The prosecution has tried to overcome a lack of evidence
Paul Murdaugh and his dog, Cash, had a normal conversation with his family, and no weapons on his property, Owen told the prosecutor
The prosecution has evidence that shows Murdaugh at the murder scene on the night of the murders.
On June 7, 2021, Paul filmed a short video on his phone just before he and his friend were killed. David Britton Dove, a supervisor in the computer crimes center at the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division.
Dove testified that different voices could be heard in the footage. Dove did not personally know the voices, but he said they were different.
Rogan said he was 99% certain that the third person who sounded like Alex Murdaugh was himself a friend of Paul and the Murdaughs. Last November, he told investigators that he was 100% sure, and repeated that in court Wednesday.
Paul Murdaugh called Gibson the night of the shooting, at 8:40 p.m., to ask if something was wrong with Gibson’s dog, Cash, which was in a kennel at the Murdaugh property. The two tried to hold a video call so that Gibson could see the dog, but the reception was not good enough, Gibson testified. Paul Murdaugh told him he would take a video of the dog and send it to him if the FaceTime call didn’t work, Gibson said, but he never received the footage.
Prosecutor Waters of the South Carolina Attorney General’s Office – which is prosecuting the case due to the Murdaugh family’s decades-old ties with the local solicitor’s office – teased the video in his opening statement last week, saying that while Alex claimed to investigators he was napping at the house, video evidence would show he was present at the family’s kennels, where the bodies of his son and wife were found.
In his own opening statement, Harpootlian said the audio simply showed Murdaugh and his wife having a “normal discussion” with “no animosity.” Harpootlian said that Paul is very happy. “Nobody’s down there threatening him. Daddy is not pulling out a shotgun and killing him.”
The property of Murdaugh’s mother in Almeda was not searched for months after the killings. No weapons were found on that property, Owen testified.
In the aftermath of the murders, as seen on police body-cam footage, Murdaugh told investigators that he was asleep at his home and went to visit his mother in Alameda at the time of the killings.
Dove said that the night she was killed, Maggie read two text messages, one about Murdaugh’s father, and another about a group chat.
In his opening statement last week, Waters told the jury Murdaugh repeatedly called his wife that evening before texting her that he was going to visit his mother and driving to Almeda, South Carolina.
Alex Murdaugh, 62, was murdered in the early stages of a criminal trial, prosecuting him for stealing money from his law firm
The display of Maggie’s phone turned off minutes later, at 8:53 p.m. At 8:54 p.m., the orientation changed to landscape and the camera activated – an indication, Dove said, the phone was moved and the camera tried to locate Maggie’s face in an unsuccessful attempt to unlock.
But those calls appeared to be missing from Murdaugh’s phone, Dove said Wednesday, testifying that call logs show a gap in calls between June 4 and 10:25 p.m. the night of June 7.
Dove said that the only way to remove calls from the log would be to manually do it.
Additionally, Murdaugh was in the same group chat as his wife when relatives were texting about his dying father, Dove said Wednesday. And while evidence shows Maggie read both messages, Murdaugh did not read them until the next day, Dove said, despite telling state investigators about his concern for his father’s health.
An attorney who said he was Alex Murdaugh’s best friend testified at his murder trial Thursday that Murdaugh admitted he had a drug addiction and had been stealing money from his law firm and clients.
A prosecution witness talked about Murdaugh’s financial dealings. The chief financial officer of his law firm testified she had confronted Murdaugh about missing funds on the morning of June 7, hours before the killings. Afterward, his coworkers offered him sympathy and gave him a reprieve on the financial issues.
Prosecutors claim that Murdaugh was running a series of illegal schemes to distract himself from his legal and financial troubles and that’s why he committed the killings.
The judge overseeing the case ruled that the proof of the financial evidence was necessary since it was so connected to the state’s case. He has instructed jurors to only consider this financial evidence as part of the motive and not as a broader criticism of the defendant’s character.
He and Murdaugh won a judgment of $5.5 million on a personal injury case that they worked on together. Wilson wrote the check for Murdaugh instead of his law firm because he was asked to.
The checks ultimately played a key role in Murdaugh’s law firm’s discovery that he had been misappropriating funds, according to testimony from his coworkers.
