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LIVE FEED – ‘Murdaugh Murders’ Trial: Day Fifteen

News and notes from South Carolina’s ‘Trial of the Century.’

It’s the fifteenth day of the double homicide trial of disbarred South Carolina attorney Alex Murdaugh – the man at the center of the ‘Murdaugh Murders’ crime and corruption saga.

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.

Yesterday saw prosecutors focus almost exclusively on the financial component of this trial – the myriad of schemes Murdaugh allegedly used to defraud his former clients of nearly $10 million. This evidence has been admitted into the double homicide trial because the state claims it is central to establishing Murdaugh’s motive for committing the murders.

As I noted yesterday, pressure is mounting on prosecutors to submit additional evidence – and to begin packaging it into a cohesive narrative for jurors – regarding the double homicide.

Will that process begin today?

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Friday’s proceedings will commence with attorney Mark Tinsley back on the stand. Tinsley represents the family of Mallory Beach – a 19-year-old Hampton, S.C. woman who died tragically in a high-profile 2019 boat crash which involved the Murdaugh family.

Paul Murdaugh was allegedly at the helm of his father’s 17-foot, center console fishing boat when it crashed into a piling of the Archer’s Creek bridge in Beaufort County in the early morning hours of February 24, 2019. He was criminally charged with multiple counts of boating under the influence and was facing the possibility of a lengthy jail sentence.

Tinsley’s wrongful death suit – filed a month later – named multiple members of the Murdaugh family as defendants and exposed Alex Murdaugh to significant potential liability. In fact, Murdaugh was staring down a court hearing connected to the boat crash case on June 10, 2021 – at which time he would have likely had to respond to Tinsley’s demand for the production of his financial documents.

Many believe the boat crash was the incident that led to the collapse of the ‘House of Murdaugh,’ one of the most influential legal and political dynasties the state of South Carolina has ever seen.

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THE POLLS …

At the opening gavel of each day of the trial, we will launch two new polls asking readers to weigh in on 1) whether they think Alex Murdaugh is guilty or not guilty of murdering his late wife, Maggie Murdaugh and, 2) whether they think he is guilty or not guilty of murdering his late son, Paul Murdaugh.

The goal of our daily polls is to track how perceptions of Murdaugh’s guilt or innocence related to the murders of his two alleged victims has evolved over the course of the trial.

As of yesterday, 87 percent of respondents believe Murdaugh is guilty of killing is wife. Similarly, 87 percent believe he is guilty of killing his son.

Here are today’s polls …

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QUESTION ONE …

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Based on the information you have now, is Alex Murdaugh is guilty or not guilty of the murder of Maggie Murdaugh?

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You have already voted on this poll!
Please select an option!

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    QUESTION TWO …

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    Based on the information you have now, is Alex Murdaugh is guilty or not guilty of the murder of Paul Murdaugh?

    Thank you for voting
    You have already voted on this poll!
    Please select an option!

      ***

      THE FEED …

      4:54 p.m. EST – Tuten has completed his testimony. Court is adjourned for the weekend and will resume at 9:30 a.m. EST on Monday morning.

      4:50 p.m. EST – Tuten describes Alex and Maggie’s relationships with Paul Murdaugh as very loving. He states he was aware of text threats Paul was receiving after the boat crash. He says that Paul didn’t go into detail about them. The defense hands the witness back to the State for re-direct.

      4:45 p.m. EST – Jim Griffin asks Tuten if he is suggesting that Murdaugh was giving Greg Alexander money. Tuten said he is not suggesting that. Tuten says Paul Murdaugh never locked his truck and often left his guns in his truck.

      4:43 p.m. EST – Tuten states Jeanne Seckinger was his immediate supervisor and he assisted her after the homicides in looking at different cases. He would get cases from probate court and highlight any discrepancies. Tuten testifies that around July 4, 2021 he drove Alex Murdaugh to the airport. He believes Murdaugh was going to the Florida Keys with Maggie’s family. He stated that they spoke on the drive to the airport and Murdaugh told him he would like to clear Paul’s name in the boat crash. The State has no more questions. The defense has begun cross examination.

