WALTERBORO, S.C. (WSAV) — Week four of the double murder trial of disbarred attorney Alex Murdaugh has come to a close. Murdaugh is accused of killing his wife and son, Maggie and Paul, at their Moselle Road hunting property in June 2021.

Friday brought the prosecution’s case to a close with technical information that is designed to show the jury exactly where Murdaugh was before and during the killings.

But the defense started the day by trying to poke holes in the roadside shooting investigation, saying Murdaugh agreed to be interviewed and admitted to drug use and that he had lied to investigators.

The defense also showed pictures of Murdaugh’s head after the shooting, proving he was really shot. Murdaugh’s attorneys also said the report showed he consumed opioids just that morning and argued he was not in a frame of mind to make decisions.

Then it was time to get technical.

An expert testified about GPS and speed data from Murdaugh the night of the killings, showing he passed right by the spot Maggie was found. He then sped up to 75 miles per hour to go to his mother’s house — faster than he ever went before.

They detailed every second, every message and every call made. They also pointed to the fact that Murdaugh’s phone did not have a record of any calls for almost two days until after the murders; it took multiple tests and extractions for experts to find them. It verified that Murdaugh was at the scene less than five minutes before Paul and Maggie stopped answering their phones.

It also showed Murdaugh made multiple calls to his wife after she was already dead.

The state closed with two text messages, one of Murdaugh asking for a $600,000 extended line of credit on his farm from the bank. The other was from Paul in May of 2021, telling his father he caught him with drugs again.

The defense countered by saying Murdaugh didn’t slow down near the area Maggie’s phone was found, and that when he pulled up to the kennel, his headlights may have shined on the murder scene, allowing him to see the murders. That would give him time to check if they were dead in the 20 seconds that elapsed before he called 911, they argued.

Defense attorney Dick Harpootlian called for a directed verdict, saying the prosecution did not make enough of a case to convict Murdaugh.

It took just a few minutes for Judge Clifton Newman to deny that motion.

Meanwhile, the defense has started its case with the Colleton County coroner who said he couldn’t guarantee the murders happened right about 9 p.m. They could have happened an hour or so before that, he said.

The defense will continue its case after the holiday. The trial is set to resume at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday.

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WSAV is streaming all throughout the Alex Murdaugh murder trial. Follow WSAV‘s Investigative Reporter @WSAVAndrewD and Reporter @JLeonardNews for live tweets and keep up with the trial via our live blogs on wsav.comTune in to News 3 at 4 p.m., 5 p.m., and 6 p.m. for full coverage.


9:34 a.m. — Judge Clifton Newman gavels court into session. The defense begins cross-examining Ryan Kelly, SLED agent. Kelly responded to Murdaugh’s Sept. 4, 2021 roadside shooting.

The cross-examination starts off combatively.

Defense attorney Dick Harpootlian asks Kelly to go through Murdaugh’s injuries that the medical staff at the Savannah hospital detailed. The pair argues back and forth over several things, including if SLED subpoenaed Alex’s medical records and where Harpootlian was when he called Kelly at a rehab center in Atlanta.

“You’re telling me SLED can’t tell where a phone is,” Harpootlian asks Kelly.

9:58 a.m. — The state redirects and begins asking Kelly about Murdaugh’s state of mind when he talked to SLED after the shooting. The defense immediately objects saying that Murdaugh was not competent when he gave a statement. Judge Newman excuses the jury.

10:03 a.m. — Court resumes with the state. Kelly said Murdaugh appeared to understand the questions and gave consistent answers. A frustrated Harpootlian asks Kelly to answer questions with a simple “yes” or “no” and to then divulge deeper.

The state is consistently objecting to Harpootlian’s line of questioning, saying it’s not relevant.

Harpootlian seems visibly frustrated and begins raising his voice at Kelly. Harpootlian is arguing that Murdaugh, being a shooting victim and an opioid addict was not competent to give statements to law enforcement following the shooting.

“That morning, he was not detoxing or coming off those drugs. He did not appear to be under the influence of any narcotics when we met with him in the hospital,” Kelly testified. “He was on his cell phone. He was walking, he was talking he was coherent.”

