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MurdaughsTrial

‘Murdaugh Murders’ Saga: Pressure Mounting On Prosecution

Can Creighton Waters and his team get a conviction of Alex Murdaugh?

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The thing about the double homicide trial of disbarred South Carolina attorney Alex Murdaugh – the man at the epicenter of the ‘Murdaugh Murders’ crime and corruption saga – is that no one really knows how it’s going. A lot of people think they know how it’s going – and aren’t shy about telling you – but the truth is they are no closer to knowing than you or I.

The truth resides in the presumably siloed minds of the seventeen Colleton County residents charged with determining Murdaugh’s fate. And unless you’ve Vulcan mind-melded with each of the twelve jurors and five alternates in this case, you’re just … what’s the expression in these parts?

“Whistling Dixie …”

Murdaugh stands accused of killing his wife, 52-year-old Maggie Murdaugh, and youngest son, 22-year-old Paul Murdaugh, on his family’s hunting property in Colleton County, S.C. on June 7, 2021. He pleaded not guilty to those charges and is currently standing trial in Walterboro – a town located in the Lowcountry region of the Palmetto State, which Murdaugh’s family ran like a fiefdom for more than a century.

The convoluted tale surrounding this crime – described by one Pulitzer prize winning author as the “courtroom equivalent of Russian nesting dolls” – indeed has more layers than an onion truck. More rabbit holes than a bunny farm. More twists and turns than the blackwater rivers of the ACE basin.

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As the Murdaugh trail meanders its way through week three – and I say “meanders” because it hardly seems to be in a hurry or entirely sure of where it is going – pressure is mounting on prosecutors to begin presenting more definitive evidence (circumstantial or otherwise) pinpointing Murdaugh as the murderer of his family members.

And not just presenting such definitive evidence … but distilling and packaging it into something resembling a cohesive narrative. A narrative a jury can follow.

Seriously … the prosecution’s double homicide case against Murdaugh has been more “all over the map” than Ferdinand Magellan. And nearly three weeks into it, we are still waiting on witnesses who will tie it all together.

Plenty of potentially compelling evidence has been admitted for the jury’s consideration, it’s just been maddeningly discombobulated – as if the state is suffering from some sort of attention deficit disorder. Also, Murdaugh’s attorneys – Dick Harpootlian and Jim Griffin – have done an effective job thus far poking holes in the evidence that has been presented (and the credibility of the witnesses testifying to it).

Furthermore, Harpootlian and Griffin have yet to present their case … using their experts.

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The defense reviews a text message before it is put into evidence during Alex Murdaugh’s trial for murder at the Colleton County Courthouse into recess on Wednesday, February 8, 2023. Joshua Boucher/The State/Pool

Even if we take the state’s presently submitted evidence as gospel … does any of it push the prosecution’s narrative across the red line? The one in which reasonable doubt is removed?

From the beginning of this trial, our daily polls have been unambiguous: Our audience believes Murdaugh is guilty of killing both his wife and son. Guilty by overwhelming margins, in fact.

But can the state prove it? Can its prosecutors give those seventeen siloed minds something indisputable upon which to unanimously hang their collective hat?

Something, perhaps, like the blood spatter evidence everyone talked about before the trial (but which hasn’t been mentioned since judge Clifton Newman gaveled these proceedings to order)?

Obviously, Murdaugh is cold busted lying about his alibi on the night of these savage slayings … as multiple witnesses have attested (and will no doubt continue to attest). The fact Murdaugh’s voice can clearly be heard on a recording made at the scene of the crime less than five minutes before the murders is damning.

And the fact he lied about it? Doubly damning.

Alex Murdaugh walks into the courthouse in the double murder trial of Alex Murdaugh at the Colleton County Courthouse in Walterboro on day 13 of Wednesday, February 8, 2023. Andrew J. Whitaker/The Post and Courier/Pool

Also, we have yet to see Murdaugh’s third and final interview with agents of the S.C. State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) – the one in which he was confronted about his shredded alibi.

But does the fact he lied about his whereabouts prove he is the killer? In fact … has the state offered up anything over the last two-and-a-half weeks fitting that bill?

This week saw the introduction of a blue tarp/ rain jacket – a critical piece of evidence purportedly implicating Murdaugh in the murders. This item – the color of which seems to be the only thing the state’s witness remembered about it – was found coated in gunshot residue in a closet at Murdaugh’s parents’ home in Almeda, S.C.

Has the item been definitively linked to Murdaugh, though? And has the state’s theory he used this blue rain jacket to transport the murder weapons from the crime scene even been expressly articulated?

The fact we are still asking those questions is the answer, isn’t it?

Absent the guns around which this blue rain jacket was allegedly wrapped (and the state is absent the guns, unfortunately) … does this piece of evidence matter?

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Evidence # 226, a raincoat, in the double murder trial of Alex Murdaugh at the Colleton County Courthouse in Walterboro, SC, on Monday, February 6, 2023. Jeff Blake/The State/Pool

Speaking of things getting wrapped, a recent ruling from judge Newman has allowed the state’s double homicide case to be enveloped by Murdaugh’s myriad alleged financial crimes (a.k.a. his “motive“). I say “alleged” regarding these financial crimes but come on …

In immortal words of comedian Dave Chappelle, “Baretta did that sh*t.

In fact, Murdaugh has already confessed judgment in civil court to some of these fleecings – and based on the evidence presented during this trial his attorneys would be committing legal malpractice if they didn’t encourage him to cut a deal on the balance. Facing 99 counts of various theft, fraud and misappropriation totaling nearly $10 million, Murdaugh could go to jail for more than 700 years on these charges alone. And I’d imagine prosecutors would push for the maximum sentence in the event he beats the double murder rap.