      4:40 p.m. EST – Tuten testifies that when working with Murdaugh at PMPED, Murdaugh would ask him to cash checks. He says he would take checks to Palmetto State Bank and bring the cash back in an envelope. When he brought the cash back, there would be different people in Alex’s office. He identifies those people as Greg Alexander, Cory Fleming and Chris Wilson. He says Murdaugh stopped asking him to cash checks a few weeks before the homicides.

      4:38 p.m. EST – Tuten says that he spoke with Paul Murdaugh on Saturday before the murders. He testifies it was a normal conversation and that Paul had called him on the way to Charleston. He found out about the murders when he received a phone call from his mother to tell him. He did not go to Moselle that night, but he did attend the funeral and wake for Maggie and Paul. Tuten testifies that it was hard losing a really good friend and really good person. He continued to work at PMPED after the homicides.

      4:36 p.m. EST – Tuten testifies that he began working at PMPED in February of 2019 as a law firm runner. He says he was a courier for court documents and assisted paralegals. He stopped working there in May of 2022.

      4:30 p.m. EST – The State plays the 8:44 p.m. video for Tuten and asks him to identify the voices on it. He states he hears Paul, Maggie and Alex Murdaugh. He further says that it sounds like they were at the dog kennels. He describes Bubba as a hard headed yellow lab who would chase anything including birds.

      4:19 p.m. EST – Tuten tells the court that when the Murdaugh’s first moved to Moselle, the only driveway was the one by the kennels and the small cabin. He testifies that during their freshman year of college, he lived with Paul in the cabin at Moselle. He spoke with Paul almost every day. He says Paul’s favorite guns were his Benelli shotgun and the .300 Blackout. He identifies Paul’s gun.

      4:16 p.m. EST – Tuten grew up with Paul Murdaugh and describes him as a reliable friend. He describes Maggie Murdaugh as the sweetest lady and says she was kind of a second mom to him.

      4:14 p.m. EST – The State calls Nathan Tuten to the stand. Nathan graduated from Wade Hampton High School in 2018 and received a degree in criminal justice from the University of South Carolina in 2021. He is a law enforcement officer with the Walterboro police officer.

      4:11 p.m. EST – Wilde states he was asked to look at information for CB Rowe and Marty Cook. The defense asks if he was requested to look at cellular information for Eddie Smith or Spencer Roberts. Wilde states he did look at cellular records for Eddie Smith though he doesn’t have that as part of his report. He was unfamiliar with Spencer Roberts. No further questions. The State is on re-direct.

      4:09 p.m. EST – Agent Wilde has confirmed that when they did the drive testing around Moselle, Alex Murdaugh did consent to that. Defense asks why the timestamp on Wilde’s records for the 9-1-1 call was different than what the 9-1-1 center had, he says that sometimes there is a difference in time between when the call is made and the operator hits the “green button”. Wilde tells the court that they do not have location data in their report for after June 15, 2021.

      4:04 p.m. EST – Court has resumed. Cross examination of Agent Wilde has begun. Wilde explains that text messages don’t ping off of cell towers.

      3:42 p.m. EST – Court is in recess for 10 minutes.

      3:30 p.m. EST – Wilde testifies that Murdaugh’s phone hit at 9:52:49 p.m. the phone was using a tower closer to Moselle on the sector facing Varnville. He states at 10:06:49 p.m. when Murdaugh calls 9-1-1, it uses the tower facing Varnville. He states this happened because the call happened on a lower frequency and could have traveled further. He confirms due to this, the phone could have been at Moselle when it made the 9-1-1 call.

      3:25 p.m. EST – No phone calls made to Maggie after 7:50 p.m. were answered according to Wilde. Wilde is discussing Alex Murdaugh’s phone location records. He states up until 6:25 p.m. Murdaugh’s phone was at the PMPED law firm. From 9:12 to 9:18 p.m. Murdaugh’s phone moves from Moselle to the Varnville area.

