At the tail end of a terrible week for Alex Murdaugh – the man at the heart of the ‘Murdaugh Murders’ true crime saga – his attorneys released medical records which they claim prove Murdaugh was actually shot (twice, in fact) during a bizarre roadside incident on September 4, 2021.
However, these so-called “records” are totally inconsistent with the descriptions of Murdaugh’s wounds provided by local and state law enforcement officers who responded to – and continue to investigate – the incident as part of a broader set of inquiries.
They are also totally inconsistent with Murdaugh’s physical appearance less than two weeks after the shooting …
Also of interest? These so-called “records” were released one day after this news outlet exclusively reported on efforts by attorneys Dick Harpootlian and Jim Griffin to negotiate a backdoor plea deal with federal prosecutors in the hopes of keeping Murdaugh out of state prison – and landing him in the far-friendlier confines of a minimum-security federal correctional facility.
Change of subject, anyone?
The documents were also produced one day after Murdaugh was arrested (again) in connection with his alleged role in what appears to be a sprawling criminal enterprise in the Palmetto Lowcountry – a place where his family and the powerful law firm it founded have held sway for the last century.
Murdaugh was arrested by agents of the S.C. State Law Enforcement Division (SLED). He is expected to be extradited to South Carolina sometime this weekend and will appear before a judge in the Palmetto State early next week to answer for the latest charges filed against him.
According to the so-called “records” – which have yet to be provided to this news outlet – Murdaugh sustained a “gunshot wound of head” which caused a subdural hematoma, fracture of his parietal bone (i.e. the rear portion of his skull) and a “laceration of (the) head.”
A notation on the document – the authenticity of which could not immediately be validated – described the subdural hematoma as “small.” Additionally, Murdaugh did not require surgery as a result of his wound and was observed by medical staff “pacing” around the hospital in the aftermath of his initial examination.
“It appears that the bullet nicked him,” a doctor who reviewed the photo told this news outlet.
Murdaugh’s “bulldog” defense attorneys provided these so-called records to reporter John Monk of The (Columbia, S.C.) State newspaper, who earlier this month penned a gratuitous puff piece about the two lawyers. The records were also provided to The (Charleston, S.C.) Post and Courier and Good Morning America Friday morning.
This news outlet requested the records from Harpootlian on September 22, 2021.
“Let’s talk tomorrow,” Harpootlian responded.
That was the last communication this new outlet has received from the veteran trial lawyer, state senator and former chairman of the S.C. Democratic Party (SCDP). Assuming Harpootlian provides this news outlet with a copy of the “records,” we will publish them in their entirety for our readers to review and reach their own conclusions.
Also important to note? Alex Murdaugh’s attorneys have yet to provide his medical records to Mallory Beach’s family attorney Mark Tinsley – who subpoenaed for them weeks ago. In fact, Murdaugh’s attorneys tried to block that subpoena – adding to the speculation surrounding the shooting.
According to Griffin, a passerby shot Murdaugh in the head while he was inspecting a flat tire on Old Salkehatchie Road near Varnville, S.C. shortly after 1:00 p.m. EDT on September 4. Never mind the Mercedes-Benz SUV driven by the 53-year-old attorney was equipped with run-flat tires. Griffin also claimed Murdaugh’s tire “appeared to have been slashed,” even though the knife allegedly used to inflict this damage was quickly linked to Murdaugh.
As I noted a month ago, “the subterfuge surrounding the events which preceded the roadside shooting (was) absolutely nothing compared to the blatant lies told in its aftermath.”
Following the shooting, Griffin went out of his way to dramatize the seriousness of his client’s head wound. In fact, to hear the defense attorney tell it, Murdaugh’s injury was something straight out of the Zapruder film – describing “entry and exit wounds” and hemorrhaging in his brain that left him temporarily blind.
“He’s very lucky to be alive,” Griffin told by The (Charleston, S.C.) Post and Courier., referring to his client’s wounds as “significant.”
Five days after the shooting, though, an incident report from the Hampton county sheriff’s office indicated Murdaugh had sustained “no visible injuries.” The sheriff’s office later retracted this report – submitting an amended document claiming Murdaugh had suffered a “major injury.”
From the very beginning, SLED defined Murdaugh’s injury as “superficial.” Which, I am told, was a generous estimation of the damage.
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On September 16, 2021, Murdaugh appeared before a friendly Hampton county magistrate with no visible injuries – further fueling speculation. Following that appearance, Harpootlian told members of the media a bullet had “grazed” his client’s head – a description which is considerably less dramatic than the account Griffin provided.
Also worth recalling? In the aftermath of the roadside shooting, Griffin claimed his client had been transported to the taxpayer-subsidized Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) in Charleston, S.C. – not to Parker’s Emergency and Trauma Center in Savannah, Georgia. In fact, Griffin is said to have expressly rebuked my reporting that Murdaugh was transported to Savannah … which is where he was actually sent.
As a result, reporters coalesced around MUSC – not Parker’s – as they sought a glimpse of the shooting “victim.”
Was this misdirection intentional?
Who knows … but weeks later, Griffin publicly apologized for sending reporters to the wrong hospital.
To be clear: This news outlet has never claimed Alex Murdaugh was not shot. In fact, both Mandy Matney and I have consistently reported SLED’s statement that Murdaugh sustained a “superficial” gunshot wound to the back of the head. We have, however, pointed out a pattern of deception from Murdaugh’s attorneys – including an apparent effort to over-dramatize the shooting incident.
Bigger picture? As I noted in a post earlier this week, SLED continues to make significant progress in its inquiries – which appears to be one reason Murdaugh’s attorneys are so desperate to cut a deal with the feds.
“Today is merely one more step in a long process for justice for the many victims in these investigations,” SLED chief Mark Keel said in announcing the second round of charges against Murdaugh, adding that his agents “will continue to work tirelessly on behalf of those who were victimized by Alex Murdaugh and others.”
Also, this news outlet is only just beginning to uncover how deep some of the Murdaugh-related rabbit holes go …
UPDATE: Twenty-three days after they were first requested, this news outlet has finally been provided with copies of Alex Murdaugh’s medical records.
“Other than providing these records, we will not be offering any other comments at this time,” a spokesperson for the family said.
(Via: Murdaugh Family)
ABOUT THE AUTHOR …
Will Folks is the founding editor of the news outlet you are currently reading. Prior to founding FITSNews, he served as press secretary to the governor of South Carolina. He lives in the Midlands region of the state with his wife and seven children. And yes, he has LOTS of hats (including that Atlanta Braves’ lid pictured above).
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