COP CLAIMS MURDAUGH SAID: ‘I DID HIM SO BAD’
In his second interview with cops on June 10, 2021 – three days after the killings – Murdaugh was asked about the ‘traumatic picture’ he encountered on finding Maggie and Paul.
Jurors on Monday were played the audio in which Murdaugh can be heard saying: ‘It’s just so bad, I did him so bad’.
Prosecutor Waters paused the video to ask special agent Jeff Croft to clarify what Murdaugh said. Croft repeated: ‘It’s just so bad, I did him so bad.’
But Murdaugh shook his head defiantly in court as he reacted to Croft’s interpretation of the audio and appeared to tell his lawyers: ‘I did not say that.’
However, his legal team did not object and the recording continued to play.
Detectives at the time did not seize on the alleged admission as Murdaugh continued to tell them of Paul: ‘He was such a good boy too’.
MURDAUGH TELLS COPS ABOUT BOAT ACCIDENT
Murdaugh told 911 about Paul’s boat accident, claiming that his son had ‘been threatened for months.’
The first cop to arrive said Murdaugh ‘immediately started telling’ him about the February 2019 accident that left 19-year-old Mallory Beach dead.
‘I know that’s what this is,’ he said.
At the time of Paul’s death, the 22-year-old was facing trial for driving under the influence in the boat crash.
The defense theory is that somebody killed Maggie and Paul Murdaugh as revenge for the accident.
Prosecutors claim Murdaugh deliberately made the comments to divert suspicion away from himself.
MURDAUGH DID NOT CRY
The first responders so far have all agreed that Murdaugh was not crying.
Although he appeared and sounded upset, police officers and firemen have stated that there were no tears in the attorney’s eyes.
Murdaugh’s demeanor will play a central role in the case. Prosecutor Creighton Waters told jurors on the opening day to watch the body-worn footage ‘closely.’
‘Watch those closely. Watch his expressions. Listen to what he’s saying and what he’s not saying,’ Waters said.
Murdaugh sounded lucid throughout his dealings with officers that night, even greeting one by saying: ‘How ya doin?’
The defense has argued that Murdaugh was distraught after the killings and had just hours before been having a ‘bonding experience’ with his son as captured in a Snapchat video taken by Paul with his father.
NO VISIBLE BLOOD ON MURDAUGH – BUT T-SHIRT REVEALS TRACES
Murdaugh had no visible blood on his white t-shirt, first responders have told the court.
Police described seeing pools of blood under the bodies of Maggie and Paul.
His defense attorney, Dick Harpootlian, described to jurors how Paul’s head ‘literally exploded … like a watermelon.’
Murdaugh earlier told 911 he had checked his wife and son’s pulses – but when cops arrived they saw no blood on him.
Jurors heard Friday from Detective Laura Rutland who said Murdaugh was ‘clean’ from head to toe. Rutland added that it looked like Murdaugh had changed following the murders, noting that she found it odd the defendant was sweating but his clothes were ‘dry.’
Later, forensic expert Melinda Worley said Murdaugh’s white t-shirt and khaki shorts reacted positive to a test for blood.
However, she admitted that the test can also be triggered by bleach and rust.
GRUESOME GUN WOUNDS OF MAGGIE AND PAUL
Horrifying body cam footage of the ‘butchered’ bodies of Maggie and Paul has been played to jurors.
The 12 men and women have covered their mouths at times while Murdaugh has hunched forward to weep.
Fire chief Barry McRoy told the court that when he arrived Paul’s ‘brains were down by his ankles’ and that he checked neither victim because ‘both had injuries that were incompatible with life.’
The defense argue that given the brutality of these execution-style killings, it is simply ‘not believable’ that Murdaugh – a ‘loving’ husband and father – could have carried them out.
DEFENSE SUGGESTS TWO SHOOTERS KILLED MAGGIE AND PAUL
Harpootlian claimed on Monday that ‘one reasonable explanation’ for the distance between the shots that killed Paul and Maggie was that there were two shooters.
‘There are two people there, there are two guns there, one’s a shotgun, one’s an AR,’ he told the court.
Harpootlian suggested that Paul could have been shot by one perpetrator, while another who was acting as ‘the lookout’ was surprised by Maggie.
Worley looked bemused, saying ‘I wasn’t there,’ before agreeing with Harpootlian that his theory could be ‘one explanation’ – not ‘the explanation.’