Also in court Thursday, Michael “Tony” Satterfield, the son of Murdaugh’s former housekeeper Gloria Satterfield, testified about being defrauded by Murdaugh.
Satterfield testified that he learned of the settlement from his family, who heard about it through media reports. He said that Murdaugh told him that it was still making progress and to be ready to settle by the end of the year.
A civil trial of Murdaugh about a lawsuit arising from a boat crash involving a man’s girlfriend, Mallory Beach,
Further, the CEO of a local bank testified for the jury that Murdaugh’s account was overdrafted by about $350,000. As of August 2021, Murdaugh had a total debt to the bank of $4.2 million, according to Palmetto State Bank CEO Jan Malinowski.
At the time of the killings, Murdaugh was facing a lawsuit stemming from a boat crash in February 2019 that killed 19-year-old Mallory Beach. Murdaugh owned the boat and Paul Murdaugh was allegedly driving it at the time of the accident.
At the time Maggie and Paul were killed, Murdaugh was facing a lawsuit from Beach’s family. The hearing for that civil case was to take place in June 2021, and had the possibility to expose Murdaugh’s financial troubles.
Tinsley was asked about the lawsuit on Thursday. He testified he was seeking $10 million from Murdaugh, but was told Murdaugh was broke and might only be able to come up with $1 million. Tinsley is expected to resume his testimony on Friday.
The CFO testified that they weren’t going to harass him about money because they were worried about his Mental state and the death of his family.
Indeed, that “day of reckoning” didn’t come for another three months, when his law firm again confronted him about misappropriated funds, leading to his resignation, a bizarre murder-for-hire and insurance scam plot, a stint in rehab, dozens of financial crimes, his disbarment and, ultimately, the murder charges.
Blanca Turrubiate- Simpson testified Friday in the double-murder trial of Alex Murdaugh that he was suspicious about his wife being involved in a lawsuit and worried about money being demanded of her family.
“She was concerned about the amount of money that they were requesting in that lawsuit – $30 million is what she told me,” Turrubiate-Simpson said. “She said she knew the amount of money they were asking.
The guy said that people would probably stop by and bring food. “He said I just want the house to look the way Maggie would like for it to look. So, I said OK and I went to the house.”
The Case for Alex Murdaugh in Moselle, South Carolina, Following the June 7 Killings: A Shotgun-Proton Collision
Alex Murdaugh is on trial for the killings on June 7, 2021. He has pleaded not guilty to two counts of murder and two weapons charges, with the trial expected to last about two more weeks.
Some Murdaugh relatives were told to sit further back in the South Carolina courtroom because of inappropriate conduct and contact before Turrubiate-Simpson’s testimony.
In court Wednesday, Alex Murdaugh’s sister Lynn Murdaugh Goettee passed him a book through a member of his defense team. A source with knowledge of the incident says that Goettee was admonished five minutes before the victim’s advocate was to be told about it.
The source said that the book was not clear what it was and Murdaugh was already back in his jail cell with it. John Grisham had a book called “The Judge’s List”.
The younger Murdaugh was admonished for the incident, Hill said. Lynn Murdaugh Goettee and Buster Murdaugh have been warned that any more violations will result in them being barred from the courtroom.
Amid the book incident, Wednesday’s testimony was interrupted when a bomb threat was called into the clerk’s office and the courthouse in Walterboro was evacuated, Hill said. Court resumed hours later.
Legal teams on Thursday offered a glimpse into the remaining trial schedule: Closing arguments could start around February 23, based on attorneys’ estimates – weeks after Friday’s originally scheduled end date.
The state’s case will likely be wrapped up by the middle of the week, but the defense needs at least a week to present their case, according to Dick Harpkotlian.
Harpoonlian says it is hard to schedule travel and lodging for out-of-state experts when the state case is so long. More than 400 exhibits of evidence have been introduced by the state.
The Murdaugh brothers were killed on the hunting property at Moselle, so Harpootlian planned to try to get the judge to let jurors visit there.
Throughout the trial, prosecutors have tried to place Murdaugh at the scene of the killings shortly before the crime, notably with the help of a video clip authorities say was recorded shortly before the shootings.
