The flurry of motions from attorneys for disbarred attorney/ accused killer Alex Murdaugh continued unabated on Tuesday afternoon, with state senator Dick Harpootlian and Columbia, S.C. attorney Jim Griffin submitting their third filing in as many days on Murdaugh’s behalf.
The first motion – submitted Friday afternoon – was nothing short of a bombshell. It claimed Curtis “Eddie” Smith, Murdaugh’s alleged drug dealer/ check casher, failed a polygraph examination administered by agents of the S.C. State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) five months ago.
According to Harpootlian and Griffin, Smith’s answers to questions about his knowledge of (and potential involvement in) the double homicide that lies at the heart of the ‘Murdaugh Murders’ crime and corruption saga indicated “deception.” Law enforcement sources quickly confirmed their account, sending this story soaring into the proverbial stratosphere … again.
The double homicide is just one part of a multi-layered, multi-faceted maze of alleged criminality revolving around Murdaugh, his influential family, the powerful law firm it founded and their various institutional allies.
The second motion – submitted Monday afternoon – pressed prosecutors for the production of additional evidence related to their case against Murdaugh (including detailed information related to DNA analyses, gunshot residue, GPS data and cell phone forensics).
The latest motion (.pdf) – filed on Tuesday afternoon – challenges prosecutors to nail down a time of death for the two victims of this crime.
“The state has not provided the time, date and place at which the alleged offense occurred as required by law,” the motion claimed, later reiterating “the state has failed to provide the time that it alleges the murders took place.”
As such, it argues Murdaugh cannot be expected to provide an alibi.
Murdaugh, 54, has been charged with two counts of murder and two counts of possessing a weapon during the commission of a violent crime in connection with the June 7, 2021 shootings of his wife, 52-year-old Maggie Murdaugh, and younger son, 22-year-old Paul Murdaugh. Maggie and Paul were killed at Moselle – the family’s sprawling 1,700-acre hunting property next to the Salkehatchie River on the border of Colleton and Hampton counties.
Paul Murdaugh was hit by a pair of shotgun blasts on that fateful evening – one to the head, the other to the arm and chest. Maggie Murdaugh was killed by multiple shots from a semi-automatic rifle at or around the time her son was killed. At least two of Maggie Murdaugh’s gunshot wounds were reportedly inflicted as she was laying wounded on the ground – consistent with initial reports we received of “execution-style” slayings.
Murdaugh placed a 9-1-1 call at approximately 10:07 p.m. EDT after purportedly discovering the bodies.
According to the latest motion, “the state has not produced any evidence in discovery setting for the time of the murders, expect for the death certificates of Maggie and Paul.”
Maggie Murdaugh’s death certificate has never been released to the public. Paul Murdaugh’s death certificate was released by the office of S.C. attorney general Alan Wilson last August when it dropped a boating under the influence case that it had been pursuing against him prior to his murder.
That document (.jpg) – signed by Colleton county coroner Richard M. Harvey – placed Paul Murdaugh’s time of death at 9:00 p.m. EDT.
SLED declined to elaborate on the information contained in Paul Murdaugh’s death certificate at the time of its release last summer.
“The death certificate speaks for itself,” an agency spokesman told me.
According to Harpootlian and Griffin’s filing, the alleged failure of the state to “identify the time it contends the murders occurred” means one “must conclude that the state cannot establish through forensic evidence or otherwise the time the murders occurred.”
Wilson’s office has not formally responded to any of the three recent motions filed by Murdaugh’s attorneys.
A hearing on all three of the defense motions has been scheduled for 10:30 a.m. EDT this Thursday (October 20, 2022) in Florence County, S.C. before circuit court judge Clifton Newman.
This is a developing story … please check back for updates.
THE MOTION …2022-10-18-DEF-Motion-to-Strike
(Via: S.C. Fourteenth Judicial Circuit)
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 many hats – including that Chicago Blackhawks’ lid pictured above.
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