COLLETON COUNTY, S.C. (WSAV) — Prosecutors and defense attorneys are battling over what evidence will be allowed in the upcoming trial of disgraced and disbarred South Carolina lawyer Alex Murdaugh.
Murdaugh’s legal team said their client should “not” have to provide an alibi for the night his wife and son were killed.
Because prosecutors have never said exactly what time Paul and Maggie Murdaugh were killed.
That is one of the issues that could come up in a special hearing in Florence Thursday. The defense motion says prosecutors have never revealed what time Maggie and Paul were killed.
The mother and son were found shot and killed on the family’s Moselle property on the night of June 7, 2021. And Alex cannot offer an alibi for a time and crime that he doesn’t know.
In a second motion, Murdaugh’s defense team also asked for evidence they say prosecutors have “not” given them.
That includes Colleton County Sheriff’s and 14th Circuit Solicitor investigator notes on the case, cell phone forensic analysis, blood stain analysis, all SLED lab bench notes, as well as jail phone records and a complete autopsy file.
Also on that list, were detailed test results on Paul and Maggie’s clothing that night.
The motion talks about how investigators found gunshot residue on Alex’s shirt and shorts that night, but none on his hands or shoes.
The defense wants more analysis results because the amount of residue found they say is “inconsistent” with the prosecution theory that Alex shot his son Paul at close range with a shotgun.
Murdaugh’s lawyers in their motion also asked for body camera videos from Debbie McMillian and Grant Candor.
These people were “not” named previously in any documents, and it is not said who they are or what they may have said in those interviews.
So who did kill Paul and Maggie?
It seems like the defense team is pointing a finger at another suspect, Curtis “Eddie” Smith.
Smith is the man who allegedly shot Alex last September, so Murdaugh’s remaining son Buster could collect $11 million in insurance money. But Murdaugh’s attorneys now say that the man known as “Cousin Eddie” to many, failed a lie detector test when asked if he killed Maggie and Paul Murdaugh.
Thursday, the South Carolina Attorney General’s Office just responded to all these claims. That written response says in part that Murdaugh’s attorneys are attempting to “color the public view of the case” with the polygraph results.
They are doing that “even though they know that those results are generally inadmissible as evidence” because they don’t meet the “standard for reliability.”
Prosecutors say the entire point is moot because they “already provided polygraph results” on Aug. 31, the first day that discovery evidence was allowed in the case.
The Attorney General’s office added they “do not” have a deal with Curtis Smith to shorten or change a charge or sentence to testify. He is still facing 180 years in prison himself.
As for the claim the defense has offered that Smith knew of Maggie having an affair, the AG’s office added.
“Defendant Alex Murdaugh also seems to pursue the same aim of prejudicing the public by quoting in a public filing some scuttlebutt story Eddie Smith related he heard about a groundskeeper having an affair with Maggie – a story which defense counsel knows has no basis in anyone’s personal knowledge or evidentiary fact and frankly is insulting to her memory. It says a lot about Defendant’s true motives here with these motions that he would prominently feature such salacious content which adds nothing to a pretrial motion supposedly on legal issues.”
The Attorney General’s Office says that as of Oct. 19 they have turned over “206 GB of information, incorporating hundreds of individual files and documents representing thousands of pages. That does not even include an additional 470 GB of information provided to the defense on an external hard drive.”
As for the timeline and the alleged lack of a time for the killings. The AG’s office added:
“Defendant Alex Murdaugh made the 911 call at 10:06 p.m. and was at the kennels at the Moselle property where the victims were lying when the law enforcement arrived. The fact that Maggie and Paul were killed at Moselle on June 7, 2021, might be one of the most well-known facts in the State. Moreover, the State orally told the defense counsel the parameters of time during the phone call. However, if the defense needs further help for a start time, there is evidence of, which the defense is well aware showing Defendant’s presence along with the victims at the crime scene at 8:44 p.m.”
The Attorney General’s response ends with “the motion is without merit and should be denied.”
Both sides are expected to be in a Florence courtroom Thursday morning to discuss these latest motions.