Opening statements end in Murdaugh murder trial

Published: Jan. 25, 2023 at 6:08 PM EST
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COLLETON COUNTY, S.C. (WTOC) - With a full row of family just two rows behind him, Alex Murdaugh and the jury listened to opening statements from both the prosecution and defense Wednesday afternoon.

The prosecution began by describing what they say happened the night Maggie and Paul Murdaugh were killed.

“The defendant over there, Alex Murdaugh, took a 12-gauge shotgun and shot him in the shoulder,” said Creighton Waters, the lead prosecutor for the State.

The jury remained focused with reaction only coming as either attorney described the tragic and gruesome deaths of the victims. The prosecution laying out the major points of their case first.

“You’re going to hear other evidence, such as DNA, gunshot residue, firearms examiner testimony, there’s going to be a lot of forensic evidence in this case. I’m not going to get into every single bit of it right now, but I will say that a key piece of forensic evidence you’re going to hear in this case, is the cell phone evidence,” Waters said.

Waters specifically said the cell phones of Maggie and Paul were used for the last time within 30 seconds of each other, moments after a cell phone video will show Alex was with them.

The defense disputed that, saying the cell phone evidence presented will be incomplete. Murdaugh’s attorneys also painted him as a loving husband and father.

“Defined Alex Murdaugh, guilty of murdering his son, you were going to have to except that within an hour of having an extraordinary bonding - you can see it in the Snapchat, that he executed him in a brutal fashion. Not believable,” said Dick Harpootlian, a defense attorney for Alex Murdaugh.

The prosecution is expected to call the first witness when trial resumes Thursday at 9:30 a.m.