Paul Murdaugh in Court: The Night of the Killings Revealed by a Dog in the Background of a Video clip from the Dog-Kernel
He had to answer a huge question from the prosecution: who was the person who said in a video clip that Murdaugh had killed the family?
Paul had recorded video on his phone, apparently at the dog kennels, at 8:44 p.m. on the night of the killings. Witnesses have testified Alex’s Murdaugh’s voice can be heard in the background of the video, and Murdaugh confirmed it was him in Thursday’s testimony.
Three different voices could be heard in the footage, Dove testified Wednesday. And while Dove did not personally know the voices, he said, “You can tell that they’re different voices.”
When the prosecution on Tuesday played the video from Paul’s phone, Crosby said he identified three voices: Paul’s, Maggie’s and Alex’s. Crosby said he was sure that those voices were on the audio.
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 said he would send a video of the dog to him if the call didn’t work, but he never received it.
Jurors in the murder trial of disbarred South Carolina attorney Alex Murdaugh heard Monday about autopsy evidence on a day the court also publicly released body camera videos from law enforcement officers who arrived the night his wife and son were killed in June 2021.
In his opening statement, Dick Harpootlian said that the audio indicated that the Murdaughs had a normal discussion with no animosity. Harpootlian stated that Paul is very happy. Nobody is threatening him. Daddy is not pulling out a shotgun and killing him.”
In dramatic testimony, which included heated exchanges between Murdaugh and the prosecutor who cross-examined him, Murdaugh admitted to lying repeatedly – including to law enforcement about his whereabouts on the night of the killings – and to stealing millions of dollars from his law firm’s client settlements over the course of roughly two decades. Murder is not on his list of wrongdoings.
Murdaugh was shot in the head on a road, but survived. Police said that he admitted to asking a client to kill him in order to get an insurance payouts for his oldest son.
The phone showed multiple missed calls from her husband, along with evidence that it had switched to portrait mode. The expert said that that was another indicator that the phone was in someone’s hand. A final call from Murdaugh was missed just before 10:04 p.m.
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.
Keeping Murdaugh on the phone: When she confronted him about alleged financial crimes, she pressed him to resign
The display on the phone was turned off at 8:52 p.m. Dove said the orientation changed to landscape at 8:54p.m., and that the phone moved after the camera tried to locate a face in an unsuccessful attempt.
Dove pointed out that there was no way to know if the calls were deleted from the log or who deleted them.
Dove said that the only way to get rid of the calls from the log was to manually do it.
This behavior appeared to be outside Murdaugh’s typical texting habits, Dove testified, saying Murdaugh typically had a habit of checking texts within 5 minutes, or sometimes 30 to 40 minutes.
The chief financial officer of Alex Murdaugh’s former law firm testified in his double murder trial Thursday about confronting the now-disbarred attorney about missing funds the morning his wife and son were killed, as prosecutors work to convince the judge to allow testimony about Murdaugh’s alleged financial crimes.
The testimony by the CFO of the firm, formerly known as PMPED, was not shown to the jury because the judge was weighing whether to allow evidence about the alleged schemes of Murdaugh.
Yet Seckinger dug into more of Murdaugh’s records in the weeks ahead and found more impropriety, she testified. In September 2021, the firm’s partners confronted Murdaugh about the money and informed him they were forcing him to resign, she told the court.
Seckinger told Murdaugh that he needed to prove he did not receive funds himself, after she confronted him on June 7.
Second, Murdaugh was facing a lawsuit from the family of Mallory Beach, a 19-year-old who was killed in February 2019 when a boat, owned by Murdaugh and allegedly driven by his son Paul, crashed. Prosecutors argued that a hearing in the civil case was supposed to be held in June of 2021, but it was delayed because of the killings.
Three months after the killings, on September 3, 2021, Murdaugh’s colleagues again confronted him about the missing funds and forced him to resign. A day later, Murdaugh was shot on the side of a rural road in what he initially claimed was a random attack – but investigators eventually determined was part of a bizarre murder-for-hire plot concocted by Murdaugh.
But the June 10 hearing was canceled after Maggie and Paul’s deaths, Seckinger said Thursday, and the firm opted not to confront Murdaugh about the missing money.
After the killings, Alex wasn’t in the office much, said Seckinger. “And nobody wanted to harass him about nothing that we thought was really missing, when we had several months till the end of the year to clear it up. At that point in time, we were not going to harass him.