      3:23 p.m. EST – Between 4:25 p.m. and 7:05 p.m., Maggie’s phone remains in the West Ashley area of North Charleston, South Carolina. Between 7:07 and 7:50 p.m. Maggie’s phone is traveling from the Charleston area to the Almeda. At 7:50:20 p.m. Maggie’s phone is in the Walterboro area. She was on Route 17 which would have taken her through the center of Walterboro, South Carolina.

      3:20 p.m. EST – At 10:18 p.m. and 10:18:03 p.m. there were two hits on location data on Paul’s phone at the dog kennel. Wilde moves on to discussing location data on Maggie’s phone.

      3:16 p.m. EST – Wilde says that at 8:08 p.m. and 8:14 p.m. Paul Murdaugh’s phone was at the main house. Between 8:14 p.m. and 8:35 p.m., Paul’s phone was in 20 meters of the main residence of Moselle. At 8:38:07 p.m., Wilde state’s Paul’s phone is within 56 meters of the dog kennels. At 8:44:55 p.m., the Cellbrite report showed a movie file was generated from the dog kennels.

      3:10 p.m. EST – Wilde is discussing location data found on Paul Murdaugh’s cellular phone. The level of accuracy on the data is 3 to 4 meters.

      3:07 p.m. EST – Wilde is explaining the results of his data. There’s a lot of sectors and acronyms. As soon as I figure out what Wilde is saying, I’ll update more.

      2:53 p.m. EST – Wilde is now giving a slide presentation to the jury.

      2:49 p.m. EST – Wilde confirms a report he generated for this case. He confirms he looked at Alex, Paul, and Maggie Murdaugh’s cellular records as well as Marty Cook’s and CB Rowe’s cellular records. His report is entered into evidence under seal with no objections.

      2:46 p.m. EST – Wilde tells the court that Dylan Hightower requested his assistance in July of 2021. They were trying to ascertain why a 9-1-1 call coming from Moselle would bounce off a cell tower in Hampton. They utilized a tool to help them determine where the call came from.

      2:40 p.m. EST – The State calls Supervisory Special Agent Matthew Wilde. Wilde supervises the FBI Cellular Analysis Survey Team (CAST) in Rock Hill, South Carolina. Wilde goes through his training and qualifications. He ha over 130 times as a qualified expert in historical call record analysis and call record technology. He is qualified as an expert by Judge Newman with no objections.

      2:40 p.m. EST – Rast tells Harpootlian that her husband had died and took her to the funeral, but around a month after, she seemed to forget. No further questions.

      2:37 p.m. EST – Harpootlian asks Rast to clarify if she stated it was strange or unusual for Alex and Maggie to visit his parents that late. She clarified she said it was unusual. She tells Harpootlian when they visited on June 6, 2021 it was around 9:00 p.m.

      2:34 p.m. EST – Rast says Alex and Maggie decided not to wake Randolph up during their visit on June 6, 2021 and was surprised when she told him they had stopped by so late. No further questions from the State. Dick Harpootlian begins his cross examination for the defense.

      2:30 p.m. EST – Rast tells the court that Alex Murdaugh stopped by only 6 to 7 times in the five years she worked for the Murdaugh family. While her primary job was caring for Libby Murdaugh, she would help Mr. Randolph if he needed it. Rast says before Mr. Randolph died Murdaugh came by later in the evening bringing donuts to Mr. Randolph. When asked if Mr. Randolph liked donuts, Rast says, “Well they were Krispy Kremes.” The courtroom erupts in laughter.

      2:27 p.m. EST – Rast cared for Alex’s mother for around five years. She was off on June 7, 2021, but typically worked from 3:00 p.m. to 9:00 a.m. the next morning. She states she knew Maggie, but not well. She testified that Paul Murdaugh visited his grandparents often and says he was always polite and helping his grandparents around the house. He would give his grandma ice cream. Rast says Paul visited more than the Murdaugh’s other grandchildren.

