Prosecutors on Wednesday laid out the trail of evidence tying Alex Murdaugh to the murder of his wife and son.
Creighton Waters, the lead prosecutor in the state’s case against Murdaugh, told jurors that the evidence they would hear would prove Murdaugh, the disbarred Lowcountry attorney, was responsible for the shooting deaths in June 2021.
Among that evidence, a rain coat that Murdaugh took his mother’s house about a week after the killings. When investigators found that raincoat, they discovered gunshot residue on the inside of the coat, Waters said.
The same gunshot residue was also found on the seatbelt of Murdaugh’s car, Waters said.
The state will also present evidence that cell phone records place Murdaugh at the scene where his wife, Maggie, 52, and son Paul, 22, were shot to death, shortly before both were killed, he said.
“Neither Paul nor Maggie had any defensive wounds,” Waters told the jurors. “They didn’t see a threat coming from their attacker, and they were shot from extremely close range.”
Evidence the prosecutors previewed on Tuesday will also tie the ammunition used to kill Maggie with cartridges that had been fired elsewhere on the property from a gun they believe Murdaugh had purchased years earlier, a gun prosecutors say has since gone missing.
It was the opening of what could be a lengthy trial of Murdaugh at the Colleton County Courthouse on charges he murdered his wife and son. Both were found shot to death at the family’s rural estate Moselle on June 7, 2021.
Murdaugh told investigators he was visiting his ailing mother at the time of the killings, and discovered the bodies when he returned home. But prosecutors allege Murdaugh killed them as part of a plan to divert attention from a string of shady financial transactions that were on the cusp of unraveling.
Murdaugh has yet to be tried or convicted of any financial crimes, and it’s likely the defense will object to any evidence presented claiming the murders were motivated by financial misdeeds.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.