Interaction between Murdaugh, Seckinger, Waters, and a friend of Paul, during the April 16 Shooting, prosecuted on murder charges
March 16: Murdaugh is indicted on four more crimes, including conspiracy and false statement or misrepresentation in an insurance transaction, related to a scheme to defraud multiple insurance companies, according to the attorney general.
In opening statements of Alex Murdaugh’s murder trial, the prosecution went into a lengthy defense of the value and importance of circumstantial evidence.
The state is attempting to prosecute the case because the Murdaugh family has long ties with the local solicitor’s office.
“There are two things very temporally connected with this particular crime. That is the confrontation with Ms. Seckinger that morning over the (missing) fees that had been percolating for a while,” Waters said. That is a pending hearing in the boat case.
The defense asked, could you think of a reason? Waters referred to the defense cross-examination of the friend of Paul that inquired if he could think of a reason why Murdaugh might commit the murders. The friend said he could not.
“And all of this going on in his life, which is a stellar series of events like nothing ever seen,” Waters said. It is relevant for the jury to consider when they decide on what to do with this man.
The prosecution’s case heard in camera Thursday illustrated Murdaugh’s alleged transgressions went far beyond the missing $792,000 Seckinger confronted Murdaugh about the morning prior to the murders.
Waters separately took the law firm CFO through a long list of instances in which he allegedly misappropriated funds stemming from the settlements in cases he handled. Seckinger verified documents from case after case on the stand Thursday, testifying Murdaugh “stole” what amounted to millions of dollars from clients and the law firm. The firm, she said, was responsible for paying back what Murdaugh had stolen.
A Murdaugh witness testified against a blue rain jacket after the shootings of a 23-year-old man on the side of the road
“And it was my understanding that Alex admitted it and that it was determined he would resign,” Seckinger said, adding the firm decided not to announce his resignation until the beginning of the following week.
Seckinger said she heard that Murdaugh had been shot while on the side of the road. Murdaugh told authorities he helped kill a former client so his son could collect a $10 million life insurance windfall.
The particles were found on the shirt and shorts Murdaugh was wearing on the night of the two deaths, according to a forensic scientist.
Primer is one of the elements – the others are the powder, the bullet and the casing – that make up an ammunition cartridge, often referred to as a round.
Attorneys for the defense argued against keeping the blue rain jacket out of evidence. A caregiver for Murdaugh’s mother, Mushell Smith, first testified Monday that Murdaugh went to his mother’s home early one morning after the killings and headed upstairs with something blue – which she described as a tarp – in his hands.
The court was told later on Monday that investigators had found a tarp and rain jacket on the second floor of the mother’s home.
Crosby testified that Murdaugh had told him that while he was asleep, he drove to his parents house to see his mom and that he found her and Paul dead at home.
She found Alex near his office when she looked for him that morning. He “looked at me with a pretty dirty look – one I’ve not seen before – and said, ‘What do you need now?’ Clearly disgusted with me. She testified.
Immediately after the killings, no one at the firm was concerned about finding the missing money, “because we were concerned about Alex,” Seckinger testified Tuesday.
A phone call to Murdaugh during a personal injury trial: “You haven’t seen anything like it” or “You might have seen something like this”
The attorney who claimed to be Alex Murdaugh’s best friend testified at his murder trial that he had a drug addiction and had been stealing money from his law firm and clients.
The relevancy of the testimony is being debated in court, as defense lawyer Jim Griffin said that there was more evidence about financial misdeeds than there were about a murder.
He and Murdaugh had worked on a personal injury case which they won with a verdict of more than $5 million. Murdaugh asked Wilson to write the check to him personally rather than his law firm, and Wilson did as requested.
Wilson also testified he spoke with Murdaugh on the phone at 9:11 p.m., 9:20 p.m. and 9:53 p.m. on June 7, 2021, around the time of the murders. In the short conversations, nothing sounded out of the ordinary, Wilson said.
October 16: A pair of affidavits are released that allege Alex Murdaugh coordinated with the family of Gloria Satterfield, his former housekeeper, to sue himself for insurance money that he then pocketed for himself.
Satterfield’s family heard about the settlement through media reports. He said when he asked Murdaugh about it in June 2021, Murdaugh told him “it was still making progress” and to be ready to settle by the end of the year.
