Body camera footage from inside the family hunting lodge near where Alex Murdaugh‘s wife and son were murdered was released by a court in South Carolina’s Lowcountry region on Monday afternoon.
Jurors in the ongoing double murder case against the disgraced and disbarred attorney are privy to hours upon hours of unredacted body camera footage worn by first responders and later state investigators. The jury will use that evidence to assist them in their task of deciding whether or not the fallen-from-grace legal scion was responsible for shooting and killing his wife, Margaret “Maggie” Murdaugh, 52, and their youngest son Paul Murdaugh, 22, on the night of June 7, 2021.
For days, most of that footage has only been visible in the courtroom due to a joint agreement between the defense and prosecution for the court “to seal photographs and videos graphically depicting the victims.” As the trial progressed last week, defense attorney Dick Harpootlian and lead prosecutor Creighton Waters agreed to release a redacted series of various body-worn camera videos collected by law enforcement.
Judge Clifton Newman authorized a time-limited release of the above footage, captured by South Carolina Law Enforcement Division Agent Jeff Croft on the day after the brutal double murders, from inside the 1,770-acre hunting lodge known to Colleton County locals as Moselle.
Audio in the edited video begins roughly 30 seconds in.
“Go ahead and pick that one up,” Croft can be heard telling another SLED agent, who picks up a series of bullet casings with blue latex-gloved hands near the porch on the Murdaugh family property. “There’s two right there.” The two officers agree as Croft muses, out loud, that the ammunition could belong to a .300 caliber weapon.
“They been there a little while?” Croft asks as the other agent inspects the spent ammo. “Could be 300s. There’s one to your right.”
The prosecution has told jurors repeatedly that Maggie Murdaugh was killed with an AR-style .300 Blackout rifle, a kind of gun and ammunition. According to Waters, at least three such guns have been owned by the Murdaugh family at various points in time – one of which went missing years ago.
In the video, as Croft makes his way up the stairs and inside the lodge itself, he raises a hand and greets Alex Murdaugh.
“How you doing, sir?” Croft asks as the defendant sits on a couch with his hands behind his hand as a group of attorneys, some of whom were employed by his since-defunct legal practice, stand around while another member of law enforcement outlines a timeline for the autopsy of recovering Maggie and Paul Murdaugh’s bodies.
During testimony on Monday, Croft told the prosecution that attorneys John Marvin Murdaugh, Mark Ball, Lee Cope, Ronnie Crosby and Chris Wilson were all in the room that day.
“The tests take longer,” Croft, at one point tells the assembled attorneys. “As far as toxicology or gun stuff – anything like that.”
In the footage, Croft surveys some two dozen guns of various makes and models in a gun rack inside the living room.
In his testimony, the SLED agent said that he was looking for a gun that may have been used in the murders.
The footage ends with Croft saying he’s going to step out and make a phone call.
[image via screengrab/Law&Crime Network]
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