COP CLAIMS MURDAUGH SAID: ‘I DID SO WRONG’
In his second interview with police on June 10, 2021, three days after the murders, Murdaugh was asked about the “traumatic image” he found upon finding Maggie and Paul.
Jurors on Monday were played audio in which Murdaugh can be heard saying: “It’s so bad, I did it so badly.”
Prosecutor Waters stopped the video to ask Special Agent Jeff Croft to clarify what Murdaugh said. Croft repeated: ‘It’s so bad, I did it so badly.’
But Murdaugh shook his head defiantly in court when he reacted to Croft’s interpretation of the audio, appearing to tell his lawyers: “I didn’t say that.”
However, his legal team did not object and the recording continued to play.
Detectives at the time did not take advantage of the alleged admission, as Murdaugh went on to tell them about Paul: “He was a good guy, too.”
MURDAUGH TELLS THE POLICE ABOUT THE BOAT ACCIDENT
Murdaugh told 911 about Paul’s boating accident, stating that his son had been “threatened for months.”
The first police officer to arrive said Murdaugh “immediately started telling him” about the February 2019 crash that left 19-year-old Mallory Beach dead.
“I know that’s what this is,” he said.
At the time of Paul’s death, the 22-year-old was facing trial for drink-driving in the boating accident.
The defense theory is that someone killed Maggie and Paul Murdaugh as revenge for the accident.
Prosecutors say Murdaugh made the comments deliberately to divert suspicion from himself.
MURDAUGH DID NOT CRY
First responders so far have all agreed that Murdaugh was not crying.
Although he seemed upset, police officers and firefighters have stated that there were no tears in the lawyer’s eyes.
Murdaugh’s behavior will play a central role in the case. Prosecutor Creighton Waters told jurors on opening day to look “closely” at the images in which the body was used.
Watch those closely. Watch their expressions. Listen to what he says and what he doesn’t say,’ Waters said.
Murdaugh sounded lucid throughout his dealings with the officers that night, even greeting one by saying, ‘How are you?’
The defense has argued that Murdaugh was distraught after the murders and that only hours earlier he had had a “bonding experience” with his son, as captured in a Snapchat video taken by Paul with his father.
NO VISIBLE BLOOD ON MURDAUGH, BUT SHIRT REVEALS FINGERPRINTS
Murdaugh had no visible blood on his white T-shirt, first responders told the court.
Police described seeing pools of blood under the bodies of Maggie and Paul.
His defense attorney, Dick Harpootlian, described to jurors how Paul’s head “literally exploded … like a watermelon.”
Murdaugh previously told 911 that he had checked his wife and son’s pulse, but when police arrived they saw no blood on it.
The jury heard Friday from Detective Laura Rutland, who said Murdaugh was “clean” from head to toe. Rutland added that it seemed to her that Murdaugh had changed after the murders, noting that she found it strange that the defendant was sweating but his clothes were “dry.”
Later, forensic expert Melinda Worley said Murdaugh’s white T-shirt and khaki shorts tested positive for blood.
However, he admitted that bleach and rust can also trigger the test.
HORRIBLE GUN WOUNDS TO MAGGIE AND PAUL
The gruesome body cam footage of the ‘butchered’ bodies of Maggie and Paul has been played for jurors.
The 12 men and women have covered their mouths at times as Murdaugh has hunched over to cry.
Fire Chief Barry McRoy told the court that when he arrived, Paul’s “brains were up to ankle height” and that he did not check on either victim because “they both had injuries that were incompatible with life.”
The defense argues that given the brutality of these execution-style murders, it is simply “not credible” that Murdaugh, a “loving” husband and father, could have carried them out.
DEFENSE SUGGESTS TWO SHOOTERS KILLED MAGGIE AND PAUL
Harpootlian said Monday that “a reasonable explanation” for the distance between the shots that killed Paul and Maggie was that there were two shooters.
“There are two people in there, there are two guns in there, one is a shotgun, one is an AR,” he told the court.
Harpootlian suggested that Paul may have been shot by a perpetrator, while another acting as “the lookout” was surprised by Maggie.
Worley looked puzzled, saying “It wasn’t there”, before agreeing with Harpootlian that his theory might be “an explanation”, not “the explanation”.
