Alex Murdaugh trial: Jury could visit kennels where murders occurred

Alex Murdaugh trial: Jury could visit kennels where murders occurred

The 12-person jury in the double murder trial of disgraced South Carolina lawyer Alex Murdaugh could visit the kennels on Murdaugh’s property where his late wife, Maggie, and son Paul were shot to death in June 2021.

Murdaugh is accused of shooting Paul and Maggie with a rifle and shotgun near the kennels on their sprawling 1,700-acre hunting property known as the Moselle in Islandton, South Carolina.

Prosecutor Creighton Waters said in his opening statements Wednesday that he hopes to lead the jury to the kennels where the murders occurred. Murdaugh claims that he was napping and therefore was not present at the crime scene the night of Maggie and Paul’s murder, but Waters alleges that he was and has cell phone data and video evidence to prove it.

“He was there minutes before, with Maggie and Paul, minutes before their cell phones went silent forever,” Waters said in his opening statement.

DOUBLE MURDER TRIAL OF SCION LEGAL ALEX MURDAUGH OF SOUTH CAROLINA BEGINS WITH OPENING STATEMENTS

Attorney Jim Griffin talks to Alex Murdaugh in tears after the jury is excused and the defense and prosecution teams discuss how to handle sensitive crime scene photos during his double murder trial at the Colleton County Courthouse in Walterboro, Carolina del Sur, on Wednesday, January 25, 2023. .

Attorney Jim Griffin talks to Alex Murdaugh in tears after the jury is excused and the defense and prosecution teams discuss how to handle sensitive crime scene photos during his double murder trial at the Colleton County Courthouse in Walterboro, Carolina del Sur, on Wednesday, January 25, 2023. .
(Joshua Boucher/The State)

On the night of the murders, Paul apparently recorded a Snapchat video that he sent to his friend around 8:45 p.m.

“On that video… you will hear witnesses identifying Paul’s voice, Maggie’s voice and Alex’s voice. He told anyone who would listen that he was never there… The evidence will show he was there. He was at the murder scene with the two victims,” ​​Waters said.

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Minutes after the Snapchat video was recorded, “Paul’s phone is locked forever,” Waters continued. Maggie’s phone apparently crashed just before 8:50, “and she never answers another text, she never gets another text, she never answers another phone call,” Waters alleged.

From left to right, Buster Murdaugh, 26, his mother Maggie Murdaugh, his brother Paul Murdaugh and his father Alex Murdaugh.  Alex is accused of fatally shooting Maggie, 52, and her son, Paul, 22, on June 7, 2021.

From left to right, Buster Murdaugh, 26, his mother Maggie Murdaugh, his brother Paul Murdaugh and his father Alex Murdaugh. Alex is accused of fatally shooting Maggie, 52, and her son, Paul, 22, on June 7, 2021.
(Facebook)

Earlier in his opening remarks, Waters said that about a week after the murders, Alex Murdaugh went to his mother’s house unexpectedly and was seen coming up the stairs with a tarp-like substance. The substance was later determined to be a blue raincoat that was covered in gunshot residue, Waters said. He added that jurors would listen to Murdaugh’s mother’s caretaker. Murdaugh’s mother suffers from advanced Alzheimer’s, she said.

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Cell phone evidence from Maggie, Paul and Alex’s devices is “key,” Waters said.

The prosecutor concluded his opening statements by saying, “Alex murdered Maggie and Paul. He was the storm. The storm was coming for them… just like the storms that are headed our way right now.”

Alex Murdaugh waits during a break in jury selection on the second day of jury selection at his trial at the Colleton County Courthouse in Walterboro, South Carolina, on Tuesday, January 24, 2023.

Alex Murdaugh waits during a break in jury selection on the second day of jury selection at his trial at the Colleton County Courthouse in Walterboro, South Carolina, on Tuesday, January 24, 2023.
(Joshua Boucher/The State)

Prosecutors alleged that Murdaugh used a shotgun to blow off his son’s head, which was “sliced” from his body, leaving an apparent splatter of brain at the crime scene, according to court documents.

Maggie was shot five times with a semi-automatic rifle, including to the back of the head, and died about 30 meters of her son, according to police and court documents.

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Prosecutors have suggested the family patriarch murdered Paul and Maggie over mounting debts and fear his decades-long schemes to embezzle money from his clients will be exposed.

Alex Murdaugh leaves the Colleton County Courthouse in Walterboro, South Carolina, on Tuesday, January 24, 2023.

Alex Murdaugh leaves the Colleton County Courthouse in Walterboro, South Carolina, on Tuesday, January 24, 2023.
(Mark Sims for Fox News Digital)

Murdaugh has denied involvement. He alleges that he found the lifeless bodies of his wife and son at 10:06 p.m. when he placed a hysterical 911 To call the police. He has a surviving son, Richard “Buster” Murdaugh.

The disgraced attorney appeared to weep and wipe away tears Wednesday as his defense attorney, Dick Harpoolitan, described the violent nature of the murders of Maggie and Paul, arguing their executions were too violent for a loving father to carry out.

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“He did not do it. He did not kill, butcher, your son and wife. And you must remove from your mind any suggestion that he did,” Harpoolitan said.

The former attorney faces a total of 99 financial criminal charges stemming from 19 indictments.

Fox News’ Rebecca Rosenberg contributed to this report.

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