Editor’s note: Some of the graphic crime scene descriptions in this story might be disturbing to some.
WALTERBORO, S.C. (WSAV) — Week one of the Alex Murdaugh murder trial is complete, with nine witnesses having testified.
Friday started with a new piece of video, the second interview on the night of Maggie and Paul’s murders with members of the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division and the Colleton County Sheriff’s Office.
The 33-minute-long interrogation shows an emotional Alex who offered up his opinions on a possible suspect — his groundskeeper CB Rowe — and talks about how Paul had been harassed and even attacked since being charged in connection with the boat crash that killed Mallory Beach.
Prosecutors followed that video with Det. Laura Rutland, one of the lead investigators. The state focused on Alex’s clothes; that while he admitted to checking the pulse of Maggie and Paul, he didn’t have any blood on his clothes or body.
Rutland described his hands, arms, t-shirt, shorts and shoes — all as “clean.”
“In your mind’s eye, that night on June 7th did he look like someone who had just blown his son’s head off, spatter going everywhere?” asked Jim Griffin, Murdaugh’s defense attorney.
“Again, I can’t say that for sure,” Rutland replied. “A lot of things would come into play to affect that.”
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ALEX MURDAUGH MURDER TRIAL LIVE BLOG:
4:35 p.m. – Defense asked council if court could recess for the weekend and pick up with cross-examination Monday morning. Court will resume Monday at 9:30 a.m.
4 p.m. – An update from WSAV’s Andrew Davis on day five of the trial.
3:30 p.m. – The court took another break.
2:22 p.m. – Worley’s witness testimony resumes. The state asked about the shell casings and other evidence collected around the crime scene.
1:07 p.m. – Judge Newman said the court will break for lunch and return at 2:20 p.m.
12:46 p.m. – Alex and his son Buster appear visibly emotional when Worley describes crime scene photos of the feed shed where Paul and Maggie were killed. One image described shotgun shells, blood and possibly a piece of one of their skulls on the ground.
12:30 p.m. – Worley said she arrived at the scene around 12:07 a.m. on June 8, 2021. Worley said she was coming from Columbia, South Carolina.
12:23 p.m. – Melinda Worley, a senior criminalist in the latent print unit of the forensic services unit with the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division takes the witness stand.
12:19 p.m. – Harpootlian asks Cirencione how Maggie’s cell phone was bagged and transported.
12:16 p.m. – Defense attorney Dick Harpootlian begins cross-examining Cirencione.
12:03 p.m. – Delila Cirencione, with the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division Behavioral Sciences Unit, takes the witness stand. Cirencione used to work in SLED’s crime scene unit.
Cirencione collected swabs from both Paul and Maggie while they were at the hospital on June 8, 2021.
11:43 a.m. – Griffin said Alex, his brothers and son Buster gave law enforcement consent to download cell phone data and voluntarily gave interviews to investigators. He also states that Alex allowed a dive team to search waterways on the property.
11:34 a.m. – Rutland said there were holes in the walls of the feed shed and internal components of a shotgun shell next to Paul’s body.
11:27 a.m. – Griffin makes a point that Rutland and the other investigator never asked Alex how he specifically tried to turn Paul Murdaugh over, how he tried to check Paul’s pulse, how the phone popped out, or where he tried to check Paul’s pulse.
11:18 a.m. – Griffin presses Rutland, asking her if Murdaugh looked like a person who had just blown Paul’s head off considering his clothes and body had no blood on them. She pushes back and says she can’t say that for certain.
11:15 a.m. – Defense attorney Jim Griffin begins cross-examining Rutland.
10:55 a.m. – Judge Clifton Newman orders the court to go into recess.
10:51 a.m. – Rutland described Alex’s clothing during the interview as “clean.” She said there was no blood on his hands, arms or clothing. The interview was conducted two to three hours after the 911 call.
10:38 a.m. – Rutland told the prosecution that she thought it was “unusual” for Alex to check on his mother that late at night because his mother had Alzheimer’s and typically “they tend to be worse at night.”
10:20 a.m. – Alex told the investigators that “Paul is a wonderful, wonderful, wonderful kid. He would do anything for almost anybody.”
10:08 a.m. – Alex said his relationship with his wife Maggie was “wonderful” and that he and Paul had “the best” relationship.
10:03 a.m. – Jurors hear an interview that investigators conducted with Alex Murdaugh. Alex cried as he heard himself on tape saying that he checked Paul and Maggie’s pulse. He also said he tried to roll Paul over, which is how his phone got placed on his back.
9:37 a.m. – Detective Laura Rutland with the Colleton County Sheriff’s Office takes the stand. Rutland prepared the search warrant for the property on the night of Paul and Maggie’s murders. She and another investigator also conducted an interview with Alex around 1 a.m. just a few hours after the initial 911 call.
9:15 a.m. – Alex Murdaugh arrived at the Colleton County courthouse.