‘NON-PRESERVED’ TIRE TRACKS AND TRACKS
Murdaugh’s defense team has already attacked several first responders for failing to preserve footprints and tire tracks found at the scene.
Sergeant Daniel Greene even noted that there were multiple tire tracks in the wet grass that were inconsistent with the number of vehicles on the property.
He said he did not inform SLED (state law enforcement) about the evidence because “it was not part of my job description.”
Harpootlian criticized Greene for not taking pictures and for not putting anything on his feet to preserve the blood and brains scattered on the floor.
He then tore at another officer for the same reason, telling him: ‘You don’t know what you’re doing.’
Despite failing to preserve the evidence, Greene told the attorney that he was “not aware” that any evidence had been destroyed or contaminated.
MURDAUGH CELL PHONE DATA
In footage used on the body, Murdaugh is heard telling the first police officer on the scene that he had been visiting his mother with late-stage Alzheimer’s.
He said that Maggie and Paul were at the pound when he left.
But Waters told jurors that the “cell phone data will show otherwise.”
The prosecution says the timeline established by phone calls places Murdaugh at the property when his wife and son were killed.
The prosecutor stressed that phone records will be critical in the case and the jury will hear that the Murdaughs were ‘prolific’ users of cell phones.
MURDAUGH SOBS AS HE TELLS DETECTIVES HIS WIFE MAGGIE WAS ‘A WONDERFUL GIRL’
Murdaugh’s second police interview on June 10, 2021, three days after the murders, was shown to the jury on Monday.
In it, Murdaugh broke down in tears as he described Maggie as “a wonderful girl, a wonderful wife, a great mother.”
Murdaugh told police that “she always said it was her job to take care of me and the kids, she did everything, she did absolutely everything.”
He said their relationship was “as good as it could be” and arguments between the couple were rare, but when they did clash it was over the amount of time they spent with their family.
Murdaugh said he and the children would rather stay at home than visit their in-laws.
When asked about moments of friction in his relationship with Paul, Murdaugh said that he sometimes had to discipline his son for “irresponsibility.”
Paul had a tendency to have his belongings “scattered” everywhere, including clothing and weapons.
“He would leave anything anywhere, and it was not uncommon for weapons to be lying around,” he said.
Murdaugh said his son would go visit friends without packing because he had clothes everywhere.
AMMUNITION FOUND IN PARTIES OWNED BY MURDAUGH THAT THEY USED TO KILL MAGGIE AND PAUL
SLED agent Jeff Croft was called to the stand where he held up an AR-15-style rifle and two 12-gauge shotguns recovered from Murdaugh’s formidable collection.
The weapons are not alleged to have been used in the murders, murder weapons have never been identified, but the types of ammunition discovered with the weapons correspond to the projectiles and rounds from the bodies of Paul and Maggie.
The ammunition contained in the rifle, a Sellier & Bellot .300 AAC BLK, was the same type used to kill Maggie, Croft told the jury.
The agent also described finding boxes of 12-gauge ammunition in the home, including Federal and Winchester, the same markings as the two shells found near Paul’s body.
The defense challenged the evidence, arguing that showing the array of weapons to jurors was detrimental to their client.
“There is no evidence linking these weapons to the crime,” said Murdaugh’s attorney, Jim Griffin.
Prosecutor Creighton Waters argued that they were showing how the search for weapons was carried out and how the weapons were thoroughly tested.
Judge Clifton Newman sided with the state and overturned the objections.
WEAPON RESIDUE ON SEATBELT OF MURDAUGH’S CAR
In his opening, Waters said gunshot residue was found on the seat belt of Murdaugh’s car, as well as on a raincoat discovered at his mother’s house.
Murdaugh says he came home to find his wife and son shot dead after visiting his elderly mother, who is in the last stages of Alzheimer’s disease.
However, Murdaugh was in possession of a shotgun when police arrived, which he said he had taken from the house because he feared the killers were still ‘out there’.
In previous court filings, the defense argued that the amount of debris found was “inconsistent” with the prosecution’s theory that Paul was shot at point-blank range.
The defense says the prosecution is based solely on circumstantial evidence.
In his opening, Harpootlian told the jury: “There is no direct evidence. There are no eyewitnesses. There is nothing in the chamber. There are no fingerprints. There’s no forensic evidence linking him to the crime. Neither.’