Closing arguments begin in Murdaugh murder trial

Published: Mar. 1, 2023 at 2:13 PM EST|Updated: Mar. 1, 2023 at 5:31 PM EST
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COLLETON COUNTY, S.C. (WTOC) - Closing arguments began Wednesday in the double murder trial of Alex Murdaugh.

The prosecution started its final argument to this jury calmly, with a soft tone of voice - different than how they began their opening statement six weeks ago, but still pushing the same message.

“After an exhaustive investigation there is only one person who had the motive, who had the means, who had the opportunity to commit these crimes,” prosecutor Creighton Waters said.

Waters maintaining that tone all the way until lunch break, telling the jury Alex Murduagh was on a hamster wheel that he had to keep moving.

“It is a different story like has never been seen before, the reason is, is that he is a different man,” Waters said.

As we know, Alex was an attorney, something the state wants the jurors to keep in mind when considering the complexities of this case.

“Think of it with that in mind, that this is an individual who is trained to understand how to put together cases,” Waters said.

“This is him, this is Alex. The prosecutor, the lawyer. He’s thinkin’ through this, he’s thought through this. He’s going to use two guns because perhaps it’s going to confuse people that there were two shooters, but again it doesn’t make sense... two family weapons? He thinks Paul’s shot, you heard the testimony that Paul appears in the feed room doorway. Is Alex putting down that shotgun to pick up the blackout and is startled by Paul and that’s why the angle is like that? Catches Paul like that? Goes up into the ceiling, as you heard the testimony from Kinsey blows his brains out.”

“She was running to her baby, heard that shot and was running to her baby when she got mowed down by the only person that we have conclusive proof was at that scene just minutes before.”

The prosecution calling Alex a master liar in their closing argument, telling the jury not only did he lie to clients and family members for years but while he was on the stand in this courtroom too. Creighton Waters making his final point, that Maggie and Paul Murdaugh need a voice and that this jury can be it.

“He fooled Maggie and Paul too and they paid for it with their lives. Don’t let him fool you too,” said Waters.

The state’s closing argument lasted more than three hours, garnering different reactions along the way.

“And then what do we see from 9:02-9:06? Not only does he take 283 steps in that four-minute period, but he is making calls like crazy.”

In that moment - Alex Murdaugh was locked in on Creighton Waters, watching closely as the prosecutor tied forensic evidence into his argument. The jury was equally focused and continued to pay attention as the state brought up more data.

“The reason why it’s so quick is because he knew exactly what the scene was going to show.”

After that point, one juror nod her head as if she agreed with the state’s point. Not all 14 reacted so positively to prosecution statements though. At one-point Waters circling back to earlier points he made.

“I want to talk a little bit about the crime scene.”

From that moment, the state’s closing argument continued for more than an hour as Waters finished just before 5 pm.

We expect to hear from the defense tomorrow and then the jury will receive their instructions from the judge before deliberations begin.