pm the next day when it was discovered dumped by the aspect of a street round 1 / 4 of a mile from the Murdaugh property.

Paul’s cellphone was additionally initially locked after the murders, till US Secret Service Digital Forensic Examiner Jonathan VanHouten testified that he managed to unlock when he efficiently tried Paul’s birthday as his passcode.

Witnesses say voice in homicide scene video is Alex Murdaugh

In a dramatic day on 1 February, jurors had been proven cellphone footage taken by Paul on the canine kennels simply minutes earlier than he and Maggie had been shot lifeless which casts doubts on Mr Murdaugh’s alibi.

Off-camera, three voices are heard – Paul, Maggie and a person prosecutors say is Mr Murdaugh.

Video exhibits Paul Murdaugh minutes earlier than he and his mom had been murdered

In dramatic testimony, two pals of Paul with shut ties to the household advised jurors that they’re “100 per cent positive” that the voice belongs to Mr Murdaugh.

Cellphone information exhibits that the video was recorded for 58 seconds from 8.44.49pm to eight.45.47pm – lower than 5 minutes earlier than the murders. The disbarred legal professional has claimed he was napping on the household house at the moment.

Rogan Gibson, who had recognized Paul since they had been younger and described the Murdaughs as his “second household”, testified that he was “100 per cent positive” Mr Murdaugh is the voice within the footage. A second buddy Will Loving echoed this.

Because the footage was performed in courtroom, Mr Murdaugh appeared to rock his head up and down and cry.

Snapchat exhibits Alex Murdaugh in numerous clothes one hour earlier than murders

Jurors had been proven a Snapchat video Paul despatched to Mr Loving lower than one hour earlier than he and Maggie had been murdered.

The video, despatched at 7.56pm on 7 June 2021, exhibits Alex Murdaugh on the grounds of the household property.

Within the footage, Mr Murdaugh, 54, is seen wearing trousers, loafers and a blue button-down shirt – clothes that doesn’t match what he’s seen sporting in police bodycam footage within the aftermath of the murders.

Within the bodycam footage, proven in courtroom final week, the disgraced legal professional is wearing a white short-sleeved t-shirt and shorts.

Questions had already raised about this outfit as a number of regulation enforcement officers have testified that Mr Murdaugh and his clothes had been “clear from head to toe” – regardless of his claims he had touched the bloody our bodies of his spouse and son.

It’s not but clear if investigators ever positioned or seized the second outfit Mr Murdaugh is seen sporting within the Snapchat video and jurors are but to listen to an evidence from the defence.

Lower than one hour on from the 7.56pm Snapchat, Paul and Maggie had been shot lifeless at round 8.50pm.

Alex Murdaugh laughs along with his son minutes earlier than Paul’s dying

Homicide timeframe narrowed right down to eight-second window

Prosecutors declare that Paul was shot lifeless first at round 8.50pm, adopted by Maggie – with cellphone information getting used to slender down the murders to a exact eight-second window.

SLED Lt. Britt Dove testified that Paul’s final cellphone exercise was at 8.48.59pm and Maggie’s was at 8.49.27pm.

Eight seconds later at 8.49.35pm, Paul obtained a textual content message however it went unread. Neither Maggie nor Paul used their telephones after that point.

Calls Murdaugh made to spouse on night time of murders ‘deleted’

In dramatic courtroom testimony, jurors heard that calls Mr Murdaugh made to his spouse on the night time of the murders had been mysteriously later “deleted” from his name log.

In courtroom on Tuesday, Lt Dove testified that Mr Murdaugh had known as Maggie 5 occasions between 9.04pm and 10.03pm on the night time of seven June 2021 after he had allegedly killed her and Paul. Not one of the calls had been answered.

However, based on the decision go surfing his cellphone, Mr Murdaugh didn’t place or obtain any calls between 4.35pm on 4 June and 10.25pm on 7 June.

Lt Dove, who processed the three cellphones belonging to Mr Murdaugh, Maggie and Paul, testified that the trove of cellphone calls Mr Murdaugh made to his spouse’s cellphone after he allegedly shot the victims lifeless was lacking from his name log.

The one rationalization for the lacking information is that the decision logs had been manually and deliberately deleted by somebody between the 7 June 2021 murders and his cellphone being seized by authorities in September 2021, he mentioned.

Defence casts doubt on concept Murdaugh took Maggie’s cellphone

Below cross-examination, the defence solid doubt on the speculation that it might have been Mr Murdaugh who threw Maggie’s cellphone alongside the aspect of Moselle Highway.

Lt Dove admitted that cellphone information prompt Maggie and Mr Murdaugh’s telephones weren’t in the identical place on the identical time at 9.06pm because the step information didn’t match.

This was essential as a result of 9.06pm is when the ultimate orientation change – or motion – was recorded on Maggie’s cellphone.

Lt Dove testified that this motion might have been because it was being thrown from a automobile to the place it was found the subsequent day, with the defence contending that Mr Murdaugh was on the household property strolling along with his cellphone at the moment.

Nonetheless, below redirect, prosecutors solid doubt on the defence’s timeframe for when the cellphone was tossed down Moselle Lane, as Lt Dove testified that an orientation change can solely happen when the cellphone display is on.

The SLED agent testified that the display on Maggie’s cellphone was off between 9.07pm and 9.31pm so if the cellphone was thrown from a automotive throughout that point, there would have been no orientation change recorded.

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