Murd’s murder trial begins with cell phones and bullets


(AP) – After 19 months of speculation, prosecutors finally presented their evidence Wednesday that Alex Murdo killed his wife and son as they opened the double-murder trial of a disgraced South Carolina attorney.

There was gunshot residue on seat belts, bullets recovered from bodies that matched boxes of ammunition from around the house, and cellphones that were no longer used minutes later Shithis wife and son could be heard on cellphone video, prosecutor Creighton Waters said in his opening statement.

“It’s complicated. It’s a journey. There’s a lot of aspects to this,” Waters said. “But like a lot of complicated things, we start putting them together, putting them together like a puzzle — suddenly, picture arises”.

The lawyer told the prosecutor incorrectly locked in Murd’s fault from the start and spent all this time trying to suppress bits of evidence that could be explained or leave an incomplete picture in the story that frames the wrong person.

“There is no direct evidence. There are no witnesses. There is nothing on the camera. There are no fingerprints. There is no forensics linking him to the crime. None,” said lawyer Dick Harputlyan.

Waters began the trial with a three-minute visual description of the scene where the bodies of Maggie Murdo, 52, and her son Paul, 22, were shot at least once in the head from two different guns, pointing out that Paul Murdo’s head and calling it “catastrophic damage”.

Harputlian added even more gruesome details — how the shotgun blast that killed Paul Murd was so close to his head that his brain burst out of his skull and landed 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,” Harpoulian said. “You won’t hear any witnesses say their relationship was anything other than love.”

It was the start of what is expected to be a three-week trial at the Colleton County Courthouse. Both sides finished the collection 12-person jury with six alternates on Wednesday.

Murdo, 54, is on trial on two counts of murder. If convicted, he faces 30 years to life in prison.

This trial is the bottom of an extremely long and rapid fall for a man whose family dominated the legal system in the small neighborhood Hampton County for generations, both as prosecutors and private attorneys, known for achieving life-changing settlements in accident and negligence cases.

Murda also faces about 100 charges related to other crimes, including money launderingtheft millions from customers and family law firm, tax evasion and tries to force a person shoot him dead so that his surviving son could collect a $10 million life insurance policy. He was being held without bail on those counts before being charged with murder.

The employees of the prosecutor’s office have been dismissed little information about their case until Wednesday. In an opening statement, they outlined a timeline of what they believe happened at the Murdagh home and near the doghouses on their 1,300-acre hunting property on June 7, 2021.

Waters said Murdo told investigators he had never been to the kennel before he found the bodies of his wife and son next to them after spending an hour outside the home checking on his mother, who has dementia.

Waters said the video on Paul Murdo’s cell phone shows him, Maggie and Alex Murdo. In less than five minutes, Paul Murd’s phone was no longer in use. Maggie Murd’s phone “locks forever” after about 30 seconds, Waters said.

Prosecutors said cartridges found around Maggie Murd’s body had markings consistent with other cartridges fired from long range on the property and elsewhere. The cartridges were used in the type of automatic rifle that Alex Murdo purchased but is not accounted for, Waters said.

The prosecutor said gunpowder and gun residue were found in several locations where Alex Murdo was also located.

Harputlian said all of this seizes on any evidence that might make Murd look guilty and ignores anything that doesn’t fit the theory that he did it.

The remains came to light when Murdo picked up the gun after checking on his wife and son for signs of life and called 911 in case their killers were still on his property, Harputlian said.

Maggie Murdaugh’s cellphone, to which her husband provided a code used by investigators to find it the next day, showed it had been dumped on the side of the road, while Alex Murdaugh’s phone showed he had pulled his truck over to his at home, – said the defender.

Harpoulian told jurors he would like to tell them why someone killed Maggie and Paul Murd so brutally, but investigators have ignored all other suspects and scenarios.

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

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

He then walked to the side door of the courtroom, where he will be taken to the Colleton County Jail, where he is being held pending trial.

Murd’s murder trial begins with cell phones and bullets

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