Murdaugh’s Debt-For-Hire Case in Palmetto, Calif., Oct. 17, 2003, Preferred by Malinowski
Further, the CEO of a local bank testified for the jury that Murdaugh’s account was overdrafted by about $350,000. According to Jan Malinowski, the CEO of Palmetto State Bank, Murdaugh had a total debt of $4.2 million.
Tinsley was asked about that lawsuit by the prosecution on Thursday. He said he was asking for $10 million, but that Murdaugh might only be able to cobble together $1 million. Tinsley was not cross-examined Thursday and is expected to resume his testimony Friday morning.
The CFO said they would not go in there and harass him about money because he was worried about his mental state and the family had been killed.
He resigned, went into rehab, and even had a murder-for-hire plot, all because his law firm confronted him again, about the misappropriated funds.
AlexMurdaugh asked Turrubiate Simpson if she was a friend of the family after their son, Paul Murdaugh, was killed to clean the home.
“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 that she knew the money they were asking for.
“He said there was going to be people probably stopping by and bringing food and stuff,” Turrubiate-Simpson said. “He said I just want the house to look the way Maggie would like for it to look. I went to the house after I said okay.
The Murdaugh family of the murder victim died in South Carolina after a 15-minute shooting spree last week: an expert witness testifying against the prosecution
The disgraced attorney took the witness stand again Friday for more questioning from the prosecution in his murder trial.
The Murdaugh family was ordered this week to sit back in the South Carolina courtroom due to improper conduct by relatives, according to the clerk of court.
Alex Murdaugh received a book from his sister in court on Wednesday. It was not shared with the victim’s advocate, and Goettee had been admonished just five minutes before that, a source with knowledge of the incident told CNN.
The book was considered contraband because it was not clear what was in it, the source said, adding Murdaugh was already back in his jail cell with it before anybody could check it. The book – John Grisham’s “The Judge’s List” – was later confiscated.
The younger Murdaugh was admonished for the incident, Hill said. Lynn Murdaugh Goettee is warned that she will be barred from the courtroom if she violates any more rules.
When a bomb threat was phoned into the clerk’s office in Walterboro, the courthouse was evacuated and testimony was interrupted. Hours later the court resumed.
The trial could go on until February 23, based on the estimates by attorneys, weeks after the scheduled end date.
The state hoped to rest its case by the middle of next week, prosecutor Creighton Waters said, while the defense will need at least a week, defense attorney Dick Harpootlian said, noting it could be on the shorter side because of how long testimony already has lasted.
Harpootlian said the length of the state’s case makes it difficult and expensive to schedule out-of-state expert witnesses. More than 400 exhibits of evidence have been presented by the state so far.
He said in opening statements that he would ask the judge to allow jurors to visit the hunting property where the Murdaughs were killed.
The public was given the first opportunity to watch the video after it was shown to the jury, which found Murdaugh guilty of murder.
The deputy asks him if the gun he brought to the scene was from inside the home after he talked with Murdaugh. Murdaugh says yes, and then offers his own reasoning as to why someone would kill his family.
The deputy asked where the gun is, and Murdaugh told him that it was leaning against his vehicle. The deputy checks Murdaugh’s shirt before talking further.
This is a long story. My son was in a wreck months ago. Murdaugh says he has been getting threats. Most of it has been non-threatening. We didn’t take serious, you know, he’s been getting like punched. I know that is what it is.
Murdaugh replied that he had left the house to visit his mother at one point, before he said when he was last with the pair.
The injuries suffered by Maggie and Paul Murdaugh during their autopsy, testified by Ellen Riemer, at the Medical University of South Carolina
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.
Riemer said that the force of the shot ejected the man’s brain and arrived at the autopsy separately. At this testimony, Alex Murdaugh was visibly upset, and grabbed a tissue and wiped his eyes and nose.
Paul Murdaugh was shot twice with a shotgun, Riemer said. Riemer testified that the first shot damaged his lung, though it did not kill him. The second shot entered through the top of his left shoulder and entered the left side of his neck and head and came out the right side of the top of the head.
Riemer testified that there was no evidence to show that he had his hands up to his face in anticipation of the injury. “That first shot, his arm was down, and I don’t see any evidence of injury to his hands from the second.”
The next shot went upward, starting at Maggie’s chest and going through the left side of her face. Riemer said that’s because she believed the first two shots caused her to double over. She said that this wound would have been fatal. The last gunshot, Riemer testified, was to the back of the head.
