WALTERBORO, S.C. (WSAV) – Week two of the Alex Murdaugh murder trial is now complete. The disbarred attorney is accused of murder in the June 2021 deaths of his wife and son, Maggie and Paul, at the family’s Moselle property.
Much of the day was focused on a firearm expert from the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, Paul Greer, getting bullets from the Moselle property into evidence.
The State used the expert to try and make the case that one of the family guns was used in Maggie’s murder. The defense tried to clarify.
“But you’re saying you found cartridges here, cartridges there, cartridges at the murder scene and they all have very – not all of the marks are identical but enough marks are close enough to being identical that they were fired by one weapon in the world,” said Jim Griffin, Murdaugh’s attorney.
“It’s my opinion that those had all been cycled through the same firearm at one point in time, yes sir,” Greer said.
Meanwhile, Judge Clifton Newman has yet to rule how much, if any, of Murdaugh’s alleged financial crimes are to be included in the murder trial.
One of Friday’s most crucial testimonies came from Tony Satterfield. His mother, Gloria, was a housekeeper for the Murdaugh family for around 20 years. In 2018, Gloria died after she fell and hit her head at the family’s Moselle home.
Tony testified that Alex told him to sue the estate so he and his brother could receive money from the settlement. He said Alex never told him about the settlement money, saying Alex instead stole from him.
Murdaugh also faces about 100 more counts, including fraud, money laundering and tax evasion.
The trial will resume at 9:30 a.m. Monday with more arguments over whether his alleged financial crimes will be heard by the jury.
The jury is expected to come in at 11:30 a.m.
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ALEX MURDAUGH MURDER TRIAL LIVE BLOG:
9:40 a.m. — Judge Clinton Newman gavels court into session.
The prosecution continues to call witnesses to testify against Alex Murdaugh’s alleged financial crimes. The jury will not arrive until 11:30 a.m. as the judge has yet to decide if he will allow testimony on the financial crimes to be included in the murder trial.
9:41 a.m. — The state calls Palmetto State Bank CEO and President Jan Malinowski to the witness stand. Malinowski took over after Russell Laffitte was pushed out for his relationship and dealing with Alex Murdaugh.
9:51 a.m. — Malinowski testified that Laffitte routinely deposited money to Murdaugh to cover overdrafts at Palmetto State Bank. In one instance, Malinowski said Laffitte deposited more than $400,000 to Alex’s account on August 9, 2021.
That deposit cleared an overdraft of over $350,000 according to Malinowski. He said there were no loan agreements or other paperwork in reference to the deposit.
10:21 a.m. — Defense attorney Jim Griffin begins cross-examining Malinowski. Griffin asks Malinowski if Alex’s account was ever flagged during an FDIC audit.
“To my knowledge, no,” Malinowski said.
10:43 a.m. — The prosecution brings Tony Satterfield, Gloria Satterfield’s son to the stand. Gloria was a housekeeper for the Murdaughs for more than 20 years, according to Tony.
Gloria died in 2018 after she fell and hit her head at the Moselle Road property. The Satterfield family got a $4.3 million settlement in a civil lawsuit against Murdaugh, who in March 2022 confessed to diverting millions awarded to the family in a wrongful death settlement to his own accounts.
10:51 a.m. — Tony testifies that Alex never told him about the settlement.
Lead Prosecutor Creighton Waters: “Did he tell you that they had already gotten a settlement for $3.8 million?
Waters: “Had he ever told you that there was an umbrella policy for $5 million?
Waters: “Did he ever tell you about Forge?”
Waters: “Did he mention anything to you about structuring any settlement?”
Waters: “Did you give him permission to steal your money?
11:10 a.m. — Carson Burney, a forensic accountant for the South Carolina Attorney General’s Office, takes the stand. Burney says he reviewed some of Alex’s documents to trace alleged stolen funds.
He says that Murduagh primarily stole money using the fake Forge account.
11:40 a.m. — The jury enters the court.
The prosecution called Thomas Darnell, a fingerprint examiner with the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, to the witness stand.
12:01 p.m. — Darnell said the ammo found at the Murdaugh’s home did not have any identifying fingerprints on it. He said this isn’t unusual.
11:57 a.m. — Defense begins cross-examining Darnell.
12:12 p.m. — Defense Attorney Dick Harpootlian asks: “would it surprise you to know that Mr. Murdaugh was seen — while first responders came — holding that shotgun and you found no prints” referring to the shotgun Alex Murdaugh said he retrieved after finding the bodies.
Darnell responds: “Right yes sir and you know, that’s that prints aren’t always left on surfaces when you touch ’em. Just because you touch something doesn’t mean you’re gon’ leave a print and there’s a lot of variables as to why.”
12:25 p.m. — The prosecution called SLED agent Jomar “Joe” Albayalde to the witness stand. Albayalde took swabs of Alex Murdaugh’s older brother Randy. Albayalde testifies that he also took a swab of Allen Gonzalez and someone with the last name Torres.
12:43 p.m. — The prosecution called Paul Greer, SLED forensics expert to the witness stand. Greer first testified in this case on Jan. 24.
Greer spent his time explaining how guns work and also went over several different types of ammo.
1:30 p.m. — Judge Newman issues a lunch break until 2:45 p.m.
2:45 p.m. — Testimony resumes with Greer.
3:45 p.m. — Greer testifies that cartridge cases found near Maggie Murdaugh’s body did have matching mechanism marks with several of those found on other parts of the Moselle property, leading him to believe they were fired from the same gun.
3:55 p.m. — The court takes a short break.
4:15 p.m. — Murdaugh’s defense attorney Jim Griffin asks Greer: “you are not here to say any of the weapons in court now fired the shots that killed Maggie Murdaugh?”
Greer said the results are “inconclusive” from tests on two other weapons.
5:28 p.m. — The jury is dismissed for the day. They’re expected back in court on Monday at 11:30 a.m.
5:35 p.m. — The court adjourns until 9:30 a.m. Monday.