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Alex Murdaugh Double Murder Trial — Day 7


Jurors returned to the courthouse Thursday morning as prosecutors continued to present their case against Alex Murdaugh over the brutal shooting murders of his wife and son in early June 2021.

The 54-year-old disgraced legal scion – disbarred as the murder allegations and myriad alleged financial improprieties came to light – is accused of shooting and killing his wife, Margaret “Maggie” Murdaugh, 52, and their youngest son Paul Murdaugh, 22.

On Wednesday jurors heard from two witnesses that were “100%” sure the voice they heard from the video taken on Paul Murdaugh’s phone was his father. The evidence is crucial to prosecutors attempting to place Murdaugh at the scene on the night of the murders.

On Thursday, the trial began with brief testimony from a Snapchat employee who provided jurors with a timestamp of a video recorded by Paul Murdaugh on the day he was killed. Heidi Galore, whose job is to respond to law enforcement inquiries, identified the video in question – which shows the defendant dealing with a sagging tree – as being recorded at 7:38 p.m. on the day of the slayings.

After that, jurors were dismissed for a lengthy hearing on the admissibility of certain evidence from the day before.

On Wednesday, Alex Murdaugh’s defense attorney Jim Griffin asked longtime Murdaugh family friend Rogan Gibson if he knew of any reason the defendant would murder his wife and youngest son. The state’s witness answered that he did not.

That question, Judge Clifton Newman said on Thursday out of jurors’ earshot, opened the door to “reputation” or “character” evidence that the state could respond to by asking Paul Murdaugh’s other friend, Will Loving, if he knew about the defendant’s alleged financial improprieties – including some $792,000 missing from the since-defunct Murdaugh family law firm that was founded by the defendant’s great-grandfather over 100 years ago. As that questioning began, Griffin tried to object, saying the subject matter was “totally inappropriate.”

During the hearing, however, Newman said that “objections should be made and the legal basis stated,” adding that Griffin’s form of attempted objection was “in effect, no objection at all.”

The judge also said the boating accident that killed 19-year-old Mallory Beach, which was mentioned by the defense – and by Alex Murdaugh himself – as a possible motive for someone else to have killed his family, also “opened the door for the state to address that issue.”

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