Prosecutors paint grisly portrait of Alex Murdaugh killing wife and son as key Snapchat video revealed
Prosecutors have described how disgraced South Carolina attorney Alex Murdaugh allegedly murdered his defenseless wife and son at the family hunting lodge in 2021.
Mr Murdaugh is accused of brutally killing his wife Margaret, known as Maggie, and his youngest son, 22-year-old son Paul, on June 7, 2021 outside of kennels on the estate.
Prosecutors said at the opening of his trial on Wednesday that Mr Murdaugh first shot his son with a shotgun and then killed his wife with an AR-style rifle.
“The evidence will show that neither Paul nor Maggie sustained defensive injuries, as if they saw no threat from their attacker,” prosecutor Creighton Waters said.
“The evidence will show that both Maggie and Paul were shot at extremely close range. They were shot at point-blank range and had no defensive wounds.
“The evidence will show that Alex Murdaugh told anyone who would listen that he was never in those kennels, but the evidence will also show that he was there, he was there with Maggie and Paul just minutes before, before their phones went silent forever, despite what he told people, their phones will tell us something else.”
Mr Waters told the jury that despite the defendant’s denials that he was ever near the kennels on the night of the murders, video Paul sent to a friend just before investigators said the murders happened to see the voice of Alex Murdaugh.
He said Paul’s friend kept a dog in the property’s kennel and he was worried about the animal’s tail, so he sent him a video to show him.
“You will hear from witnesses identifying Paul’s voice, Maggie’s voice and Alex Murdaugh’s voice. He told anyone who would listen that he was never there. Evidence will show he was at the scene with the two victims, and more than that, more than three minutes later, Paul’s phone is locked forever.”
The prosecutor concluded his opening statement by telling the jury the evidence would allow them an easy decision.
“They will come to the inescapable conclusion that Alex murdered Maggie and Paul, that he was the storm, that the storm was coming their way, and that the storm hit on June 7, 2021, just like the storms coming here today, and that they died as a result without any reasonable doubt,” he said.
Prosecutors have alleged in court documents ahead of the trial that Mr Murdaugh killed his wife and son to divert attention to the scandals engulfing him and that his alleged financial crimes were “about to come to light”.
Mr Murdaugh has pleaded not guilty to two counts of murder and possession of a weapon while committing a violent crime.
South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced last month that if Murdaugh were convicted, prosecutors would seek life in prison without parole instead of the death penalty.
In addition to the murder charges, Mr. Murdaugh faces 99 indictments arising from 19 grand jury indictments for various crimes, including allegedly defrauding clients and his former law firm of nearly $9 million.