About 30 seconds after Greene and Murdaugh begin talking, the deputy asks him whether the gun he brought to the scene was from inside the home. After Murdaugh says yes he offers his reasoning for why someone would kill his family.
The deputy asks where the gun is, and Murdaugh tells him it is leaning against Murdaugh’s vehicle. The deputy is talking to Murdaugh.
This is not a short story. months ago my son was in a boat wreck He’s been getting threats,” Murdaugh says. “Most of it’s been benign stuff. We didn’t take serious, you know, he’s been getting like punched. Um, I, I know that’s what it is.”
The investigator said data show that Murdaugh stayed at his parents’ home for a short period of time before heading back to the Moselle property.
Maggie and Paul Murdaugh’s injuries and autopsy results: Bethe ansatz of Ellen Riemer and a close friend of her father
Also Monday, under questioning from the prosecution, Ellen Riemer, a pathologist at the Medical University of South Carolina, gave graphic testimony Monday about the injuries suffered by Maggie and Paul and their autopsy results.
The force of the shot caused his brain to be ejected, Riemer said, and it arrived to the autopsy separately. Alex Murdaugh wiped his nose and eyes at this testimony, and grabbed a tissue to calm him down.
Paul Murdaugh was shot twice with a shotgun, Riemer said. Riemer testified that the shot damaged his lung but it was not fatal because it went through part of his chest and arm. The second shot entered through his left shoulder and went through the left side of his neck and head, exiting the right side of his head.
Riemer testified that he couldn’t see anything on his hands that showed he had his hands up in anticipation of the injury. He had his arm down from the first shot and I don’t think he injured his hands from the second shot.
The next shot went upward, starting at Maggie’s chest and going through the left side of her face. Riemer said the first two shots caused him to double over as her head bent over. She said this wound would have ended in death. Riemer testified that the last shot was to the back of the head.
Tests of Murdaugh’s Dilemma against his Son, Alex, and His Mother, Maggie, in South Carolina, after the Three-Month Killings
The jury will be tested again Wednesday. Prosecutors and defense attorneys discussed with the judge postponing the day’s proceedings, but Judge Clifton Newman said jurors would wear masks and “they have a positive attitude.”
Editor’s Note: The HBO docuseries “Low Country: The Murdaugh Dynasty” chronicles the family’s influence in South Carolina. It airs on CNN Sunday, February 19, at 8 p.m. ET.
Before prosecutors rested their case on Friday, they presented evidence in court showing Paul Murdaugh – son of disgraced South Carolina attorney Alex Murdaugh – confronted his father about pills about one month before both he and his mother were found fatally shot.
Cell phone records showed that on the same day, Maggie Murdaugh searched on Google “white pill 30 on one side rp,” prosecutors said. The description matches a 30 mg Oxycodone Hydrochloride pill. She deleted her searches for the pills.
Alex Murdaugh sent a text to his wife the next day apologized and stated that he was sorry, according to Phillip Barber. I love you.”
The defense has portrayed the defendant as a loving father and husband who called 911 after finding his wife and son, and who is being prosecuted after a poorly handled investigation while the real killers remain at large.
The first two witnesses for the defense, Richard Harvey from the coroner’s office, and a third who was not named, testified on Friday. Harvey said yes when he was asked by the defense if they could have shot both of them at any time during the day or night.
The court was told that in the moments after the murders of his wife and Paul, Alex Murdaugh called police from his car and then used his cell phone to find his wife’s phone.
Rudofski said he could plot Murdaugh’s movements on the night of the killings by using latitude, longitude and speed data provided by General GM.
Rudofski testified that while on his way to his mother’s house that night, Murdaugh drove by the spot on the side of the road where Maggie’s cell phone was later recovered by investigators.
The investigator stated that Murdaugh arrived at the property at 10:00 p.m. after he turned into the front entrance.
Murdaugh, Owen, and Griffin in a Cross-Examination of an Accusation Trial: “You gotta get dressed, but you can’t do that”
He told investigators that when he arrived at the crime scene, he tried to turn Paul over and check Paul’s phone, before calling the police, according to previous testimony.
The case was taken over by the Attorney General’s Office due to the long-standing relationship the Murdaugh family had with the local solicitor.
On Wednesday, the court was shown footage of Sled agents interviewing Murdaugh about some evidence that appeared to violate his previous statements.