      2:20 p.m. EST – Court has resumed. The State calls Belinda Rast to the stand. Rast testifies she is a Varnville native and is a private home health care provider.

      1:02 p.m. EST – Court has recessed for lunch and will resume at 2:15 p.m. EST.

      12:58 p.m. EST – Simpson tells Harpootlian that Murdaugh lost a lot of weight after the murders. Harpootlian asks if he could have been buying new clothes because his were too big and she agrees that could be possible.

      12:56 p.m. EST – Simpson testifies that Maggie texted her that Alex wanted her to come to Moselle on June 7, 2021. The State has completed re-direct.

      12:52 p.m. EST – The State has begun re-direct of Blanca Simpson. Meadors asks Simpson about the clothes in the room on June 8, 2021. She confirms she saw a t-shirt but not another dress shirt. She states that after the homicides, Murdaugh purchased a lot of new clothing specifically polo-type Vineyard Vines.

      12:50 p.m. EST – Simpson says SLED asked her about her whereabouts on June 7, 2021 as well as about the family’s activities that day. She states they also asked her for text messages. Simpson says that after the boat crash, Maggie expressed concern about Paul receiving threats.

      12:46 p.m. EST – Maggie indicated to Simpson that she preferred to be in Edisto on June 7, 2021. She says Maggie was concerned about her house being left open at Edisto.

      12:39 p.m. EST – Harpootlian asks Simpson if she had ever seen the blue rain jacket at Moselle. She states not to her knowledge. When asked what size Murdaugh wears, she replies, “2XL.” Simpson confirms Murdaugh kept clothes in his office, car and at the Edisto home.

      Evidence shown in Alex Murdaugh’s trial for murder at the Colleton County Courthouse on Monday, February 6, 2023. Andrew J. Whitaker/The Post and Courier/Pool

      12:35 p.m. EST – Simpson confirms that the conversation she had with Murdaugh occurred right before Murdaugh was supposed to go golfing with his brothers for the weekend. Harpootlian asks Simpson to identify Buster Murdaugh in the courtroom. She does and says, “He’s a good kid.” Harpootlian asks Simpson if Paul ever left guns out at the hanger. She says that she has found one out there occasionally and says that it was a rifle.

      12:33 p.m. EST – Court has resumed after a brief recess. Judge Newman has sustained the objection as hearsay. The jury is returning.

      12:04 p.m. EST – Simpson is explaining how poor the cell phone signal was at Moselle. Harpootlian asks about the conversation Murdaugh had with Simpson in August of 2021. After multiple objections by the State, Judge Newman has sent the jury to the jury room. Again.

      12:00 p.m. EST – Simpson says she did not see blood on the khaki pants she washed. She tells the court she did not see any bloody footprints in the bathroom or blood on the towel. She confirms she did rinse the shower off on June 8, 2021 and no one asked her not to wash the shower. She also states no one asked her if she saw any blood or bloody clothing.

      11:59 a.m. EST – Simpson confirms Murdaugh never spent another night at Moselle. She was not aware SLED had confiscated his clothing the night of the homicides but she is now. Harpootlian asks Simpson if she knows if Murdaugh wore those shoes to his mom’s house. She says she does not know what he wore to go to his mom’s house the night of the homicides.

      11:56 a.m. EST – Harpootlian asks Simpson if the khaki pants in the closet were the same ones he was wearing in the video taken earlier that evening. She says she does not know. She also says it was not unusual for there to be water on the floor of the bathroom or a towel. She confirms she cannot tell the jury there wasn’t a shirt on the floor because she can’t remember if there was a shirt on the floor.

      11:52 a.m. EST – Harpootlian asks Simpson if she found it strange that she was allowed to go into the house on June 8, 2021. She says she did not because there were a lot of law enforcement agents at the kennels. She tells him some agents did come in the house but did not ask her anything. She says they appeared to be searching rooms. It was before she picked up the clothing from the closet. Harpootlian asks if it was before or after SLED left when she picked up the khaki pants and the towels. She says it was after they left.

