Insiders reveal what to anticipate within the Alex Murdaugh homicide trial


The long-awaited double homicide trial of Alex Murdaugh — the scion of definitely one in every of South Carolina’s as quickly as strongest licensed dynasty, now accused of killing his partner and son — begins Monday on the Colleton County Courthouse in Walterboro, SC.

The high-profile trial is predicted to remaining for 3 weeks, set in a courthouse marked by a excellent Confederate memorial out entrance.

Area residents are reduce up on whether or not or not Murdaugh, 54, will possible be convicted or acquitted within the brutal slayings, largely because of his major authorized skilled, Dick Harpootlian, is taken under consideration amongst the most interesting authorized safety trial attorneys within the state.

The well-connected Harpootlian, a former chairman of the state Democratic Party and a sitting state Senator, has higher than 100 homicide circumstances beneath his belt — first as a prosecutor after which as defender.

State prosecutor Creighton Waters, in the meantime, is assumed additional for going after circumstances of public corruption and financial wrongdoing. Murdaugh will be coping with 99 separate bills of financial fraud that may possible be handled later.

Alex is being tried for the murders of his wife Maggie and son Paul (second from right). Son Buster (far left) has virtually gone into hiding.
Alex is being tried for the murders of his partner Maggie and son Paul (second from correct). Son Buster (far left) has practically gone into hiding.

Waters has to present in a case that’s largely circumstantial: that Murdaugh murdered his family to distract from his rapidly-unraveling financial schemes that allegedly involved tax evasion, forgery, money laundering and fraud.

He moreover has to present that Murdaugh used two utterly totally different weapons.

Maggie Murdaugh, 52, was shot plenty of events with a high-powered rifle and purchased a bullet wound, execution-style, to the once more of her head whereas she was lying face down on the backside. Son Paul was shot within the head with a shotgun.

Alex is already serving time for drug and conspiracy charges.
Alex is already serving time for drug and conspiracy bills.

Waters ought to moreover put collectively for accusations by the safety that the state has carried out fast and free with the investigation.

A key piece of proof, the white shirt that Murdaugh was carrying the night of the murders, was destroyed by the state, Murdaugh’s attorneys claimed in a November courtroom submitting. The state didn’t defend it after their forensic testing which meant the safety couldn’t have a look at it themselves.

 The claims with reference to the shirt — along with leaks by the state involving attainable motive, geofencing data and alleged “spatter” proof — are on the coronary coronary heart of a “campaign of selective and deceptive leaks to convince the public that Murdaugh is guilty before he is tried,” Murdaugh’s attorneys talked about within the submitting.

Prosecutors claim Alex killed his family because his alleged criminal financial misdeeds were about to be exposed.
Prosecutors declare Alex killed his family because of his alleged authorized financial misdeeds have been about to be uncovered.

“Waters is going up against a real heavyweight who’s a wizard in the courtroom,” talked about Columbia, SC, authorized skilled Eric Bland, who represented the sons of the Murdaughs’ longtime housekeeper, Gloria Satterfield, who died beneath mysterious circumstances on the family’s residence residence in 2018. “This is usually a case the place there’s no eyewitness, no video, no precise recording of a wrestle or a fight.

“It’s also being tried in Colleton County where, in some corners, Alex is still revered and so is his family.”

But the events essential as a lot as the trial would seemingly under no circumstances have occurred have been it not for Murdaugh’s murdered bad-seed son, Paul — who had a sinister alter ego when consuming that his buddies dubbed “Timmy.”

The trial will take place at the Colleton County Courthouse in South Carolina.
The trial will occur on the Colleton County Courthouse in South Carolina.
Wikimedia Commons

The troubled 22-year-old was coping with trial on felony boat-driving bills (for a crash that killed 19-year-old Mallory Beach in Dec. 2019) when he was gunned down in chilly blood alongside alongside along with his mother on the 1,700-acre Murdaugh nation property, Moselle, on June 7, 2021.

His buddies detailed in courtroom testimony how Paul became “Timmy.”

‘It’s a particular determine because of he turns into a completely, utterly utterly totally different specific individual,” Anthony Cook, Beach’s boyfriend, testified within the boat crash depositions. “So somebody will say, ‘All right. Here comes Timmy. We got to go.’”

Cook testified {{that a}} very intoxicated Paul reworked into “Timmy” the night of the boat crash, stripping proper down to his underwear in 40-degree local weather and slapping and pushing his girlfriend, Morgan Doughty.