“And Rogan’s been around your family for pretty much all his life,” Owen said, something Murdaugh agreed with. “And he recognizes your voice, and you have a distinct voice. Do you believe anyone else has a voice like yours that is similar to his?
During cross-examination, defense attorney Jim Griffin noted that investigators had the Snapchat video in July, but did not ask Murdaugh about the whereabouts of the blue shirt and pants he was seen wearing in that footage. Owen said he never asked Murdaugh for those clothes.
There is a video on the phone of you and Paul. You are wearing khaki pants and a dress shirt, Owen said. “At what point in the evening did you change clothes?”
Murdaugh vs. Smith at the Bay Area Shooting: Hema Trace Tests in Moselle During the September 2021 Roadside Shooting
On Tuesday a witness testified that it was Murdaugh who wantedMaggie to come to Moselle. During the day, he was in Edisto Beach, but on the fateful day he did not want to go to Islandton.
Because you were not concerned with those clothes, you didn’t think of it. Your investigation had been focused since early June on the T-shirt he was wearing, the shorts he was wearing and shoes he was wearing at the time he called 911,” Griffin said.
Owen testified that he had told a county grand jury that an expert found multiple particles of blood spatter on the front of the T-shirt, and it was sent to a lab for testing. The test, however, found no blood on the shirt.
“Y’all completely overlooked the fact that when you did a HemaTrace test to confirm whether there’s blood, it came up negative. Wasn’t that known? asked Griffin.
“Whoever killed Maggie and Paul would likely have biological material on them from the blasts that killed the two victims, right?,” Griffin asked Owen.
At one point Wednesday, Judge Clifton Newman ruled against allowing testimony about a roadside shooting that injured Murdaugh in September 2021. Authorities have alleged that Murdaugh arranged for another man, Curtis Edward Smith, to shoot him so his surviving son could obtain millions of dollars in life insurance.
Owen testified that he was told the gang knew it was going to get paid when it owed Smith a lot of money.
The prosecutor wondered if Murdaugh had ever mentioned anyone else who might have been involved in his son’s or wife’s murder.
Owen said he didn’t have the phone numbers of drug gang members, so they wouldn’t have known if they were in the area on the night of the killings. But state investigators performed an analysis around Moselle and had identified only first responders as coming to the scene, Owen said.
Owen was asked by the defense attorney if a small amount of male DNA found under Murdaugh’s fingernail was match to someone else. Owen didn’t say no.
The law says otherwise even when people say it is just a circumstantial case. It’s concluded that circumstantial evidence is as good as direct evidence.
Dick Harpootlian argued for the defense that the evidence is little more than speculation and rejection. They have highlighted Murdaugh’s loving relationships with his family and ridiculed the prosecution’s focus on irrelevant financial misconduct.
Legal experts who have followed the trial told CNN the prosecution’s lack of direct evidence makes it harder to convict – though certainly not impossible.
The case is made more difficult by it. “But at some point, if the prosecutors have enough evidence that they can put together that story, and show motive and opportunity, it can certainly rise to the level needed to get a conviction.
Juriers want science, jurors want evidence and jurors want persuasive evidence. The focus of the prosecutors is on the lies and the tenuous motives, and not the evidence that they need.
A video of a Murdaugh family dog in Islandton, South Carolina, and the murder of his father, Alex, Maggie, and his son
The video focuses on one of their dogs and appears to have been recorded at the kennels at their family home in Islandton. In the background, three different voices can be heard in the footage, and family friends identified those voices as that of Paul, Maggie and Alex Murdaugh.
The prosecution used that video to try and prove he was not sleeping, and they also used his testimony to prove that he had been with his mother for longer than he claimed.
Finally, state prosecutors have tried to put forth an adequate explanation of why Murdaugh – described as a loving and devoted family man – would slaughter his wife and son.
Alex Murdaugh’s attorneys on Tuesday called his surviving son to testify in the disgraced South Carolina attorney’s double murder trial, as the defense tries to counter prosecutors’ allegations Murdaugh killed his wife and younger son.
Buster Murdaugh was called as the defense’s first witness of the day. A source told CNN that an accident reconstructionist is expected to follow after him and focus on the findings at the killing scene and how it was treated.