Lead prosecutor Creighton Waters – who has delivered a virtuoso performance from the opening gavel of these proceedings – has demonstrated with clear and compelling evidence that Murdaugh is guilty as sin of stealing this money. Every penny of it.

The theft is there for all to see – in black and white.

But again … this is not Murdaugh’s financial trial.

This is his double homicide trial.

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Prosecutor Creighton Waters talks with his staff in the double murder trial of Alex Murdaugh at the Colleton County Courthouse in Walterboro, Thursday, Feb. 02, 2023. Andrew J. Whitaker/The Post and Courier/Pool

To his credit, Waters has masterfully connected Murdaugh’s financial crimes with the date of the murders – June 7, 2021. He has elicited testimony from multiple witnesses (with more to come) detailing the imminent collapse of Murdaugh’s financial ‘House of Cards’ – which stood for more than a decade before being detected by employees at his law firm.

Waters has also adeptly tied the date of the murders to a June 10, 2021 hearing in a high-profile (and ongoing) wrongful death case involving Murdaugh – a looming legal action which not only threatened to expose his fraud but threatened to expose him and his family to significant additional liability.

This “pressure cooker” theory is entirely plausible. Eminently probable, even. But as day fourteen of this double homicide trial dawns, the state does not appear to have met the burden of proving his guilt in the murders beyond a reasonable doubt.

Not yet, anyway …

Can they?

We shall see … but as this trial approaches what many believe to be its mid-point, the prosecution is now very much in the “pressure cooker.”

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR …

Will Folks on phone
Will Folks (Brett Flashnick)

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.

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7 comments

Alan Sprayberry February 9, 2023 at 2:35 pm

Murdaugh puts two young boys out on the street because he stole their 4M dollars. He put his best friends career in jeopardy by lying about his firm saying it was ok to pay money directly to Forge. He’s a crook, his financial crimes are proof that he is low end piece of excrement very capable of killing his wife and son. He did, it. You and court tv need to quit knocking the job the prosecution is doing and the job SLED did. By the way, what happened to your prostitute that claimed Murdaugh kicked her behind. We haven’t forgotten you put that out there. Where is the follow up.

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SubZeroIQ February 10, 2023 at 9:25 am

You are acting as if Alex Murdaugh took money those young men had to begin with. They did NOT have that money and DID NOT EVEN THINK OF GETTING IT. Alex Murdaugh invented that claim, not that it was right for him to do so; but the correct facts should be kept in perspective. What still surprises me is that the insurance company rolled over and paid millions without even taking the depositions of the young men. That is a legitimate inquiry that swept under the rug by all concerned.

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B B BROCKMAN Top fan February 9, 2023 at 6:40 pm

Seems to me that some of this stuff coming from FITS NEWS is mayber to get subscribers. I’ve watched the podcast with the 2 silly girls laughing and giggling so much that you would think they are Commie-La Harris our Vee Pee. Take this seriously, act like you are grown up, even if you aren’t.

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SubZeroIQ February 10, 2023 at 1:58 am

Anyone who believes the Prosecution presented ANY evidence of Alex Murdaugh’s guilt is beyond stupid. Take the blues: someone who wants to secretly dispose of a gun wraps it in a blue poncho, wraps the poncho in a blue tarp, goes to Almeida and unwraps the blue package, leaves the tarp spread on a chair, hangs the poncho in the closet, then does what with the now unwrapped gun? Walks out with it unwrapped? Throws it out of the window? Travels back with it to somewhere to dispose of it? What? What would have been the purpose of that trip with the wrapped gun? And to a place he knew there was always at least one non-family member there taking care 24/7 of Alex’s mother no less? Then take the shirt smelling of detergent after both agents testified that most of what they get otherwise smells “musty.” Well, Duh! Most other clothes they get are from gang members or homeless people who did not have a loving wife like Maggie Murdaugh keeping their clothes washed and neat. AM had spent the early hot evening riding with Paul around Moselle then changed for dinner or before going to see Libby Murdaugh. What is criminal about that? What about that indicates a crime? Tinsley keeps admitting coveting Moselle and all AM’s real estate and bank accounts. Tinsley is the one who profited from the murders.

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Nancy Bryson Top fan February 10, 2023 at 9:47 am

I agree with SubZeroIQ’s statement….”Tinsley keeps admitting coveting Moselle and all AM’s real estate and bank accounts.” And I appreciate SubZero’s perception and courage to go against the tide of misplaced adulation I have heard from others, vis-a-vis Attorney Tinsley. It appears that Tinsley was wanting to capitalize on the notoriety and tragedy of the boat case by laying waste to Alex Murdaugh. Envy at its worst.

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SubZeroIQ February 10, 2023 at 8:47 pm

Thank you, Nancy Bryson; you made my day. Let’s keep praying for truth and justice. God bless.

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SubZeroIQ February 11, 2023 at 8:48 pm

Here go the PPPs (prosecution-paid propagandists) again: every day, you float a FALSE red herring hoping your lies will seep through to the jurors and intimidate them into a guilty verdict. Yesterday’s and today’s is the “family annihilator.” Well, if 30% of family annihilators have “financial stress,” it means 70%, that is the GREAT MAJORITY do NOT have financial stress. Does your math education reach as far as taking 30 from 100 and leaving 70? That is the same “predictive value” as that rat from Pennsylvania they idolize every year when “he” is correct about 6 more weeks of spring 40% of the time; that is “he” is more often wrong than right. Bless your heart.

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