Prosecutors point to cellphone and gunshot evidence as Alex Murdog’s death trial begins

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After 19 months of speculation, prosecutors presented their case on Wednesday Alex Murdo killed his wife and son when they open double murder trial for a disgraced South Carolina attorney.

There was bullet residue on the seat belt, bullets from the bodies matched ammunition boxes in the house and cellphones were never used again, Murdoch’s wife and son could be heard minutes later on cellphone video, prosecutor Creighton Waters said. opening statement.

“It’s complicated. This is a journey. “There are many sides to this case,” Waters said. “But like most complex things, when we start putting them together like a puzzle – suddenly a picture emerges.”

The defense attorney said prosecutors wrongly established Murdoch’s guilt early on, spending all that time obfuscating evidence or leaving an incomplete picture of a bad-guy story.

“There is no direct evidence. There are no witnesses to the incident. There is nothing in the camera. No fingerprints.

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Alex Murdo, left, sits with his legal team at the Colleton County Courthouse as his attorneys, including middles Dick Harputlian and Jim Griffin, discuss motions before Judge Clifton Newman during a December hearing.

Tracy Glanz/The State/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Waters opened the trial with three minutes of graphic footage showing the bodies of Maggie Murdog, 52, and her son Paul, 22, who had been shot at least once in the head with two different guns. head and it is called “accidental damage”.

Harputlian added even more gruesome details – the shotgun blast that killed Paul Murdog was so close to his head that his brain exploded from his skull and was found at his feet. Alex Murdo began to cry as his attorney discussed the details.

“Alex was a loving father to Paul and a loving husband to Maggie,” Harpullian said. “You won’t hear any witnesses that their relationship was anything but love.”

It was the start of a three-week trial in Colleton County Circuit Court. The two sides finished selecting a 12-member jury Wednesday with six alternates.

Murdo, 54, is on trial for two counts of murder. If convicted, he could face up to 30 years in prison.

The lawsuit is the start of a remarkably long and rapid descent into life-changing settlements for accidents and negligence by a man whose family has dominated the court system in neighboring Hampton County for generations as prosecutors and private attorneys. circumstances.

Murdo faces nearly 100 other charges, including money laundering. stole millions from clients and his family’s law firmtax evasion and tries to kill a person so that his surviving son could take out a $10 million life insurance policy. He is being held without bail on those charges pending a murder charge.

Prosecutors had released little information about their case until Wednesday. In their opening statement, they created a timeline of what happened on June 7, 2021, at Murdaugh House and near the kennels on the 1,300-acre hunting property.

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Prosecutor Creighton Waters calls for a jury as jury selection nears the end of the Alex Murdo death trial Wednesday, January 25, 2023, at the Colleton County Courthouse in Walterboro, South Carolina.

Joshua Boucher/The State/Pool/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Waters said Murdow told investigators he had never been to the kennel until he found the bodies of his wife and son next to them after spending an hour watching over his sick mother from home. dementia.

Waters said the video on Paul Murdaugh’s cellphone contained the voices of Maggie and Alex Murdog. Less than five minutes later, Paul Murdo’s phone was never used again. Maggie Murdo’s phone “locks forever” after about 30 seconds, Waters said.

Prosecutors said ammunition found around Maggie Murdog’s body had markings consistent with other shots fired at the shooting range on the property and elsewhere. The cartridges were used in an automatic rifle that Alex Murdog bought but could not account for, Waters said.

According to the prosecutor, a gun and firearm residue were found in several places where Alex Murdog was found.

According to Harputlian, all this does is seize on all the evidence that makes Murdog guilty and ignore anything that doesn’t fit the theory he’s concocted.

The residue appeared when Murdog checked his wife and son for signs of life and called 911 after the killers were still on his property, Harputlian said.

Maggie Murdo, whose husband provided the code used by investigators to find her the next day, showed her being dumped on the side of the road at the same moment. Alex Murdog’s phone showed him starting the truck outside his home. , – said the defender.

Harputlian told jurors he wanted to tell the jury why someone killed Maggie and Paul Murdog so brutally, but investigators ignored all other suspects and scenarios.

“We don’t know why. He doesn’t know why, said Harputlian pointing to the prosecutor. “He has theories about this and theories about that.”

At the end of the day, Alex Murdo shook hands with the lawyer and looked behind his surviving son and brother. He smiled and pointed at them.

He then walked to a side door of the courtroom, where he would be taken to the Colleton County Jail, where he is being held during his trial.

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