10:17 a.m. — The state calls Peter Rudofski, SLED agent to the witness stand. Rudofski testifies that he made a timeline of the entire case with all available information.

Rudofski is walking the jurors through a Google maps image he made of Murdaugh’s movements on the day of the killings. It first shows when Murdaugh left his Moselle Road home around 12:07 p.m. and headed to his law firm.

Rudofski testifies that Murdaugh gets to the law firm at 12:24 p.m. Murdaugh leaves his law firm and heads home at 6:26 p.m. and gets home at 6:42 p.m.

Murdaugh leaves for his parent’s home in Almeda at 9:06 p.m. According to the state, this is about 16 minutes after Paul and Maggie were killed. Rudofski testifies Murdaugh drives by the location where Maggie’s phone is eventually found and speeds up after passing it.

Rudofski said Murdaugh is clocked going 74 mph at 9:14 p.m. and gets to Almedia at 9:22 p.m. His max speed was 74 mph and averaged nearly 52 mph. Both speeds were higher than when he was heading to work and heading home, according to Rudofski.

Murdaugh leaves Almedia at 9:43 p.m. just 21 minutes after he got there. Murdaugh’s max speed on his drive home is 80 mph with an average speed of 46 mph. Rudofski said Murdaugh idling in the driveway at the Almedia home reduced his average speed.

“Due to the time of night, the heavy deer population at night … the road conditions, the road is very, a lot of potholes,” Rudofski said he would never drive that fast — even if he was responding to an emergency — on the roads Murdaugh took to get home.

Rudofski said Murdaugh pulls into the driveway of his home at 10 p.m.

Murdaugh gets to the kennels at 10:05 p.m. and places the 9-1-1 call a minute later. Rudofski testifies Murdaugh drives to his home at 10:11 p.m. Murdaugh told the 9-1-1 operator that he was going back to get a gun.

He returns to the kennels at 10:14 p.m.

10:58 a.m. — Judge Newman issues a short break.

11:24 a.m. — Court resumes with the state continuing to question Rudofski. Rudofski is detailing a color-coordinated timeline that includes phone calls, text messages, vehicle data and more.

Rudofski shows a timeline of texts between Paul and Maggie where the pair are discussing dinner that the housekeeper made for them.

Rudofski testifies that there are no data on the phone extraction for Alex Murdaugh between 6:52 p.m. at 9:04 p.m. however, his phone data shows up on the extraction records from Maggie and Paul’s phones.

11:51 a.m. — Rudofski testifies that the Snapchat video Paul takes of Murdaugh in the blue shirt and khaki pants and brown loafers is taken at 7:39 p.m. that evening.

12:07 p.m. — Rudofski testifies Maggie’s phone shows she reads a group text message at 8:49 p.m. regarding a text about visiting Murdaugh’s dad who was in poor health that night.

Paul gets to the kennels at 8:38 p.m. Two minutes later Paul calls Rogan Gibson and talks for about four minutes. Paul’s video of Rogan’s dog Cash is taken at 8:44:55 p.m. where three distinctive voices are heard.

Paul then texts a friend two minutes later about movie recommendations, Rudofski testifies. Paul’s phone is unlocked for the very last time at 8:49:01 p.m. His next phone shows activity is at 9:58:35 p.m. when Gibson calls him.

Paul’s phone battery dies at 10:34 p.m.

Maggie’s phone opens and reads a text at 8:49:26 p.m. Just five seconds later it locks forever.

12:15 p.m. — Gibson texts Paul asking him to send pictures of Cash to send to a veterinarian. Rudofski testifies that Murdaugh repeatedly told police he was not at the kennels at that time which contradicts the kennel video where Murdaugh’s voice is heard.

12:20 p.m. — Rudofski testifies that Murdaugh’s phone “basically wakes up” at 9:02 p.m. where he takes around 283 steps between 9:02:18 p.m. and 9:06:47 p.m. During this time, Murdaugh averages around 70 steps per minute, which far exceeds previous averages in the datasheet.

At 9:06:12 p.m. Maggie’s phone has an orientation change to portrait (vertical) and two seconds later Murdaugh calls. At 9:06:52 p.m. Murdaugh calls Maggie again but she doesn’t answer. A second later his phone automatically connects to his SUV.