      Defense attorney Dick Harpootlian objects while prosector John Meadors asks his witness questions in Alex Murdaugh’s trial for murder at the Colleton County Courthouse on Friday, February 10, 2023. Andrew J. Whitaker/The Post and Courier/Pool

      11:49 a.m. EST – Simpson tells Harpootlian that Murdaugh loved and adored Maggie Murdaugh. He asks Simpson if SLED asked her if the Murdaugh’s ever had arguments. Simpson says she never saw them argue but she did see them have disagreements over little things like paint colors for the house. The only thing Maggie would complain about is that she wanted Alex to sit still and listen to her for at least 10 minutes.

      11:46 a.m. EST – The State has completed its direct examination of Blanca Simpson. Dick Harpootlian has begun cross examination of Blanca Simpson. Simpson reminds Harpootlian that she met him at the house following Maggie and Paul’s funeral.

      11:42 a.m. EST Simpson states Maggie did not like to go to the kennels after dark because it scared her. She also testifies that Alex Murdaugh was always on the phone.

      11:40 a.m. EST – Meadors poses the question again in front of the jury. Simpson says Maggie told her he knew the amount of money they were asking, but felt that Alex wasn’t being truthful to her about it. Meadors plays the video from the kennels that was taken on Paul’s phone at 8:44 p.m. on June 7, 2021 for Simpson. He asks Simpson to identify the voices in the video. She positively identifies them as Paul, Maggie, and Alex Murdaugh. Simpson tells Meadors that previously she had testified she heard another voice, but after hearing it several times her conclusion was there were only three voices on the video.

      11:36 a.m. EST – Harpootlian says that the concerns being presented were Maggie Murdaugh’s and not Alex Murdaugh’s. Judge Newman states that they’ve had testimonies throughout the trial relating to a happy family and he finds that Simpson’s testimony properly responds to that testimony and the objection is overruled.

      11:33 a.m. EST – Judge Newman agrees to a proffer of Simpson’s testimony. Simpson tells the court that Maggie told her that she was worried because a lawsuit was presented stating they wanted $30 million. She was crying and said “we don’t have that kind of money.” She said Maggie said if she could give them everything that she had and make it go away, she would. Maggie stated, “I would do it in a heartbeat, I’ll start over. We will start over.”

      11:30 a.m. EST – Dick Harpootlian moves for a mistrial based on Simpson’s testimony about Maggie’s concern about finances. Mr. Meadors apologizes for asking the question and asks for a hearsay exemption.

      11:29 a.m. EST – Meadors asks if Maggie was anxious about anything leading up to the murders. Simpson says a few months prior to the murders, Maggie had a conversation with her over a pot of coffee. They went into the hunting room and Maggie closed the door because Alex Murdaugh was sleeping on the other side of the house. Dick Harpootlian objects as hearsay. The objection is sustained. Harpootlian says there is a matter that needs to be put on the record and the jury is sent to the jury room.

      11:26 a.m. EST – Meadors asks if after September 4, 2021 if Simpson and her husband stopped living at Moselle. She confirms this. She states that she did clean Maggie’s Mercedes after Randy Murdaugh and his wife asked her to pick it up from the impound lot. Simpson said when she cleaned the car, Maggie still had paint from the Edisto house and pillows. She also states that she found Maggie’s wedding ring in the back of the Mercedes when she moved the seat.

      11:21 a.m. EST – The State asks about a conversation she had on September 4, 2021 with Murdaugh. He asked Simpson to send him a copy of his medical insurance cards. She remembers it was a Saturday morning. He told her he was getting some routine exams done and needed them. She recalled wondering where he would be going to the doctor on a Saturday.