New jury testimony on Murdaugh’s connection with a drug gang and a stolen cell phone number: Twenty-five years of family life in South Carolina
The remaining jurors will be tested again on Wednesday. The judge put the proceedings on hold but said jurors would wear masks and have a positive attitude.
Editor’s Note: The HBO docuseries “Low Country: The Murdaugh Dynasty” chronicles the family’s influence in South Carolina. It will air on CNN on February 19 at 8 p.m.
He decided to ask a man who he had initially wanted to shoot instead of trying to get pills to kill him.
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 is similar to a pill. The prosecution said that she deleted her searches for the pills.
Defense attorney Phillip Barber showed a text Alex Murdaugh sent to his wife the following day, on May 7, 2021, which read: “I am very sorry that I do this to all of you. 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.
And earlier this week, the defense seemed to suggest the killings of Maggie and Paul could have been related to a money dispute with a drug gang, telling the court Murdaugh was buying $50,000 worth of drugs each week from one man who owed a lot of money to a gang.
The defense on Friday called to the stand its first two witnesses, including Colleton County Coroner Richard Harvey who said he estimated the time of death for Paul and Maggie to be around 9 p.m. that night, based on armpit checks he conducted. When questioned by the defense whether Maggie or Paul could have been shot at 8 p.m. or 10 p.m. or any time in between, Harvey said yes.
Owen stated that Smith was brought into the investigation on the day of the incident. Owen said that Murdaugh had never talked about his involvement with Smith before.
Peter Rudofski, an investigator with the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, testified that he was able to Plot Murdaugh’s movements on the night of the killings thanks to General Motor’s latitude, temperature and speed data.
Rudofski testified that Murdaugh drove by the spot where the phone was recovered on the side of the road as he was on his way to his mother’s house.
Murdaugh told the court he lied about being at the kennels because of “paranoid thinking” stemming from his yearslong drug addiction to opioid painkillers as well as his distrust of investigators. That paranoid thinking, Murdaugh testified, was triggered when detectives began to ask him about his relationship with his wife and son.
According to previous testimony, he told investigators on the night of the killings that when he arrived at the crime scene and discovered the bodies, he tried to turn Paul over, then attempted to check Paul’s cell phone, and then attempted to tried both of their pulses, before calling 911.
Murdaugh’s first encounter with the 14th Circuit Solicitor in Los Alamos, Florida, occurred in August 20, 2021
The case was transferred to the Attorney General’s Office because the family that had been the 14th Circuit Solicitor over 87 years had ties to the local solicitor.
Murdaugh’s statements during the August 2021 interview were voluntary, Owen testified Wednesday. Murdaugh wanted to ask SLED agents questions about the investigation, Owen said, and the agent told him he wanted to ask Murdaugh some questions, too. Murdaugh indicated he was comfortable answering the agents’ questions.
Owen and Murdaugh agreed that Rogan had been around the family for a long time. “And he recognizes your voice, and you have a distinct voice. Can you think of anybody else that has a voice similar to yours that he may have misinterpreted?”
The agents confronted Murdaugh about a video on the phone that Paul filmed on the family’s property, as well as the footage that was played Wednesday. Murdaugh is wearing pants and a shirt. But later, he was wearing shorts and a white T-shirt.
There is a video on the phone of Paul and you on the farm. You’re wearing khaki pants and a dress shirt … When I met you that night, you were in shorts and a T-shirt,” Owen said. “At what point in the evening did you change clothes?”
Blanca Simpson testifying last week said that she heard that Alex had asked for Maggie and Paul to come to Moselle the night of the murders.
DO you really care about a criminal trial? Jurors are LOOKING FOR : Science, jury evidence is valuable, jury should not lose if they discover DNA
You didn’t concern yourself with those clothes. 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 told the grand jury about the expert who discovered blood spatter on the front of the shirt and it was sent to a lab for testing. No blood was found on the shirt during the test.
The HemaTrace test that you used to confirm whether or not there is blood came back negative. Isn’t that overlooked? askedGriffin.
“Whoever killed Maggie and Paul would likely have biological material on them from the blasts that killed the two victims, right?,” Griffin asked Owen.
Griffin said Smith owed a lot of money to a drug gang, and Owen testified that he was told the gang was not worried about the money because it knew it was going to get paid.
Was Alex Murdaugh aware that someone else could have been involved in his son or wife’s murder?
He did not have the phone numbers of any of the drug gang members, and asked if a cell phone analysis had been performed to see if any were in the area on the night of the killings. Owen said investigators identified only the first responders as the ones who came to the scene.