Prosecutor Creighton Waters makes a point that Murdaugh drives straight from the house and out of the driveway instead of driving down to the kennels and checking to see if she was there.

At 9:08:58 p.m. Murdaugh texts Maggie to tell her he’s going to check on his mom. Maggie never reads the text, according to Rudofski.

12:38 p.m. — At 9:22:49 p.m. Murdaugh’s phone shows 195 steps were taken, Rudofski testifies. Around two minutes later he calls the landline phone at his parent’s house.

At 9:43:18 p.m. Murdaugh leaves his parent’s home. Murdaugh calls Maggie two minutes later and then calls Paul a minute after that, Rudofski says. Murdaugh then texts Maggie at 9:47 p.m. asking if she will call him.

Murdaugh then texts Chris Wilson and asks him to call him if he’s awake. Waters establishes that Murdaugh is driving at 80 mph at that time.

Between 9:56:57 and 10:06:57 p.m., Murdaugh’s phone shows 231 steps were taken. Rudofski testifies that Murdaugh pulls onto the driveway at 10 p.m. and drives straight to the home. Three minutes later, he calls Maggie.

Murdaugh leaves the home at 10:05:06 p.m. and heads to the kennels. He gets there at 10:05:57 p.m. Murdaugh then calls 9-1-1 at 10:06:14 p.m. around 20 seconds after getting there.

Murdaugh’s phone registers 594 steps taken between 10:06:57 p.m. and 10:16:37 p.m.

12:55 p.m. — Murdaugh calls and Facetimes Gibson several times between 10:24 and 10:25 p.m. but he doesn’t get through to him. Rudofski says he believes Gibson testified he was asleep when Murdaugh tried to reach him.

The first officer arrives at Moselle at 10:25 p.m.

1 p.m. — Rudofski testifies that Paul texts Murdaugh on May 6, 2021 telling him that he needs to talk because Maggie found several pills in his computer bag. Maggie searches online using Safari for “white pill 30 on one side rp” that same day. On May 26, she searches for “green gel pill 30” using the same browser.

1:07 p.m. — Judge Newman issues a lunch break for an hour and 15 minutes.

2:32 p.m. — Court resumes with the defense cross-examining Rudofski.

Defense attorney Phillip Barber asks Rudofski how long the drive to Alameda took Murdaugh. Rudofski says about 15-16 minutes. The return trip took about 18 minutes. The top speed on the way back was faster, but the return trip took a bit longer.

Barber points out that SLED agent David Owen and Rudofski conducted a test drive from Moselle to Alameda. Barber says it took about 17 minutes. Rudofski says he doesn’t recall off the top of his head and would have to check.

Barber asks if when Murdaugh arrived home and drove up to the kennels, he could have illuminated the bodies with his headlights while driving up. Rudofski says that is possible. Barber points out that Murdaugh parked near Maggie’s body. Rudofski says he can’t say what Murdaugh saw when he pulled up because he wasn’t there.

Barber sets a timer for 20 seconds. The timer plays out in court. Barber asks if that was enough time for someone who had already seen the bodies to get out and call 911. Rudofski says he’s there to explain the data, not testify about hypotheticals.

Barber asks about a sideways orientation change on Maggie’s phone between 9:06:12 p.m. and 9:06:20 p.m. He asks if that means it would remain in landscape until the next change or if it went back to portrait. Rudofski says he does not know, he is not a phone expert.

Barber asks if every time Maggie’s screen went off and on was recorded. Rudofski says he is not sure, but he thinks everything should be included. Barber points to a screen on note that does not have a corresponding screen off note.

Barber asks if Rudofski was provided the corresponding distance data with the step data. Rudofski says no, he was told it was not reliable. Barber asks if Rudofski was told that the feet-per-step data was extremely consistent and likely indicated it was the same person moving, would it matter? Rudofski says maybe. Barber asks if anyone checked how quickly or slowly Maggie was moving at the time her phone last recorded steps. Rudofski says no.

Barber points out that the brief activation of the camera on Maggie’s phone at 8:53 p.m. was not on Rudofski’s timeline. Barber points out that other experts have testified it is possible to find out what caused that activation, but that no one has looked into it. Rudofski agrees.

