Alex Murdaugh, who is accused of killing his wife and youngest son, wept openly during a trial on Wednesday as Judge Newman issued an order preventing the release of autopsy and crime scene photos.
The order seals photographs and videos graphically depicting the victims. Judge Newman gave the order to protect the privacy of the victims and their families, who will likely attend the trial, and even serve as witnesses.
The disgraced South Carolina attorney broke down in tears, crying and wiping his eyes. He had his head down and didn't make much contact with the jury, but conversed with his legal team. Murdaugh became emotional for a second time when his attorney Dick Harpootlian opening remarks and spoke about the murdered family and described the night of June 7, 2021 when his wife and son were killed.
Loving Father and Husband
The defence attorney said Alex looks forward to this opportunity to clear his name of the heinous charges so that the Attorney General can finally look for the "actual killer" or killers of Alex's beloved wife and son.
"Alex was the loving father of Paul Murdaugh, 22, and the loving husband of Maggie Murdaugh, 52. You are not going to hear a single witness say that their relationship was anything other than loving," Harpootlian said. "There's no direct evidence. There's no eye witnesses. There's nothing on camera. There's no fingerprints. There's no forensics tying him to the crime."
Paul was found dead with at least one bullet to the head by two different guns. Prosecutor Creighton Waters shared the graphic description, pointed to Paul Murdaugh's head and called it "catastrophic damage". Harpootlian highlighted how the shotgun blast that killed Paul Murdaugh was so close to his head that his brain exploded from his skull and was found at his feet. At this Alex Murdaugh began to cry.
Piecing Together a Puzzle
Waters said there was gunshot residue on a seat belt, bullets pulled from bodies that matched ammunition boxes from around the home, and cellphones never used again, just a few minutes after Murdaugh, his wife and son were all heard in a cellphone video. "It's complicated. It's a journey. There's a lot of aspects to this case," the prosecutor said. "But like a lot of things that are complicated, we start to put them together, piecing together like a puzzle and all of the sudden, a picture emerges."
Harpootlian argued that prosecutors have incorrectly locked in on Murdaugh's guilt from the start and have spent all the time trying to jam bits of evidence that can be explained away or leave an incomplete picture into a story that frames the wrong man.
The three-week trial is ongoing at the Colleton County Courthouse. 54-year-old Alex Murdaugh is accused of murdering his son and wife. He also faces charges of money laundering, tax evasion and trying to get a man to fatally shoot him for his surviving son to collect a $10 million life insurance policy.