      11:15 a.m. EST – Simpson says in August of 2021 she had a conversation with Murdaugh at the “little” house. She states this house is a small two bedroom house that sits between Johnny Parker and Randy Murdaugh’s houses. She says Murdaugh didn’t stay there much and wasn’t eating well. She states the conversation she had with Murdaugh was unusual. Murdaugh said, “B, I need to talk to you. Come here and sit down.” She said he told her he had a bad feeling and that something wasn’t right. She said he told her there was a video that was out and asked if she remembered a “Vineyard Vines” shirt. She didn’t remember that and he told her “you know what, I was wearing that shirt that day.” She didn’t say anything because she was taken aback because she remembered fixing his collar and it wasn’t a Vineyard Vine shirt.

      11:14 a.m. EST – Simpson says that Bubba often would chase the chickens or guineas on the property. She states when he got one, it would be a lot of work to get the chicken away from him stating he is stubborn. The courtroom chuckles at that.

      11:11 a.m. EST – Simpson testifies that after June 7, 2021, she continued to work for Murdaugh. She states Murdaugh did not stay at Moselle again and asked Simpson and her husband to stay on the property to help maintain it. She stayed at the property with her husband and Murdaugh paid her $1500 per week. The dogs Grady and Bubba stayed with them. Simpson now has Bubba with her at her home.

      11:07 a.m. EST – Simpson views the video from Paul’s phone that was taken earlier in the evening at Moselle. She identifies the clothing he was wearing in this video. She states that after June 7, 2021, she never saw the sea foam colored shirt or house shoes Murdaugh was wearing in that video again. When asked if she remembers if Murdaugh had any canvas-type shoes. She says Murdaugh did and that they used to sit in the closet. After June 7, 2021, she never saw those shoes in the closet again.

      11:00 a.m. EST – Court has resumed after a brief recess. The State is asking Simpson to clarify where Murdaugh typically kept his pants.

      10:40 a.m. EST – Simpson explains that she washed all of the Murdaugh’s clothing and testifies to how Alex Murdaugh stored his clothing in the bedroom. She says she put the shirt back on the stack of clean shirts in the closet. She took the damp towel and khakis to the laundry room where she washed them.

      10:37 a.m. EST – Simpson testifies that in the master bathroom, Maggie’s clothes were sitting next to the tub and on the floor next to the shower there was a slight puddle of water, a towel and khaki pants. She says she looked in the closet and saw a white damp towel on the floor with a dingy t-shirt was laying on the floor next to the towel.

      10:35 a.m. EST – Simpson tells the court that when she walked in, she didn’t turn on any lights and walked into the kitchen where she noticed there were no pots on the stove. She said that was unusual because when they ate dinner, they usually left the dinner on the stove until the next day. She says the pots were not in the sink or in the stove. She walked through the house and into the laundry room. When she turned to go to into the laundry room, she noticed Maggie’s pajamas were laid neatly in the middle of the doorway to the laundry room stating this was very unusual. Simpson said Maggie wouldn’t lay her clothes out like that in the middle of the doorway and it didn’t look right to her. She clarifies that Maggie did not wear underwear with her pajamas and the underwear with her pajamas appeared to be clean and had fold marks on them. She then turned around to find the pots. She testifies that she opened the refrigerator door and the pots were in there with the lids on them.

      Blanca Turrubiate-Simpson answers questions from prosecutor John Meadors during Alex Murdaugh’s trial for murder at the Colleton County Courthouse on Friday, February 10, 2023. Joshua Boucher/The State/Pool

      10:30 a.m. EST – In the aftermath of the murders, Simpson states she went to Murdaugh’s parent’s home in Almeda. Then he asked her to go to Moselle to get the house in order to prepare for visitors. She testifies that she usually used the kennel entrance. When she got to the main house, she says it was hard because she knew Maggie wouldn’t be coming back and she didn’t want to move her stuff. She is very emotional during this part of the testimony and tells Waters that she really cared for Maggie.

      10:27 a.m. EST – Simpson testifies that she texted Maggie before she left to tell her dinner was ready on the stove and that she was leaving.

