After listening to weeks of witness testimony, jurors after – lower than three hours of deliberations – convicted Alex Murdaugh of two counts of homicide and two weapons costs within the demise of his spouse and son.
Murdaugh, a once-prominent legal professional in South Carolina’s Lowcountry, fatally shot his spouse, Margaret “Maggie” Murdaugh, and son Paul Murdaugh on the household’s expansive hunting estate on June 7, 2021.
This is what authorized consultants say have been the important thing factors of the case:
Murdaugh’s misinform investigators: In his two-day testimony final week, Murdaugh admitted he lied to investigators when he advised them he hadn’t been to his property’s canine kennels on the night of the killings till he reported discovering the our bodies there. That admission got here after a number of witnesses for the prosecution recognized his voice in a video taken on Paul’s cellphone at or close to the kennels at 8:44 p.m. – shortly earlier than, prosecutors contend, the killings occurred.
Prosecutors painted Murdaugh as a dishonest and disgraced legal professional who killed his spouse and son to attract consideration from investigations into monetary misconduct allegations in opposition to him. In his testimony, Murdaugh repeatedly denied finishing up the killings however admitted to stealing millions of dollars from his former purchasers and regulation agency.
Murdaugh mentioned he had a decades-long habit to opiate painkillers, and that it contributed to “paranoid pondering” that led him to misinform investigators. He testified he took greater than 2,000 milligrams a day of oxycodone within the months earlier than Maggie’s and Paul’s deaths.
The kennel video was a vital piece of proof: Prosecutors tried to beat a scarcity of direct proof — corresponding to eyewitnesses — linking Murdaugh to the killings. They constructed their case largely utilizing video, images, and cellphone and placement information to persuade the jury that Murdaugh was mendacity about his actions that evening. Prosecutors hinged their case on the video recorded around the kennels on Paul’s cellphone.
Murdaugh maintained Maggie and Paul have been alive when he left the kennels to return to the home, and that he ultimately drove to go to his mom in a close-by city. He discovered the our bodies close to the kennels after returning, he mentioned; authorities say he known as 911 after 10 p.m. Prosecutors, nonetheless, argued he carried out the killings after which tried to create an alibi by leaving the property. Additionally they pointed to videos displaying he modified garments someday between when he was with Paul that day and when he known as 911 – although the protection advised the change wasn’t unusual for him.
The alibi: The prosecution argued that Alex Murdaugh was “manufacturing an alibi” by calling and texting his spouse and son, amongst others, after they have been killed. The prosecutor additionally famous the sorts of questions Murdaugh requested regulation enforcement after the murders. He mentioned one of many first issues Murdaugh did was level out to police what number of cellphone calls he made that evening.