WOLTERBORO, S.C. – Prosecutors in a double murder trial involving a prominent former South Carolina attorney made opening arguments Wednesday, claiming a barrage of evidence will convince jurors that Alex Murdoff killed his wife and son. Did it
Lead prosecutor Creighton Waters alleged that Murdaugh, 54, had created a “perfect storm” before killing his wife, Maggie Murdaugh, and son, Paul Murdoff, in June 2021. Murdaugh’s defense attorney, Dick Harpootlian, insisted on Murdaugh’s innocence until proven guilty in front of a jury. and disputed the credibility of the state’s evidence as “principles”.
Attorneys listed more than 200 potential witnesses who could be called to testify after opening statements. South Carolina Attorney General’s Office seeking life in prison If Murdaugh is convicted.
Prosecutor: Family weapon used to kill wife
In her opening statement on Wednesday, Waters presented to the jury a minute-by-minute timeline of the family’s movements on the night of the murder and the forensic evidence the state presented, including cellphone data, ballistics evidence, photos of Alex Murdo Video depositions and body-worn camera footage from the crime scene.
Waters said that although Murdaugh claimed he was never in the dog kennel on the family property, the voices of Murdaugh, his wife and their son were heard on cellphones taken by Paul Murdaugh on June 7, 2021 at around 8:45 p.m. can be heard on video where the alleged killings took place. He said that minutes after that video was taken, Murdaugh shot his son with a shotgun and then shot his wife with a rifle, causing “catastrophic damage”.
Waters said circumstantial evidence suggested that a “family weapon” was used to kill Maggie Murdo. he said Alex Murdoff purchases three AR-style rifles, two of which are missing.
he said Murdaugh’s phone showed no activity from about 8 p.m. until just after 9 p.m. when he called twice before leaving for Alameda to call his wife, who has Alzheimer’s disease. Waters said that Murdaugh returned home shortly after 10:00 p.m. and called 911 to report the murders.
After the murders, according to Waters, gunshot residue was found on Murdaugh, his vehicle’s seatbelt and his raincoat were found at his parents’ home.
“You’ll see what he did to Maggie and Paul, and it’s going to be terrible,” Waters said. “It’s been a long, thorough investigation, but you will come to one unforgivable conclusion, that he murdered Maggie and Paul.”
‘He is innocent:’ defense attorney said in opening statement
Defense attorney Harpootlian began his opening statement by describing Murdo as a loving husband and father. Harpootlian said that a Snapchat video taken by Paul Murdoff an hour before the murders showed the couple having a good time and that it was “not believable” that Murdoff could have killed her a short time later.
Harpoliton told the jury that there were no eyewitnesses to the shootings and no forensic evidence such as fingerprints or blood tying him to the scene. they sketched the bruises Paul Murdoff testified that the culprit would be covered in blood, but none was found on Murdoff’s clothing from the night of the murders.
He also denied Waters’ claims about ballistics evidence, saying that prosecutors could not conclusively tell where the fatal shots came from because they did not have the weapon used.
Harpoliton questions whether that was enough time for Murdaugh to kill his family, get rid of the evidence, and move to his parents’ house. He said that since two different guns were used, it was “highly likely that there were two people” responsible. He did not identify another possible suspect in the killings.
“He didn’t do it. He’s innocent,” Harpoliton concluded. “He’ll need a verdict of innocence from you. That’s the law. That’s your oath.”
Judges rule on some key evidence in pretrial hearings
During a pretrial hearing on Tuesday, Circuit Judge Clifton Newman said he would consider admitting alleged financial evidence and evidence related to the 2019 boat accident trial involving Paul Murdo during a hearing after the trial begins.
Newman also ruled that he would wait until the trial began to consider accepting blood spatter evidence, polygraph data, or “third party guilt” evidence.
Newman decided to allow ballistics evidence and expert testimony to be used in evidence, which could be important to the state.
Who’s on the jury?
The jury consists of four white men, six white women and two black women. Choices included two white men, one white woman, one black man, and two black women.
Attorneys completed the final round of jury selection Wednesday morning, narrowing the list to 900 residents for a potential jury pool of approximately 150 in open court and further reductions in judges’ chambers.
What is Alex Murdoff accused of?
More than a year after the murders, Murdoff, a member of a prominent South Carolina legal family, was charged with two counts of murder and two counts of possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime. Murdo told police that he found their bodies after returning home after visiting his ailing mother. He has pleaded not guilty.
Murdaf has also been accused Morefrom100charge related to alleged crimes including money laundering, tax evasionTheft of lakhs from customers, drug trafficking And a failed life insurance plan,
Contribution: Associated Press
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