      10:26 a.m. EST – Statement from Mark Tinsley regarding his donation to Shelly Smith’s GoFundMe account:

      “The suggestion of impropriety by me donating to a GoFundMe created for a deserving, hardworking lady was just him pandering to the cameras I think. I hope a lot more people help her.”

      Mark Tinsley

      10:25 a.m. EST – Simpson says when Murdaugh left he was wearing khaki pants, a blue polo, and a jacket. He was wearing brown work shoes. She testifies that when he left, Murdaugh’s collar was sticking up and she helped him fix it.

      10:21 a.m. EST – Simpson reads a text from Maggie.

      Evidence shown in Alex Murdaugh’s trial for murder at the Colleton County Courthouse on Wednesday, February 1, 2023. Joshua Boucher/The State/Pool

      10:18 a.m. EST – Simpson says her hours weren’t set as Maggie was “easy-going”. On June 7, 2021, Simpson was scheduled to work and Maggie texted her and asked if she could stop at the grocery store on the the way to Moselle because Alex wanted some Capri Suns. Simpson says she went to the Food Lion to get orange Capri Suns and she was not successful in finding them. Maggie texted her and told her that she had a doctor appointment and that Murdaugh wanted her to come over after. She asked Simpson to cook. Maggie told her on the phone that Alex wanted her to come home and she sounded like she didn’t want to come home. She states Maggie sounded disappointed and that she said that Murdaugh had asked Paul to come home too to fix the mess that CB Rowe had made.

      10:14 a.m. EST – Simpson testifies that she worked at Moselle on Friday, June 4, 2021. While she was there, she saw Paul Murdaugh. When Paul came in the front door, he was holding a laundry basket full of clothing. He said, “What’s up Miss B?” Paul asked her to do his laundry for the weekend. She stayed late to make sure he had his clothes for the weekend.

      10:12 a.m. EST – When she returned, she was helping around the house, running errands, and cashing checks for Maggie. She states that the checks she cashed were to pay laborers. She worked at both Moselle and the Holly Street residence. When the Murdaugh’s sold the house on Holly Street, they moved to Moselle full time.

      Blanca Simpson testifying on February 10, 2023 in the Murdaugh murder trial.

      10:09 a.m. EST – In 2007, Murdaugh told Simpson that Maggie needed help at home. She began working for them as a housekeeper stating she often ran errands and did other tasks for them. She says she worked for them approximately every other day at their house on Holly Street in Hampton, South Carolina. When someone tried to burn the Murdaugh’s house down, Simpson began working full time for Maggie helping her document all the damages. In 2015, Simpson had a stroke and had to go to rehab. She was out for about 4 years after her stroke and shortly after the boating accident returned at Maggie Murdaugh’s request.

      10:05 a.m. EST – Simpson says she met the Murdaugh’s when a friend had to hire an attorney and she met Alex Murdaugh when she walked into a law firm. After meeting him, she began assisting Murdaugh with translating for Spanish speaking clients.

      10:00 a.m. EST – Blanca is detailing her employment history for the court. She worked at the Ridgeville Federal Correctional Facility until 2007.

      9:54 a.m. EST – The State calls Blanca Simpson. Blanca tells the court that she is from Brownville, Texas. She was enlisted in the Navy as a heavy equipment operator. They moved to South Carolina after serving in the military to raise their children.

      9:51 a.m. EST – The redirect has begun. Waters asks Tinsley about Murdaugh’s finances. He states that as Murdaugh’s attorney was Danny Henderson and was a law partner of Murdaugh, he knew about Murdaugh’s finances. He states that if an order to compel was issued, his next step would have been to subpoena his financial accounts. If motions to quash those subpoenas had been filed, Tinsley states he would have continued to pursue them. No further questions from the State or defense.

      9:49 a.m. EST – Phillip Barber has begun cross examination of Mark Tinsley for the defense. Barber asks if he testified that there wouldn’t be an explosion on June 10, 2021. Tinsley responds that he said something to that effect. The defense has no further questions.

