Attorneys started their closing arguments Wednesday within the double homicide trial of former South Carolina legal professional Richard “Alex” Murdaugh.
Murdaugh, 54, has pleaded not responsible to 2 counts of homicide and two counts of possession of a weapon through the fee of a violent crime in connection to the 2021 deadly shootings of his spouse and son.
After listening to greater than 5 weeks of testimony from over 70 witnesses — together with Murdaugh himself — the jury traveled to the home the place 52-year-old Maggie Murdaugh, and 22-year-old Paul Murdaugh have been killed in June 2021, close to canine kennels on the property. Murdaugh initially advised police he was not on the kennels earlier than discovering the our bodies there, however admitted in court docket his voice could possibly be heard on a video taken on his son’s cellphone minutes earlier than prosecutors imagine the killings occurred.
South Carolina Circuit Court docket Decide Clifton Newman has indicated he seemingly is not going to set a time restrict on closing arguments and both sides is predicted to take about two hours. After attorneys ship closing arguments, the prosecution can have yet one more alternative to rebut any new claims launched by the protection earlier than the jury begins deliberating.
Prosecution: Murdaugh confronted ‘gathering storm’ earlier than alleged murders
Lead prosecutor Creighton Waters began his closing argument by strolling by means of a timeline of Murdaugh’s authorized troubles and alleged monetary crimes within the years main as much as the murders, arguing Murdaugh killed his household to cease the “gathering storm” from ruining his household’s legacy and profitable regulation observe.
Proof confirmed Murdaugh started stealing more cash after a deadly 2019 boat crash involving his son Paul and he was confronted by his regulation agency simply days earlier than a listening to was scheduled within the boat case, Waters stated. Murdaugh’s household was additionally “watching him like a hawk” as a consequence of Murdaugh’s opioid dependancy, Waters stated.
“As all these pressures have been mounting, the defendant killed Maggie and Paul,” Waters stated. “The forensic timeline places him there, using his household weapons corroborates that and his lies and responsible actions afterwards confirms it.”
Waters stated Murdaugh’s plan labored: He was capable of borrow more cash from his companions and the financial institution and the boat case listening to “went away.” However shortly after he was confronted once more and compelled to resign in September, Waters stated Murdaugh grew to become “a sufferer once more,” referencing a plan Murdaugh orchestrated to prepare his personal dying.
“When accountability is at his door, he was a sufferer once more,” Waters stated. “He’ll do something to maintain that hamster wheel going and to keep away from accountability and he is been doing it for over 10 years.”
Prosecution presents proof; protection tries to create affordable doubt
All through the trial, prosecutors introduced many items of circumstantial proof to help their declare that Murdaugh killed his household to realize sympathy and purchase time to cowl up alleged monetary crimes that have been about to be found. Murdaugh’s attorneys argued the state’s motive is illogical and referred to as witnesses who urged there have been two shooters and criticized the investigation.
Murdaugh took the stand in his personal protection final week and repeatedly denied killing his household, however admitted to mendacity to investigators, citing his mistrust for native regulation enforcement and paranoia induced by drug dependancy. Murdaugh, who’s individually dealing with extra than 100 different felony costs, additionally admitted to stealing cash from purchasers and orchestrating a botched assisted suicide scheme.
The South Carolina Lawyer Common’s Workplace is in search of life in jail if Murdaugh is convicted. Whatever the final result of this trial, Murdaugh stays jailed on $7 million bond on the opposite costs he faces.
Contributing: Michael DeWitt, Jr., Greenville Information
This text initially appeared on USA TODAY: Dwell protection Alex Murdaugh trial: Closing arguments start
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