FOOTPRINTS AND TIRE TRACKS ‘NOT PRESERVED’
Murdaugh’s defense team have attacked several first responders already over their failure to preserve footprints and tire tracks found at the scene.
Sgt. Daniel Greene even noted there were multiple tire tracks in the wet grass which were incompatible with the number of vehicles at the property.
He said he did not inform SLED (state law enforcement) about the evidence because it was ‘not part of my job description’.
Harpootlian tore into Greene for failing to take photographs and put anything on his feet to preserve the blood and brains spattered on the ground.
He later ripped another officer for the same reason, telling him: ‘You don’t know what you’re doing.’
Despite his failure to preserve evidence, Greene told the attorney he was ‘not aware’ of any evidence being destroyed or contaminated.
MURDAUGH’S CELL PHONE DATA
In the body-worn footage, Murdaugh is heard telling the first cop on the scene that he head been visiting his mother with late stage Alzheimer’s.
He said Maggie and Paul had been at the kennels when he left.
But Waters told jurors that data from ‘cell phones are going to show otherwise.’
The prosecution say that the timeline established by phone pings places Murdaugh at the property when his wife and son were killed.
The prosecutor stressed that phone records will be critical in the case and the jury will hear that the Murdaughs were ‘prolific’ cell phone users.
MURDAUGH SOBS AS HE TELLS DETECTIVES HIS WIFE MAGGIE WAS ‘A WONDERFUL GIRL’
Murdaugh’s second police interview on June 10, 2021 – three days after the killings – was played to jurors Monday.
In it Murdaugh broke down in sobs as he described Maggie as ‘a wonderful girl, wonderful wife, great mother’.
Murdaugh told cops ‘she always said it was her job to take care of me and the boys, she did everything, she did absolutely everything.’
He said their relationship was ‘as good as it could be’ and arguments between the pair were rare – but when they would clash it was over the amount of time they spent with her family.
Murdaugh said he and the boys would rather stay at their home than visit his in-laws.
Asked about times of friction in his relationship with Paul, Murdaugh said that he would sometimes have to discipline his son over ‘irresponsibility.’
Paul had a tendency to have his belongings ‘strung out’ everywhere, including clothes and guns.
‘He would leave anything anywhere, and it was not unusual for there to be guns out there,’ he said.
Murdaugh said his son would go visit friends without packing because he had clothes left everywhere.
AMMUNITION FOUND AT MURDAUGH PROPERTY MATCHES THAT USED TO KILL MAGGIE AND PAUL
SLED agent Jeff Croft was called to the stand where he held aloft an AR-15-style rifle and two 12-guage shotguns recovered from Murdaugh’s formidable collection.
The guns are not alleged to have been used in the killings – no murder weapons have ever been identified – but the types of ammunition discovered with the guns corresponds to the shells and rounds by Paul and Maggie’s bodies.
The ammunition contained in the rifle – Sellier & Bellot .300 AAC BLK – was the same type used to kill Maggie, Croft told jurors.
The agent also described finding 12-gauge ammo boxes at the home – among them, Federal and Winchester, the same brands as the two shells found near Paul’s body.
The defense objected to the evidence, arguing that showing the series of weaponry to jurors was prejudicial to their client.
‘There’s no evidence linking these guns to the crime,’ Murdaugh attorney Jim Griffin said.
Prosecutor Creighton Waters argued that they were showing how the search for weapons was conducted and how the weapons were tested thoroughly.
Judge Clifton Newman sided with the state and overruled the objections.
GUN RESIDUE ON SEATBELT OF MURDAUGH’S CAR
In his opening, Waters said gunshot residue was found on the seatbelt of Murdaugh’s car, as well as on a raincoat discovered at his mother’s home.
Murdaugh says he arrived home to find his wife and son shot dead after visiting his elderly mother, who is in the late stages of Alzheimer’s.
However, Murdaugh was in possession of a shotgun when police arrived – which he said he had grabbed from the house because he feared the killers were still ‘out there.’
In earlier court filings, the defense argued the amount of residue found was ‘inconsistent’ with the prosecution theory that Paul was shot at close range.
The defense say that the prosecution relies solely on circumstantial evidence.
In his opening, Harpootlian told jurors: ‘There’s no direct evidence. There’s no eyewitnesses. There’s nothing on camera. There’s no fingerprints. There’s no forensics tying him to the crime. None.’
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