The defense attorney also asked Owen if any DNA analysis had been done to match a small amount of unknown male DNA found under Maggie Murdaugh’s fingernail. Owen said no.
JURORS ARE LOOKING FOR : science, jurors are LOOKING FOR : DNA, and jurors want something that is persuasive “But because (prosecutors) lack it … their focus is now on the tenuous motive and the lies after the fact, but neither of those things … substitute the evidence that they need.”
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.
“It does make the case more difficult,” said trial attorney Misty Marris. “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.
A true-crime docuseries of Alex Murdaugh’s murder trial: The case of the Mallory Beach drowning boat accident
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 tried to disprove his claim that he was asleep, while other witnesses also cut into his claims about how long he’d been with his mother.
State prosecutors tried to explain why Murdaugh would kill 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. The accident reconstructionist is expected to focus on the findings of the investigation at the killing scene, a source familiar with the case previously told CNN.
Sometimes it’s simply enough to be in the right place at the right time, and based on the success Netflix has enjoyed with the true-crime genre, often built around family tragedies, having a docuseries ready to go as Alex Murdaugh’s trial commands headlines falls squarely into that basket even if it is, by its very nature, chasing a moving target. A lot of a case for watching it can be made because of what “Murdaugh Murders” doesn’t do.
Indeed, if ever a true-crime docuseries would have benefited from using a narrator, it’s this one; instead, the producers let the group of friends who were swept up in the tragic boat accident that claimed the life of 19-year-old Mallory Beach drone on, augmenting their accounts with blurry reenactments that look like something out of a cheap horror movie.
The Murdaugh family, a well- connected South Carolina attorney, is rumored to have used its wealth and influence to protect Paul, who frequently drank excessively, and often drove the boat.
There are a number of inconsistencies in the case of the Murdaughs, including the death of the housekeeper and nanny, who they claimed was seriously injured when the family dog caused her to fall, as the details come out.
The law firm said that Murdaugh resigned after learning that Alex had misappropriated funds.
“I admit, candidly, in all of these cases, Mr. Waters, that I took money that was not mine, and I shouldn’t have done it,” Murdaugh said in response to prosecutor Creighton Waters during the prosecution’s cross-examination.
Murdaugh, 40, and his wife Margaret, Paul, left Islandton, California, three decades after the discovery of his addiction, and he turned him over
Upon returning to the house in Islandton after visiting his mother, Murdaugh said, Margaret and Paul weren’t there – and he assumed they still were at the kennels, so he went back there.
Murdaugh recalled calling the emergency hotline, trying to help Paul and Maggie, and then going back and forth between them. Paul’s injuries were particularly bad, Murdaugh said, and he recalled trying to check his son’s body for a pulse and trying to turn him over.
Murdaugh couldn’t figure out why he tried to turn him over. “I mean, my boy’s laying face down. He’s done the way he’s been doing. His head was the way he wanted it to be. I could see his brain laying on the sidewalk. I did not know what to do.
Murdaugh rebutted testimony about data collected from his cell phone which showed he searched for a restaurant in Edisto Beach after finding the bodies.
He said he had a pill addiction for over 20 years but was able to maintain his legal practice and was certain none of his partners knew he had an addiction.
Murdaugh said he changed his plan because he did not know if that drug transaction actually happened.
The Murdaugh Family. News on the February 24th Boating Accident and a Florida Mariner with a 21-year-old Mallory Beach
The Murdaugh family name came to mean a legal dynasty in coastal South Carolina where three successive generations controlled the local prosecutor’s office.
The family is linked to a bloody tragedy, allegations of theft and a bizarre murder-for-hire plot that could net them millions of dollars in life insurance.
The first non-Murdaugh to hold the position was Duffie Stone when he was appointed as the 14th Circuit Solicitor. He was elected to the position four times, most recently in 2020, according to the website.
Gloria Satterfield, who was a long-time worker for the Murdaugh family, died in a fall at the home, according to attorney Eric Bland, who is representing her estate.
A boat crashes at a bridge near Parris Island in Beaufort County, South Carolina, on February 24, killing 19-year-old Mallory Beach, according to the South Carolina Attorney General in documents obtained by CNN.
Paul Murdaugh is indicted in April on charges of boating under the influence (BUI) causing great bodily harm and causing death in connection to the crash, court records show. He pleads not guilty.