      9:48 a.m. EST -Tinsley explains that if Murdaugh had truly been a victim of vigilante justice as a result of the boat crash, the case would have been over because he would become a sympathetic defendant.

      9:43 a.m. EST – Tinsley testifies that the motions hearing in the boat crash was rescheduled to June 10, 2021. Tinsley tells the court that he heard about the murders of Maggie and Paul Murdaugh on June 7, 2021 around 11:30 p.m.

      9:34 a.m. EST – Tinsley states that the initial hearing to compel Murdaugh to provide his financial information was scheduled for May 30, 2021.

      Mark Tinsley, Allendale-based personal injury attorney walks away after testifying in Alex Murdaugh’s trial for murder at the Colleton County Courthouse on Friday, February 10, 2023. Andrew J. Whitaker/The Post and Courier/Pool

      9:32 a.m. EST – Court has resumed. Judge Newman calls Mark Tinsley to resume his place on the stand. The State will resume direct examination.

      8:05 a.m. EST – The food trucks at the Murdaugh Trial have been nothing short of fabulous (take that, cynics), but if anyone coming to Walterboro wants to venture out a bit for some delectable southern cooking, the Barrel House Grille is an absolute must …

      7:47 a.m. EST – I referenced this in yesterday’s big story on certain members of the Murdaugh family landing in hot water with the court, but to reiterate: Only two members of the family – Murdaugh’s sister, Lynn Goettee, and his son Buster Murdaugh – have been singled out for alleged violations of court rules. Court officials have said both of Alex Murdaugh’s brothers – Randy Murdaugh and John Marvin Murdaugh – “have conducted themselves as gentlemen.”

      6:30 a.m. EST – I’ve been doing a lot of research today on the crime of “anomic familicide” – which is perpetrated by a type of killer known as a “family annihilator.” That’s apparently the clinical way of describing someone who kills their own family members. Of interest? According to researchers, one in three of these cases involve the perpetrator being under some sort of financial stress or strain. It will be interesting to see if prosecutors call any experts to testify on this criminal profile as it possibly relates to Alex Murdaugh …

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      6 comments

      Charlotte Shull Top fan February 10, 2023 at 8:17 am

      Great coverage! Thanks for the hard work!
      Charlotte Shull, Elloree

      Reply
      Bystander Top fan February 10, 2023 at 2:45 pm

      I hope the State is using a mock jury for feedback, so they button this up better. I’m firmly in the “guilty” camp and yet see loads of holes in the State’s assertions. They just aren’t clearing the reasonable doubt hurdle. And they are leaving it to the jury to connect the dots. One of many examples: how does killing Maggie AND Paul fix his problem?

      Hope they plan to show what opioids do to a person’s judgement. Also wonder if pressure on the Satterfield case triggered him, since Maggie and Paul were the only ones who knew what really happened.

      Reply
      Laurie Andrulot Top fan February 10, 2023 at 4:01 pm

      What happened to the broadcast?

      Reply
      Astonished Top fan February 10, 2023 at 7:53 pm

      I sure hope these dudes have a time chart to clearly show where everybody was at the time of the murder for closing. Otherwise it could go completely over the jury’s heads. Wilde had good info, but too many pages to keep his story fluid.

      Reply
      Ann Craig Top fan February 10, 2023 at 9:28 pm

      Where is “little house”? Bianca mentioned several times?

      Reply
      Matt February 11, 2023 at 8:03 am

      Thank you Fitsnews team. Great work.
      Although it was discussed during in camera testimony and was object to and sustained in jury testimony, I think it is very important that the jury hear that Mark Tinsley planned to sue both Maggie and Paul in court “the very next day”, if Alex continued to tamper with the proceedings of the boat case. That is the motive! It’s unfortunate he wasn’t allowed to say that in front of the jury. Alex felt he would win the boat case and without Maggie and Paul alive it would be over.

      Reply

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