WALTERBORO, S.C. (WSAV) — A final jury was selected Wednesday in the double murder trial of embattled former attorney Alex Murdaugh, who is accused of brutally murdering his wife Margaret and youngest son Paul at their Colleton County property in June 2021.

Over the past few days, four panels of potential jurors were vetted and whittled down to a pool of 122 jurors deemed eligible to serve on the jury.

Judge Clifton Newman sifted through the pool and narrow it down to 12 jurors and six alternates. After the final jurors were selected, opening statements began shortly after 3:30 p.m.

The prosecution argued that Alex Murdaugh murdered his son Paul outside the dog kennels on their Moselle property and then shot his wife, Maggie with a different weapon. The Murdaugh family was familiar with guns and even had a room in their home dedicated to their gun collection.

Attorney General Creighton Waters also introduced new evidence that a blue raincoat found at Alex Murdaugh’s mother’s home was found wadded up with gun residue on the fabric.

The defense countered that Alex Murdaugh was a man dedicated to his family and that he could not have possibly butchered his own wife and son on June 7.

The trial will resume at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday.

WSAV News 3 will provide extensive coverage. Follow our live blog and watch it live each day on wsav.com and in the WSAV NOW app.


WSAV will be streaming all throughout the Alex Murdaugh murder trial. Follow investigative reporters @WSAVAndrewD and @BrettWSAV for live tweets and keep up with the trial via our live blogs on wsav.comTune in to News 3 at 4:00 p.m., 5:00 p.m., and 6:00 p.m. for full coverage.

ALEX MURDAUGH MURDER TRIAL LIVE BLOG:

10:30 a.m. – Alex Murdaugh arrives at the Colleton County courthouse for the third day of the trial.

11:16 a.m. – Final jury selection begins with roll call making sure all jurors are present.

11:38 a.m. – Judge Clifton Newman says 122 total possible jurors will be whittled down to 80 and then the 12 jurors and 6 alternates will be chosen from that group.

11:40 a.m. – Judge Newman asks potential jurors about their ability to serve or if they have any COVID-19 symptoms.

11:53 a.m. – A small break is issued by Judge Newman. The audio is cut for a moment.

12:13 p.m. – Newman thanked several who were not chosen for the jury pool and then dismissed them. The audio is cut once again.

12:20 p.m. – Newman dismissed a juror possibly experiencing COVID symptoms. The trial is put into recess for 15 minutes while lawyers discuss the remaining 79 jurors on the list.

12:45 p.m. – Both sides are starting jury strikes. The defense and prosecution will each decide if they want someone on the jury or not. There is a limited number of strikes or vetos on each side. Jurors are chosen at random.

1:05 p.m. – Newman confirms the 12 jurors were chosen and now the alternates are to be chosen. The process took less than 30 minutes.

The jury is comprised of 8 women and 4 men.

1:21 p.m. – Newman breaks for lunch. Opening statements will begin at 3 p.m.

1:27 p.m. – Judge agreed with both sides that sensitive or graphic pictures or videos of the victims of the crime will be sealed and not seen by the public.

There will be a placeholder describing what the pictures show. Media will be able to ask to unseal pictures after the trial.


03:27 p.m. – Jurors return to the courtroom after a brief recess.

Judge Newman addresses the 12 jurors that were selected and asks them to determine the facts of the case. He instructs the jurors to not discuss the case with anyone including other jurors or attorneys in the case. Also, jurors are not to seek out information on social media or through local news outlets.

The Attorney General will make a statement next.

03:33 p.m. – Attorney General Creighton Waters begins by describing the murder of Paul and Maggie Murdaugh stating that the evidence will show Alex Murdaugh opened fire on his son, shooting him twice with a shotgun, picking up another gun and then killing his wife. He believes that both victims knew their murderers.

Paul nor Maggie had any defensive wounds, Waters told the jury.

Waters said Alex Murdaugh purchased several AR-style rifles in the past few years. He believes a family weapon killed Maggie Murdaugh. Alex could not account for all of his weapons when asked by police.

03:53 p.m. – The audio was temoraliy cut.

The Attorney General told the court that Maggie Murdaugh preferred their Edisto property over Moselle, but she had returned to Moselle just after 8:15 p.m. At 8:44, Paul took a Snapchat video of a dog that belong to a friend that was staying in their kennels. Paul, Maggie, and Alex’s voices could be heard in the background of the video. Alex had called Maggie’s phone at 9:02 p.m. and 9:06 p.m. Alex texted Maggie at 9:06 when he was leaving to check on his mother.

Waters also said that cellphone evidence places Alex Murdaugh at the murder scene with the two victims.

04:07 p.m. – Waters concludes his opening statements.

04:08 p.m. – The defense begins its opening statements. Murdaugh’s attorney, Dick Harpootlian, states that Murdaugh loved his family and the weeks leading up to their deaths were happy ones.

Harpootlian says that Alex Murdaugh could not have brutally murdered his son hours after a bonding moment.

The defense also said that anything Alex said the night of the murder is because he was in shock.

The Murdaugh family had a room dedicated to guns.

04:22 p.m. – Alex Murdaugh became emotional in court.

The defense said he would have had to execute both of them and take his bloody clothes off—Harpootlian stressed that no bloody clothes were found on the night of the murder. He also states that the prosecution does not have the guns that killed Maggie and Paul.

Murdaugh’s attorney said that the police came to the conclusion Alex was responsible for the murders on June 7. But, as they came to that conclusion, “they have continued to pound a square peg into a round hole.”

Harpootlian goes on to say that there is no direct evidence.

“He didn’t do it,” Murdaugh’s attorney said, “He is innocent, he deserves a not guilty verdict from you. That’s the law. That’s your oath.”

04:35 p.m. – The defense finishes opening statements and the jury is temporarily dismissed.

04:47 p.m. – The jury is called back into session and then dismissed until 9:30 a.m. tomorrow.