Paul Murdaugh allegedly had a drunken alter-ego named
Paul Murdaugh allegedly had a drunken alter-ego named “Timmy.”
South Carolina Attorney General’

And when the motorboat that Paul was drunkenly piloting within the pitch-dark fog smashed into the bridge shut to Parris Island, hurling Beach into the water, it opened up a Pandora’s area involving the mighty Murdaugh dynasty.

Prosecutors say {{that a}} pre-trial listening to within the boat crash, which had been scheduled to occur plenty of days after the murders, would have uncovered Murdaugh’s authorized financial dealings — and was part of the motive that allegedly led Murdaugh to kill his partner and son.

For practically 90 years, the once-untouchable Murdaugh family ran the prosecutor’s workplaces within the 5 counties that make up the South Carolina Low Country whereas moreover working a powerhouse litigation company, Peters, Murdaugh, Parker, Eltzroth & Detrick (PMPED) with tentacles within the highest echelons of the purple state — no matter being Democrats.

The family survived and thrived by the years no matter a generational streak of alcohol abuse and violence and a standing for rare corruption.

Mallory Beach was killed when a boat driven by Paul Murdaugh crashed into a bridge. Alex's financial dealings likely would have come out in the pre-trial hearing for the crash, but Paul died before it happened.
Mallory Beach was killed when a ship pushed by Paul Murdaugh crashed proper right into a bridge. Alex’s financial dealings seemingly would have come out within the pre-trial listening to for the crash, nevertheless Paul died sooner than it occurred.

But reeling from the embarrassing revelations that Murdaugh allegedly stole an estimated $4 to $9 million from purchasers, the PMPED company rebranded remaining month as a result of the Parker Law Group. One of Murdaugh’s brothers, Randy, stays with the company, which dominates tiny Hampton, SC.

Locals, who’ve been inundated with media from in every single place in the world all through the earlier 18 months, have gone from being tight-lipped and reliable to the Murdaughs within the days after the murders to eagerly participating within the raft of TV data specials and documentaries with reference to the case.

“I go back and forth depending on the day,” talked about definitely one in every of Hampton’s most associated residents, a provide whose family has acknowledged the Murdaughs going once more generations. “Right now I’m thinking Alex is going to be acquitted. People here don’t respect him the way they used to, but then again the murders are the over-the-top thing. If he’s found not guilty on that, they’ll forgive him for everything else.”

Maggie and Paul (second from right) were killed at the family's hunting lodge, Moselle.
Maggie and Paul (second from correct) have been killed on the family’s trying lodge, Moselle.

A attainable wild card within the trial may probably be Curtis “Cousin Eddie” Smith, a buddy, distant cousin and alleged conspirator of Murdaugh’s, who has been added to the potential witness guidelines.

Smith, 63 and a former logger dwelling on incapacity, entered the picture on Labor Day 2021 when he was arrested for supposedly making an attempt to shoot Murdaugh on a rural freeway in Hampton County in a convoluted insurance coverage protection fraud/suicide-for-hire rip-off. Murdaugh’s authorized skilled later claimed his client had a 20-year opioid behavior and that Smith was his drug vendor.

Waters moreover talked about in courtroom remaining August that money “misappropriated” by Murdaugh went by the use of Smith, who’s in jail after being indicted with Murdaugh in late June on sweeping drug and conspiracy bills. From Smith, the AG talked about, the money “continued downstream” to 2 members of the Walterboro Cowboys gang. In September, a Cowboy gang member suggested The Post that Murdaugh “is running half the drugs in this county.”

When Maggie's body was found at Moselle (above), she had been shot several times — including execution-style.
When Maggie’s physique was found at Moselle (above), she had been shot plenty of events — along with execution-style.

Harpootlian and his co-counsel, Jim Griffin, claimed in a courtroom submitting remaining October that Smith devoted the murders, saying he failed a polygraph examine — which is commonly not admissible in courtroom — when questioned as as to whether or not or not he killed Maggie and Paul.

“Because of the money conveyed to Eddie, he clearly has facts at his disposal that could prove very illuminating in court,” Joe McCulloch, the lawyer for 2019 boat-crash survivor Connor Cook, suggested The Post. “It’s likely the defense will call him to the stand [but] the prosecution will try to limit his involvement. Judge Newman is going to have his hands full with these horses.”