The first details about the June 7 killings were released by the State Law Enforcement Division on June 15.
June 17th Alex Murdaugh’s brothers, John Marvin Murdaugh and Randolph “Randy” Murdaugh IV, speak to “Good Morning America” about the killings. They say Alex called them “distraught” with the news that his wife and son had been shot. They don’t think their brother is involved.
The Murdaugh Case Revisited: A New Probable State Attorney General Angular to the Killings of Stephen and Gloria Smith
The case of the death of Stephen Smith was reopened by SLED after he was found on the road in 2015. The new probe is being opened because of the information gathered while investigating the deaths of the Murdaughs.
Alex Murdaugh and his other son, Buster, offer $100,000 for information that leads to the conviction of the person or persons responsible for the murders of the two children.
Stone, the solicitor, writes a letter to South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson saying he intends to recuse himself from the Murdaugh death investigations, CNN affiliate WCSC-TV reports.
On September 4, 2021, nearly three months after the killings, Murdaugh reported he was shot alongside a road and was treated for a “superficial gunshot wound to the head,” authorities said.
Alex pulled over when he saw the tire indicator light. A male driver in a blue pickup asked him if he had car troubles, as soon as Alex replied, he was shot,” the statement said.
September 26: The law firm claimed that Murdaugh lied and stole from them. The firm says no member was aware of “Alex’s scheme” or his drug addiction.
On October 14th, Alex Murdaugh was released from a drug rehabilitation center and arrested on suspicion of misappropriating settlement funds in connection with the death of Gloria Satterfield.
November 12: Alex Murdaugh cites privilege against self-incrimination in declining to respond to allegations by his former law firm that he converted firm and client money to his own personal use, according to court filings.
Murdaugh’s 2009 $4.3 million settlement with Satterfield’s former housekeeper, Eric Bland, ends with a natural manner of death
The indictments include several counts of forgery and fraudulent intent, seven counts of Obtaining signature or property from false pretenses, seven counts of money laundered and eight counts of computer crimes.
December 14: Murdaugh agrees to a $4.3 million settlement with the family of Gloria Satterfield, his former housekeeper, according to family attorney Eric Bland.
The state law enforcement division opened a criminal investigation into Satterfield’s death after the coroner requested that his body be exhumed.
“The decedent’s death was not reported to the Coroner at the time, nor was an autopsy performed. On the death certificate the manner of death was ruled ‘Natural,’ which is inconsistent with injuries sustained in a trip and fall accident,” the coroner’s request to the law enforcement division said.
After about six hours of testimony Friday – which included a prosecutor grilling the former disgraced South Carolina attorney over lies, drug use and details in the grisly case – the court adjourned for the weekend and is set to resume Monday morning.
“And you disagree to my characterization that you’ve got a photographic memory about the details that have to fit now that you know … these facts but you’re fuzzy on the other stuff that complicates that? You do not agree with that?
Paul Murdaugh: Never Created an Alibi, Never Healed, Never Induced: A Cross-Examination After the 2019 June 7 Wreck
After a lunch break, the cross examination continued. Waters pointed out discrepancies in the videotaped statements Murdaugh made to police after the killings. Parts of the taped interviews were played for the jury.
I believe Mr. Waters said that I was washing off guns or putting guns in a raincoat, but I know what I was not doing. Murdaugh said that he was not doing any of that.
He said he had never manufactured an alibi, even if he had hurt his wife and child. “So I know for a fact that I never, ever, ever created an alibi.”
“I can tell you for a fact that the person or people who did what I saw on June 7, they hated Paul Murdaugh,” he testified. “And they had anger in their heart.”
Murdaugh testified he did not believe anyone involved in the 2019 wreck had anything to do with the murders. But he said he suspected the killer was someone who had heard about what happened.
Waters then went through a list of law partners, friends and family members that Murdaugh had lied to over the years – with the defendant admitting that he lied to them either directly or by omission.
Shortly before 4 p.m., Waters concluded his cross examination and Murdaugh’s defense attorney, Jim Griffin, began questioning him again after a brief break. Griffin ended questioning shortly after and the court adjourned for the day.
An Attorney General for Murdaugh, a People’s Attorney, who lied to Newman, and Trusted in his Defend
They are actually real people. They’re good people. A lot of the people that I care about, and I did wrong by, are people that I love.
