Prosecutors paint grisly portrait of Alex Murdaugh killing wife and son as key Snapchat video revealed
Prosecutors have described how disgraced South Carolina lawyer Alex Murdaugh allegedly murdered his defenceless wife and son at the family’s 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, outside kennels on the estate on 7 June 2021.
Prosecutors told the opening of his trial on Wednesday that Mr Murdaugh had 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 had any defensive wounds as if they did not see a threat coming from their attacker,” said prosecutor Creighton Waters.
“The evidence will show that both Maggie and Paul were shot at extremely close range. They were shot at close range and they did not have defensive wounds.
“The evidence will show that Alex Murdaugh told anyone who would listen that he was never at those kennels but the evidence is also going to show that he was there, he was there just minutes before with Maggie and Paul, before their cell phone go silent forever and ever, despite what he told people, their cell phones will tell us otherwise.”
Mr Waters told the jury that despite the defendant’s denials that he had ever been anywhere near the kennels on the night of the murders, a video sent by Paul to a friend moments before investigators say the murders happened featured Alex Murdaugh’s voice.
He said that Paul’s friend kept a dog at the kennels at the estate and he was worried about the animal’s tail, so sent him a video to show him.
“You will hear from witnesses that identify Paul’s voice, Maggie’s voice, and Alex Murdaugh’s voice. He told everyone who would listen he was never there. The evidence will show that he was at the murder scene with the two victims, and more than that, over three minutes later Paul’s phone locks forever.”
The prosecutor wrapped up his opening statement by telling the jury the evidence would give them a straightforward decision.
“You will reach the inescapable conclusion that Alex murdered Maggie and Paul, that he was the storm, that the storm was coming for them and the storm arrived on June 7 2021, just like the storms that are heading here today, and that they died as a result beyond any reasonable doubt,” he said.
Prosecutors have alleged in court filings leading up to the trial that Mr Murdaugh killed his wife and son to distract attention to the scandals that were 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 two counts of possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime.
South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced last month that prosecutors would not seek the death penalty but life in prison without parole if Murdaugh is convicted.
In addition to the murder charges, Mr Murdaugh faces 99 charges stemming from 19 grand jury indictments for various crimes, including allegedly defrauding clients and his former law firm of nearly $9m.