The jury is set to visit the crime scene in Alex Murdog’s double-murder trial


Jurors in the double-murder trial of disgraced South Carolina attorney Alex Murdog, accused of killing his wife and young son in their 2021 home, will visit the scene of the brutal slaying on Wednesday before final arguments.

Authorities say the bodies of Margaret Murdaugh, 52, and Paul Murdaugh, 22, were found dead from multiple gunshot wounds in June 2021 near the family’s Moselle home kennels.

Alex Murdo, 54, who called 911 to report the discovery, was charged with their murder 13 months later.

The defense argued that the jury’s visit to the 1,772-acre hunting grounds in Islandton would be helpful in understanding the space where the murders took place.

“You can’t judge space issues without actually seeing them,” defense attorney Richard Harputlian said in court Monday.

Prosecutors had opposed going to Mosel, citing ownership changes in the 20 months since the murder, but Judge Clifton Newman ruled in favor of the defense on Monday.

Jurors are due to visit the property, which is under contract for $3.9 million, Wednesday morning under heavy security. Asking questions and talking are not allowed during the visit. The judge warned them that some things had changed at the property since the crime took place.

In this Sept. 20, 2021 file photo, doors are seen near the Alex Murdog home in Islandton, SC.

Jeffrey Collins/AP, FILE

After the visit, the trial is expected to resume at 11 a.m., when lawyers will advise the jury on how to plead guilty.

After these rules are established, there will be a closing argument, and then the judge will charge the jury before the popular case begins.

Over the past six weeks, a jury has heard from more than 60 witnesses called by state prosecutors who say Alex Murdog killed his wife and son for sympathy and to distract himself from his financial problems.

Prosecutors focused on footage taken from Paul Murdo’s cellphone on the night of the murders, including footage taken at the kennel moments before the victims were killed. Alex Murdo spoke in the background, according to investigators. Alex Murdo told investigators he wasn’t around the nursery that night and that he last saw his wife and son at dinner before finding the bodies when he was walking home after visiting his mother.

The defense called 14 witnesses, including Alex Murdough himself, who admitted during hours of sometimes moving testimony that he had stolen from his client and lied to investigators about his whereabouts on the night of the murders, but repeatedly denied shooting his wife and son.

PHOTO: Alex Murdough speaks at the trial, Feb. 23, 2023, in Walterboro, SC

Alex Murdo will speak in court on February 23, 2023 in Walterboro, SC

Pool via ABC News

The defense argued that police called in experts who said investigators had failed to adequately examine the crime scene, ignoring suggestions that someone else might have killed them. In one of his final arguments before resting Monday, the defense called a crime scene expert who said he believes two people may have committed the murder.

Before resting Tuesday, prosecutors called experts to challenge some defense witnesses’ theories about how the shooting happened and called Murdo’s former law partner Ronnie Crosby to the stand to discuss Alex Murdo’s tactics as lead counsel.

“You asked me what kind of lawyer Alex was, and I told you he was a good lawyer,” Crosby said. “I think I explained to you that he was a theatrical presence in the courtroom and could get very emotional when he made his case to the jury.”

Alex Murdo faces up to 30 years in prison without parole if convicted of the murder he pleaded not guilty to.

ABC News’ Janice McDonald contributed to this report.

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