Alex Murdaugh case: Jury reaches verdict

A jury in Alex Murdau’s double murder trial has found him guilty of murdering his wife and son.

A 54-year-old scion of a prominent and powerful family of local lawyers and lawyers, Murdow was charged with two counts of possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime in the murders of Margaret “Maggie” Murdow and Margaret “Maggie” Murdow. Convicted. Paul Murdoh on June 7, 2021.

Prosecutors are seeking life imprisonment without the possibility of parole for the murder, suggesting he could escape the death penalty.

In a separate case that has yet to go to trial, Murdau faces 99 separate counts stemming from numerous alleged financial crimes, including defrauding his clients, a former law firm, and the government out of about $9 million. I keep facing it.

This is breaking news. Details will be announced later.

Original article follows.

A jury began hearing Thursday in the murder trial of Alex Murdau, a disgraced attorney charged with shooting and killing his wife and son on a South Carolina hunting ground in 2021.

A 12-person jury deliberates on two murder charges and two weapons charges until a unanimous verdict is reached. Murdough, 54, has pleaded not guilty to the deaths of his wife, Margaret “Maggie” Murdow, and his son, Paul Murdoh.

Earlier Thursday, Murdaugh’s defense team gave closing arguments, saying law enforcement had identified him as the prime suspect in the kennel killings on the sprawling lot too early.

“We believe (the South Carolina Department of Law Enforcement) has demonstrated conclusively that it has failed miserably in its investigation of this case,” said attorney Jim Griffin. If so, Alex would have been excluded from the (suspect’s) circle a year or two ago.”

Over the course of about two hours, Griffin also ridiculed the prosecution’s motive theory, explained Murdoh’s lies, accused investigators of fabricating evidence, and criticized the supposed timeline as unconvincing.

In a counter-argument, prosecutor John Meaders took offense at the defense’s wrongdoing accusations.

“When the defense argued that law enforcement didn’t do their job, he withheld justice by not saying ‘I was in the kennel’ and said obstruction was offensive. think. “

The hearing follows a six-week trial focused on brutal gore, phone forensics, a mysterious blue tarp, widespread financial misconduct, and the defendant’s own lies.

Prosecutors show Mr. Murdau alone had the motive, means, and opportunity to murder his wife and son on a property called Moselle in Islandton, South Carolina, on the night of June 7, 2021. To do so, he called 61 witnesses over the course of three weeks of testimony. .

With little to no direct evidence, such as bloody clothing or eyewitnesses, prosecutors were forced to place Murdoh at the crime scene that night, despite Murdoh’s repeated allegations otherwise. I filed a lawsuit against the video.

The defense case was highlighted by Murdoh himself. Murdoh provided dramatic testimony over two days last week in which he flatly denied murdering his wife and son. At the same time, he admitted to lying to investigators about his whereabouts shortly before the murder due to his paranoia from drug addiction. , admitted to lying to cover his tracks.

Stranger Than Fiction Cases, including Netflix and HBO Max documentaries, have been brought to the attention of Alex Murdau, a former personal injury attorney in the South Carolina Lowcountry and member of the royal family where his father, grandfather, and great-grandfather lived. garnered a lot of attention. He served as district attorney consecutively from 1920 to 2006.

Murdow was a partner in the powerful law firm that bears his name. But that prominence belies the underlying problems, which followed the murder of his wife and son, embezzlement of funds, his resignation, bizarre allegations of hired suicide and insurance fraud, drug addiction rehab. ‘s stint, followed by dozens of financial burden accusations. crime, disarming him, and ultimately murder.

He faces 99 counts related to alleged financial crimes, which will be adjudicated at a later trial.

Defenders mock the theory of financial motives

Taken together, Griffin’s closing arguments sought to undermine the prosecution and raise reasonable doubts about the case.

He said the agency investigated the hair found on Murdo’s wife’s hand, took evidence of fingerprints, examined shoe and tire impressions, and did not DNA test the victim’s clothing.

“They had decided, ‘Unless we find someone else, it’s going to be Alex.

Prosecutors say Murdoh’s motive for the murder was to hinder and delay the investigation into his financial misconduct. Griffin derided the theory as nonsensical, noting that Murdoh attempted to commit suicide in September 2021, calling it a “natural” reaction to the exposure.

“It is totally illogical, unreasonable and insane for someone to kill a loved one when criminal activity is exposed,” he argued.

Griffin admitted that Murdoh lied about being in the kennel where his wife and son were killed the night of the murder. He said it wasn’t because he killed his family.

“Because that’s what addicts do. Addicts lie,” said Griffin. “He lied because his closet was full of skeletons and he didn’t want any more scrutiny.”

Griffin said investigators fabricated evidence of blood splatters on Murdow’s clothing and a blue jacket with bullet residue after Murdoh’s years of financial fraud were exposed in September 2021. said to have begun

“I hate to say this, but the evidence is very clear. From that moment on, they started fabricating the evidence against Alex. It’s a terrible accusation,” he said. I am not.”

Griffin attacked the prosecution’s claim that the gun used in the killing was a “family weapon,” saying he had no hard evidence to support it. He also criticized the prosecution’s proposed murder timeline, noting that it consisted primarily of information about whether Paul and Maggie’s phone was used.

“There is no direct evidence that he did anything,” he said.

He added that the prosecution’s timeline showed that Paul and Maggie were murdered around 8:49 or 8:50 p.m. said he had only about 17 minutes left to clean up the bloody scene.

“He’d have to be a magician to erase all that evidence,” said Griffin.

What the prosecution said in closing arguments

The motive, prosecutors said, was that Mr Murdau attempted to distract and delay an investigation into his growing financial problems. The means, prosecutors argued, were two of his family-owned weapons. And that opportunity was Murdow’s presence at the crime scene, as revealed in a crucial video and confirmed by his own testimony minutes before the murder.

Prosecutor Clayton Waters told jurors, “This defendant cheated everyone, everybody, everybody he thought he was close to.” He fooled everyone, he fooled everyone, he fooled Maggie and Paul, and they paid with their lives, don’t let him fool you either .”

Waters first presented a decade-long timeline of Murdo’s financial misconduct to show the motive for the murder.

For one, the chief financial officer of his law firm testified that he confronted Murdo about the lack of funds on the morning of June 7, 2021.

Second, Murdoh was facing a lawsuit from the family of Mallory Beach, a 19-year-old woman who died in February 2019 when a boat owned by Murdoh and allegedly driven by Paul crashed. rice field. A hearing in that civil suit is scheduled for June 10, 2021, which could reveal his financial problems, prosecutors argued.

Waters then worked to show that Murdoh was in the doghouse that night and lied about it.

Murdoh has long denied that he went to the kennel that night, but a video taken on Paul’s phone at 8:44 p.m. contained audio of Murdoh’s voice in the background. After about a dozen friends and family identified his voice in the video, Murdoh stood up and admitted he was there and that he had lied to police.

“Why on earth would an innocent and sensible father and husband lie about it and lie so quickly? He didn’t know (the video) was there.”

Waters further stated that Murdoh had the “means” to commit murder, specifically the weapon in the crime. Maggie was killed with a Blackout rifle, Paul with a shotgun, and Waters said both were family weapons.

Finally, the prosecution investigated Murdow’s string of lies about the case, particularly Murdow’s presence in the kennel. Murdow said, “It’s convincing, it’s easy to lie, and you can lie just by putting your hat on.”

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