A shocking number of longtime observers of the case assume Murdaugh has a possibility of getting off.

The “wild card” witness is claimed to be Curtis “Cousin Eddie” Smith, who was arrested for supposedly making an attempt to shoot Alex in a convoluted insurance coverage protection fraud/suicide-for-hire rip-off.
Dana Kennedy

“I think the reason they wanted a speedy trial is because they think Alex will be acquitted,” talked about Sandy Smith. the mother of Stephen Smith, whose mysterious 2015 lack of life was re-opened for investigation after the murders of Maggie and Paul. Smith, along with others, believes that the Murdaughs may need been involved in her son’s lack of life.

“The majority of people around here think he did it and want him to go down,” Smith suggested The Post. “But, unfortunately, Alex still has a lot of friends here as well and that may well help him get off.”

“Alex Murdaugh’s strategy is to protect every right he has, get the murders behind him and then take the financial fraud charges on a case-by-case basis,” talked about one different longtime observer of the case. “He’s not as dumb as people think. No one is disputing that he’s a bad guy, but all these people who think he’s going to be found guilty and spend the rest of his life in prison are just spinning pipe dreams and fantasies to sell books and TV shows.”

Alex's lawyer claimed that Cousin Eddie (above) was his client's drug dealer.
Alex’s lawyer claimed that Cousin Eddie (above) was his client’s drug vendor.
Dana Kennedy

Conspicuously absent from the basic public eye since June 2021 has been Maggie Murdaugh’s family. Her father, Terry Branstetter, and mother, Kennedy, have moved out of their Summerville, SC, residence. Terry, 78, is reportedly in a nursing residence. Maggie’s sister, Marian Branstetter Proctor, lives collectively together with her wealthy husband in Charleston. None of them have ever made a press launch with reference to the murders.

Alex and Maggie’s sole surviving baby, Buster, has refused public comment as successfully. Little is assumed with reference to the 26-year-old outside of images displaying him in Las Vegas alongside along with his uncle after the murders, and jailhouse tapes of fairly generic conversations between him and his incarcerated father.

“He doesn’t really talk about [the murders],” a childhood buddy suggested PEOPLE of Buster. “I don’t think he knows what to believe.”

The parents and sister of Maggie — seen here as a teen — never publicly spoke about her death.
The dad and mother and sister of Maggie — seen proper right here as a teen — under no circumstances publicly spoke about her lack of life.

Locals talked about Maggie Murdaugh was well-liked nevertheless most people thought she spoiled her two boys, notably Paul.

“She sure spoiled Paul,” Hamptons resident Gabby Thomas suggested The Post in June 2021 shortly after the murders. “I heard him talk back to her once so bad in the beauty parlor once that I made him apologize.”

A longtime buddy of the Murdaughs in Hampton talked about they’ve been acknowledged for heavy consuming — and Alex and Maggie didn’t seem to care if their boys drank as soon as they’ve been nonetheless underage.

Locals say Maggie spoiled her sons and let them get away with bad behavior.
Locals say Maggie spoiled her sons and permit them to get away with unhealthy conduct.

Anthony Cook talked about in his testimony involving the 2019 boat crash, which handed off at Archer’s Creek shut to Parris Island off Beaufort, SC, that Paul’s buddies first began calling him “Timmy” in 2015 when he was about 16.

“They would have been a lot better off without all the drinking,” the provide suggested The Post. “But Paul was the one who really couldn’t handle his liquor.”

Paul, aka Timmy, couldn’t have come to a worse end.

“His head exploded like a watermelon,” a provide who seen the lack of life scene photos suggested Fitsnews, referring to Paul Murdaugh’s head wound. “I mean, you can see his face, but the rest of it — his head — it’s just gone. Totally empty.”

“Alex still has a lot of friends here as well and that may well help him get off,” talked about one Murdaugh observer.

“They were picking pieces of his brain off the walls,” the provide added.

But nonetheless grisly the deaths of Paul and his mother have been, the 2 have turn into practically forgotten within the frenzied drama surrounding Alex Murdaugh.

“That may be the biggest challenge facing the prosecutors,” the provide close to the case talked about. “You want the jury to know Paul and Maggie, to feel sorry for them, if they’re going to convict Alex. But Paul has been portrayed as a monster and Maggie has become almost a footnote. Someone needs to bring them back to life — at least in the courtroom.”

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