Alex Murdaugh’s defense will fight claims today that he is a “master liar and a family destroyer” in a last-ditch effort to convince jurors that he didn’t kill his wife and son.
Jurors will then be sent to deliver their verdict in the double murder case that has gripped the nation for more than five weeks of testimony at the Colleton County Courthouse in Walterboro, South Carolina.
Murdaugh, a disgraced legal scion whose family has wielded immense judicial power over the region for three generations, is accused of shooting his wife Maggie and son Paul on June 7, 2021 at their sprawling 1,800-acre hunting estate in Moselle.
The state closed its case yesterday, claiming the father-of-two faced an “upcoming storm” of financial ruin that led him to murder Maggie, 52, and youngest son Paul, 22.
Defense attorney Jim Griffin will make a three-hour argument this morning to convince jurors that Murdaugh was a family man who, while deceitful, was incapable of the brutal murders. The defense will also address the state’s reliance on circumstantial evidence that they believe proves Murdaugh’s guilt.
Murdaugh (who left court last night), a disgraced legal scion whose family has wielded immense judicial power over the region for three generations, is accused of gunning down his wife Maggie and son Paul on June 7 at their sprawling hunting estate of 1,800 hectares in Moselle. 2021
Maggie, Paul, Alex and Buster Murdaugh with their dog Bubba in a new family photo obtained by DailyMail.com
Murdaugh faces 30 years to life if found guilty.
Bringing his closing argument to a dramatic conclusion, Waters said Murdaugh faced legal action that could “not only potentially ruin him, but expose the reality of what he’s been doing for years.”
“Nobody knew who this man was,” he told the court, after laying out the lies Murdaugh told while embezzling millions from his prestigious family law firm and the lies he told police after the murders.
Waters concluded his speech with a fervent plea to the jury: “This defendant has fooled everyone. Anyone who thought they were close to him he fooled them all and he also fooled Maggie and Paul and they paid for it with their lives. Don’t be fooled either.’
The case has attracted significant media attention given the family’s immense political power in and around Colleton County, where the trial is taking place.
For decades until 2006, family members were the primary plaintiff in the area, and Murdaugh was a prominent personal injury attorney in the state.
Throughout the trial, Murdaugh’s attorneys have attempted to portray their client as a loving family man who, while struggling financially and suffering from a strong addiction to opioids that led him to lie and steal, never harmed his wife and child. would do.
They have also tried to put forward alternative theories about the murders, with Murdaugh testifying that he believed someone was upset about a fatal 2019 boating accident where Paul likely wanted revenge on his son.
Prosecutors have argued that Murdaugh committed the murders to garner sympathy and distract from a litany of financial crimes, including the theft of millions of dollars from his lawyers and clients – money used to fuel a years-long addiction to opioids and support an expensive lifestyle. .
Prosecutor Creighton Waters gives his closing statement Wednesday at the murder trial of Alex Murdaugh at the Colleton County Courthouse in Walterboro
Waters delivered an impassioned closing argument to the jurors, urging them not to “fool you either” Murdaugh
Waters holds a 12-gauge shotgun during the closing arguments of Wednesday’s trial
In his closing argument, Waters repeatedly highlighted Murdaugh’s admission from the stands last week that he had lied about his whereabouts the night of the murders, telling detectives that he had not been in the dog kennels prior to the murders.
Murdaugh changed his account after the jury listened to audio evidence placing him at the crime scene minutes before it happened.
Murdaugh said he initially lied to investigators because of paranoia related to his drug use and mistrust of the police.
Waters told jurors on Wednesday, “No one knew who this man was. He avoided accountability all his life, he had relied on his family name, he had a powerful family, he wore a badge and used it in authority, he lived a lavish life – but now he was finally in danger of complete ruin.
“His father whom he idolized – who I occasionally worked with – was dying, his son was being sued in the boat case, he was facing a civil suit that not only had the potential to ruin him, but exposed the reality of what he had done he had an opiate addiction for years, his life was about to change, he couldn’t live for that – he is the kind of person for whom shame is an extraordinary provocation.
“His ego couldn’t take it and he became a family destroyer.”
The prosecution concluded by asking the jurors, “On behalf of the State of South Carolina, I ask that you enter a guilty verdict against Defendant Richard Alexander Murdaugh for the murders of his wife Maggie and son Paul.”