Barber asks if Maggie’s camera coming on could’ve been the reason for her phone being taken and not Paul’s. He implies she tried to take a photo of the killer, so her phone was taken. Rudofski says that his inference is that the camera activated because it saw a face and was trying to unlock. Barber again points out the reason for the activation is knowable but has not been investigated.

Barber points out Murdaugh’s phone was at the house at 9:02 p.m. and then recorded steps, and Maggie’s phone recorded steps at 8:53 p.m. while she was out by the kennels. Barber says Murdaugh would’ve had less than 10 minutes to “do everything if he did it.”

Rudofski says that as an investigator, he does find it odd that Murdaugh made so many calls that night. He says that if it were him, he would’ve been in a state of shock. Barber asks if he would not be calling family? Rudofski says maybe he would be calling family.

Barber says speaking of being in a state of shock, Murdaugh appeared to do several strange things that night. He read a text from Michael Gunn, Googled the name of a restaurant in Edisto,, and called someone he had not spoken to in years. Barber implies he was not really aware of what he was doing.

Barber asks about Murdaugh calling Maggie at 9:06 p.m.

Murdaugh’s phone shows him being walking at that time and Barber implies he could be walking to the car because his phone connects soon after and his car starts and shows him leaving. Maggie’s phone was not in a period of steps at that time.

Barber asks if there is any evidence that the phones were ever moving together at the same time. Previous experts have testified that there is not. Rudofski says he thinks there is evidence someone was carrying the phones at the same time at 9:06 p.m. Barber asks if another explanation is that someone else had Maggie’s phone, saw Murdaugh call, and tossed it out the window. Rudofski says that could be Barber’s explanatioin. Barber asks why that explanation is any less viable that Rudofski’s explanation based on the data. Rudofski says it is all about how you interpret the data.

Barber publishes a May 6, 2021, text Murdaugh sent to Maggie, which he says is in response to the text Paul sent about Maggie finding drugs in his computer bag.

3:50 p.m. — The state rests. Waters asks for a brief recess for housekeeping matters.

During the recess, defense presents the motion for a directed verdict. According to the American Bar Association, a motion for a direced verdict asks the judge to “dismiss the charges, arguing that the government has failed to prove its case.”

Griffin brings up that the evidence in this case is exclusively circumstantial. Murdaugh’s mere presence at the scene of the crime is not enough to prove he is guilty.

Waters argues that the circumstantial evidence points to Murdaugh.

Judge Newman says that there has been direct and circumstantial evidence, and the law makes no distinction on the weight of value to be given to direct and circumstantial evidence. He says cases can be proven by either or both. Newman says at this point in the investigation, there is evidence to support a guilty verdict if it is believed by the jury. The motion is denied.

4:04 p.m. — The state rests. Defense calls the coroner as their first witness.

Harvey responded to Moselle the night of the murders. He arrived on scene at 11:04 p.m. Harvey took photographs of the scene, including in the feed room, before SLED had fully processed the crime scene. Harpootlian asks how he avoided contaminating the crime scene. He says he follows the same path in and same path out and avoids disrupting evidence.

Harvey says that he estimates the time of death for Paul and Maggie was around 9:00 p.m. When he got there, he put his hands in Maggie and Paul’s armpits to see if the bodies were still warm and checked for rigor. There were no signs of rigor, which sets in within about one to three hours, according to Harvey. He says it could’ve been around 8:00 p.m., it could’ve been around 10:00 p.m., but 9:00 p.m. is his estimation.

4:16 p.m. — The state begins cross-examination. State prosecutors point out that Harvey did not use a rectal thermometer, which is typically the best way to determine a more accurate time of death. Harvey says no.

4:20 p.m. — Defense calls Shalane Tindal to the stand. She is the public information officer for the Colleton County Sheriff’s Office.

Harpootlian presents a quote attributed to Tindal from a Post and Courier article the morning of June 8, 2021. She says the quote was not directly hers, it was coordinated with SLED.

Tindal reads the quote, which was provided to News 2 as well. The quote says that there is no threat to the public at this time.

4:34 p.m. — Court adjourns for the day. Jurors are expected back in court at 9:30 Tuesday following Monday’s holiday, President’s Day.

WCBD contributed to this live blog