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Furious legal row in Murdaugh trial over whether jury can hear about legal scion’s financial crimes

COP CLAIMS MURDAUGH SAID: ‘I DID HIM SO BAD’

In his second interview with police on June 10, 2021 – three days after the murders – Murdaugh was asked about the “traumatic image” he encountered in finding Maggie and Paul.

Judges were given the audio on Monday in which Murdaugh can be heard saying, “It’s just so bad, I did him so badly.”

Prosecutor Waters paused the video to ask Special Agent Jeff Croft to clarify what Murdaugh was saying. Croft repeated, “It’s just so bad, I did him so badly.”

But Murdaugh shook his head defiantly in court when he responded to Croft’s interpretation of the audio, appearing to say to 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 seize on the alleged confession, as Murdaugh kept telling them about Paul, “He was such a good boy too.”

MURDAUGH TELLS COPS ABOUT BOATING ACCIDENT

Murdaugh told 911 about Paul’s boating accident, claiming his son had been “threatened for months.”

The first officer to arrive said Murdaugh “immediately started telling him” about the February 2019 accident that killed 19-year-old Mallory Beach.

“I know this is it,” he said.

At the time of Paul’s death, the 22-year-old was on trial for drunk driving in the boating accident.

The defense theory is that someone killed Maggie and Paul Murdaugh as revenge for the accident.

Prosecutors allege Murdaugh made the remarks deliberately to divert suspicion from himself.

MURDAUGH DID NOT SHOUT

The responders so far all agree that Murdaugh was not crying.

Although he appeared and sounded upset, police officers and firefighters have stated that there were no tears in the lawyer’s eyes.

Murdaugh’s attitude will play a central role in the case. Prosecutor Creighton Waters told jurors on opening day to look “closely” at the body-worn images.

‘Keep a close eye on it. Watch his expressions. Listen to what he says and what he doesn’t say,” Waters said.

Murdaugh sounded lucid as he interacted with officers that night, even greeting one by saying, “How are you?”

The defense has argued that Murdaugh was distraught after the murders and just hours before having a “bonding experience” with his son, as captured in a Snapchat video Paul took with his father.

NO VISIBLE BLOOD ON MURDAUGH – BUT T-SHIRT REVEALS TRACES

Murdaugh had no visible blood on his white T-shirt, first responders told the court.

Police described seeing pools of blood under Maggie and Paul’s bodies.

His attorney, Dick Harpootlian, described to jurors how Paul’s head “literally exploded… like a watermelon.”

Murdaugh previously told 911 that he checked his wife and son’s heartbeats, but when police arrived they saw no blood on him.

Jurors heard on Friday from Detective Laura Rutland who said Murdaugh was “clean” from head to toe. Rutland added that it seemed Murdaugh had changed after the murders, noting that she found it odd 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 a blood test.

However, she admitted that the test could also be caused by bleach and rust.

TERRIBLE LACE WOUNDS FROM MAGGIE AND PAUL

Gruesome bodycam footage of Maggie and Paul’s ‘butchered’ bodies has been played for jurors.

The 12 men and women have their mouths covered at times as Murdaugh bends over to cry.

Fire Chief Barry McRoy told the court that when he arrived Paul’s “brain was up to his ankles” and that he did not check either victim because “both had injuries incompatible with life.”

The defense argues that given the brutality of these execution-style murders, it is simply “unbelievable” that Murdaugh – a “loving” husband and father – could have carried them out.

DEFENSE SUGGESTS TWO SHIRTS KILLED MAGGIE AND PAUL

Harpootlian claimed on Monday that “a reasonable explanation” for the distance between the shots that killed Paul and Maggie was that there were two gunmen.

“There are two people there, there are two guns there, one is a shotgun, one is an AR,” he told the court.

Harpootlian suggested that Paul could have been shot by one perpetrator, while another acting as “the lookout” was taken by surprise by Maggie.

Worley looked stunned and said, “I wasn’t there,” before agreeing with Harpootlian that his theory might be “one explanation”—not “the explanation.”

FOOTPRINTS AND TIRE TRACKS ‘NOT PRESERVED’

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 notify SLED (state law enforcement) of the evidence because it was “not part of my job description.”

Harpootlian attacked Greene for not taking any pictures or doing anything to his feet to preserve the blood and brains splattered on the floor.

He later pulled out another officer for the same reason and told him, “You don’t know what you are doing.”

Despite failing to preserve evidence, Greene told the attorney he was “not aware” of any evidence that had been destroyed or contaminated.

MORDAUGH’S MOBILE PHONE DATA

In the body-worn footage, Murdaugh is heard telling the first officer on the scene that he was visiting his mother with late-stage Alzheimer’s.

He said Maggie and Paul were at the kennels when he left.

But Waters told jurors that “cell phone data will show otherwise.”

The prosecution says the timeline established by phone pings puts Murdaugh on the premises 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” cell phone users.

MURDAUGH SOBS AS HE TELLS DETECTIVES HIS WIFE MAGGIE WAS ‘A BEAUTIFUL GIRL’

Murdaugh’s second police interview on June 10, 2021 – three days after the murders – was played to jurors on Monday.

In it, Murdaugh burst into sobs when he described Maggie as “a great girl, great wife, great mother.”

Murdaugh told police “she always said it was her job to take care of me and the boys, she did everything, she really did everything.”

He said their relationship was “as good as it gets” and fights between the pair were rare – but when they clashed it was over the amount of time they spent with her family.

Murdaugh said he and the boys would rather stay home than visit his in-laws.

When asked about moments of friction in his relationship with Paul, Murdaugh said he sometimes had to punish his son for “irresponsibility.”

Paul tended to “hang out” his belongings everywhere, including clothes and guns.

“He left everything everywhere and it was not uncommon for there to be guns,” he said.

Murdaugh said his son would go visit friends without packing because he had clothes all over the place.

AMMUNITION FOUND AT MURDAUGH PROPERTY MATCHES WHERE MAGGIE AND PAUL ARE KILLED

SLED Agent Jeff Croft was called to the stands where he held up an AR-15 style rifle and two 12-gauge shotguns from Murdaugh’s formidable collection.

The guns are not believed to have been used in the murders – no murder weapons have ever been identified – but the types of ammunition discovered with the guns match the grenades and bullets from Paul and Maggie’s bodies.

The ammunition in the rifle — Sellier & Bellot .300 AAC BLK — was the same type used to kill Maggie, Croft told jurors.

The officer also described finding 12-gauge ammunition boxes at the house — including Federal and Winchester, the same brands as the two grenades found with Paul’s body.

The defense objected to the evidence, arguing that showing the array of weapons to jurors was detrimental to their client.

“There is no evidence that these weapons are connected to the crime,” said Murdaugh attorney Jim Griffin.

Prosecutor Creighton Waters argued that they showed how the search for weapons was conducted and how the weapons were thoroughly tested.

Judge Clifton Newman sided with the state and rejected the objections.

GUN RIDGES ON THE SEAT BELT 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 home.

Murdaugh says he returned home to find his wife and son shot dead after visiting his elderly mother, who is in the late stages of Alzheimer’s disease.

However, Murdaugh was in possession of a shotgun when police arrived – which he said he took from the house because he feared the killers were still “out there.”

In previous court cases, the defense argued that the amount of residue found “contradicted” the prosecution’s theory that Paul was shot at close range.

The defense argues that the prosecution is relying solely on circumstantial evidence.

In his opening, Harpootlian told the jurors, “There is no direct evidence. There are no eyewitnesses. There’s nothing on the camera. There are no fingerprints. There’s no forensics linking him to the crime. No.’

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Jacky

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