Alex Murdaugh trial: Jurors inspect bullet-riddled windows and bloodstains at Moselle Estate crime scene
WALTERBORO, SOUTH CAROLINA: The jury during Alex Murdaugh‘s double murder trial visited the hunting lodge of the family, which has been preserved in time with bullet-riddled windows and family possessions. The kennels where Alex’s wife Maggie, 52, and son Paul, 22, were fatally shot on the hunting estate in Moselle on June 7, 2021, were shown in an unsettling video.
The footage showed a snowman perched on a table between two rocking chairs on the porch and a plant pot with the name “Buster” painted on it. Maggie’s abandoned bicycle, which she used to ride from the main house to the kennels on the SC estate to see her beloved dogs, was parked in the front yard. The footage was captured on Wednesday, February 1 following the jury’s unusual journey to Alex’s vast 1,800-acre estate at the request of his defense team during his double murder trial, reports Daily Mail.
Why did jury tour the crime scene?
Colleton County Court Judge Clifton Newman, who accompanied the jury on the visit to the Islandton property, gave his approval. The tour, which was already unsettling enough, was probably silent because attorneys cannot make notes that they believe the jury will find relevant and jurors are not permitted to discuss the case until deliberation.
Dick Harpootlian, the defense attorney for Murdaugh, asked for the tour in the belief that it would provide background for his client’s alibi to the jury. The fact that he was in the main home and could not hear the gunfire while his family members were brutally killed, as per New York Post.
After listening to more than a month’s worth of evidence, the jury was led by police to the precise location of Alex’s wife Maggie, and son Paul’s shooting, reports Daily Mail. After the jury had gone, the judge then gave permission for three journalists—a reporter, photographer, and videographer, to cover the event. The three transport vans carrying the 12 jurors and two alternates traveled for 30 minutes from the Colleton County courthouse to Moselle while being escorted by a police automobile convoy.
What did Jury see at the crime scene?
Jurors had access to the tiny feeding room where Paul was discovered deceased. The 22-year-old had been shot so closely that the fallout of the crime left the room covered in his blood and body matter. On the witness stand on Monday, John Marvin Murdaugh, Alex’s brother, described how he had cleaned up the crime scene while sobbing and said, “I saw blood, I saw brains, I saw pieces of skull, I saw tissue. And when I say brains it could just be tissue. I don’t know what I saw, it was just terrible.”
‘There is only one person who had the motive’
Prosecutors started their closing arguments on March 1 by calling the patriarch a “family annihilator” in an effort to mask his financial shortcomings. The majority of the prosecution’s concluding arguments were devoted to highlighting all the alleged instances of lying by Alex, including the alibi he provided to detectives. “There is only one person who had the motive, who had the means, who had the opportunity to commit these crimes, and also whose guilty conduct after these crimes betrays him,” said lead prosecutor Creighton Waters. “The forensic timeline puts him there. The use of his family weapons corroborates that,” he went on. “His lies and his guilty actions afterward confirms it,” reports The Sun. But the defense claimed that there isn’t any direct evidence connecting him to the killings, such as fingerprints, video, or a confession.
If found guilty of the two counts of murder, Alex could spend 30 years to life in jail without the chance of parole. He could get an extra five years in prison if found guilty of both counts of possession of a weapon while committing a violent crime.