“Whether that came from me looking them in the eye or not, I can’t answer that. But I will agree with you that every single client I looked them in the eye and I believe that the people that I stole money from for all those years trusted me.”
He said that he lied to investigators because he thought he had not been to the estate that day where the dogs’ bodies were found. He blamed his addiction to opiate painkillers for his lie.
Before Murdaugh testified Thursday, a motion from the defense to limit the scope of questioning he would face was denied by Judge Clifton Newman – in particular, allegations of financial wrongdoing.
He said that a number of factors contributed to his paranoid thinking that led to his lie to police, including his “distrust of SLED,” and questions about his relationship with his wife and son. The prosecution played clips of the police interview.
Legal experts say it was risky for a jury to hear from the man himself after he took the stand, but it could have helped his case.
“If you’re going to have somebody testify, having a lawyer who’s smart, who’s been in the courtroom, who’s lied for 20 years … that’s the guy you want on the stand,” criminal defense attorney and former prosecutor Mark Eiglarsh said. “And all it takes is one juror to connect with him emotionally.”
Several attorneys told CNN that Murdaugh had no choice but to testify because he was at a disadvantage.
“It’s the million dollar question that everybody wanted to know: why did you lie that you were not at the kennels? So he had to give an explanation as to that,” criminal defense attorney and former prosecutor Bernarda Villalona said. That is the main reason that the criminal defense attorneys made a calculated decision to put him on the stand.
If Murdaugh could convince a jury that he was not guilty of the charges, he could be spared a life sentence and possibly be released from prison.
The reason they are using it is to show that he has a problem with addiction and that he’s sympathetic for trying to wrestle with it, and that this may have caused him to lie to the police.
“But if he was that addled by the addiction, he might have been acting very irrationally at the time and the jury might believe that this very opioid-addicted person went off into this paranoid frenzy and did slaughter his own family,” Wu noted. “So, it’s a double-edged sword.”
“What they’re doing, the prosecutors, is saying he’s a liar, he’s a cheat, he can’t be trusted and you should not at all take whatever he says at face value,” criminal defense attorney and CNN Legal Analyst Joey Jackson said.
I believe that it went well for the defendant and less so for the prosecutor. “Murdaugh (was) a tough witness, I mean he’s a skilled lawyer himself. He really changed the whole tempo of this from a cross (examination), where the person doing the cross should be controlling him, into one where he was able to control the pace.”
Jessica Roth, a law professor at the Cardozo School of Law, said that it is one of the biggest points of contention for the prosecution in the trial. “Despite all the other crimes he’s admitted to, would he actually kill his wife and son?
An expert in crime scene reconstruction and blood spatter analysis testified that the evidence shows there were two killers in the deaths of Margaret and Paul Murdaugh.
A professor of forensic science was hired by the defense to look into the case and analyze the scene.
He claimed that Paul and Margaret were both shot by a shotgun and pointed to the fact that both were shot with a rifle. He also determined the shooting of Paul came first and was from such a close range that the shooter would have been temporarily stunned by the explosive violence.
The Murdaugh Family Estate in Islandton, SC, has been formally indicted on 2 counts of murder and 2 charges of alleged financial crimes
He has been indicted on 2 counts of murder and 2 weapons charges for the June 7, 2016 deaths of two dogs at their family’s estate in Islandton, South Carolina. He separately faces 99 charges for alleged financial crimes that will be adjudicated at a future date.
The prosecution, which had 61 witnesses over three weeks of testimony, wants testimony from four or five rebuttal witnesses on Tuesday. After rebuttal witnesses, jurors will be allowed to visit the family’s estate prior to closing arguments, according to the judge.
The 14th and final defense witness was the defendant’s brother John Marvin Murdaugh, who testified in emotional terms that law enforcement released the crime scene back to the family without cleaning up Paul Murdaugh’s remains.
He said that the piece of Paul’s skull was about the size of a baseball. It made me angry that this young man had been murdered and his remains were still there.
The defense also worked to show that investigators had done a shoddy job with the case, particularly in securing the crime scene. Mark Ball, a law firm colleague of Murdaugh, testified there were no police tape, barricades or barricades blocking the entrance to the property when investigators left.
They have attempted to prove that he was at the scene of the crime, lied to investigators, and then painted a picture of a fraudulent husband and son who were murdered in a desperate bid to distract investigations into his actions.
The shooting preceded a stint in rehab for drug addiction, allegations of financial crimes, his disbarment, and ultimately, the murder charges.