Court orders state to turn over documents, communications related to blood-spatter expert
COLLETON COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - In the latest order from the court, the state will now have to turn over documents relating to a blood spatter expert in the murder trial against disgraced former attorney Alex Murdaugh.
Judge Clifton Newman initially granted the defense’s motion to compel on Dec. 9 during a pre-trial hearing in Colleton County.
The defense has raised questions about the use of Tom Bevel’s expertise on the shirt that Murdaugh was wearing the night of the murders.
The white cotton t-shirt reportedly had blood on it.
Murdaugh’s team says that when Bevel was first contacted, he said that the blood was not from high-velocity spatter.
But they claim he then changed his opinion after meeting with SLED agents in person to receive the shirt in question and have asked for his testimony to be thrown out as evidence in the case.
Defense attorneys argued that the shirt could have been sent in the mail.
During the last hearing, lead prosecutor Creighton Waters admitted that he was the one who made the call to transport the shirt in-person to ensure it did not get lost in the process.
They have also said they cannot test the shirt themselves because it had been destroyed in the testing process by the state.
The order writes that the state will have to provide the defense with all communications between Bevel and the state as well as all draft reports, presentations, case files, notes and photoshop files.
The state will also have to provide a copy of the case file on Bevel.
The South Carolina Attorney General’s office has not objected to the disclosure of the materials, according to the court document.
The trial is scheduled to begin Monday, Jan. 23.
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