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MurdaughsTrial

LIVE FEED – ‘Murdaugh Murders’ Trial: Day Twenty-Seven

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

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Welcome back to our live coverage of the double homicide trial of disbarred South Carolina attorney Alex Murdaugh, who stands accused of brutally murdering his family members as part of a still-unspooling web of crime, corruption and deceit.

Yesterday saw a command performance from S.C. attorney general Alan Wilson, who stepped in to handle one of the state’s most important rebuttal witnesses.

For yesterday’s live feed, click here.

The state’s rebuttal case is now closed, which means all that’s left in this trial is closing arguments, jury instructions, deliberation and … a verdict.

Prior to that, though, jurors began the day by taking a field trip to “Moselle” – the Murdaugh family’s 1,700-acre hunting property which straddles the Salkehatchie River between Hampton and Colleton counties near Islandton, S.C.

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Pool reporter Valerie Bauerlein of The Wall Street Journal won a court-administered lottery to visit Moselle on behalf of the press corps. Several of her dispatches are included in today’s live feed.

Twenty-one months ago at Moselle, Murdaugh is accused of killing his wife, 52-year-old Maggie Murdaugh, and youngest son, 22-year-old Paul Murdaugh on June 7, 2021. He pleaded not guilty to those charges and for the last six weeks has been standing trial in Walterboro – part of the Lowcountry region of the Palmetto State which his famous family ruled like a fiefdom for more than a century.

The scion of an influential Lowcountry legal dynasty, Murdaugh once led the Palmetto State’s powerful trial lawyers’ lobby. Today, he is at the epicenter of a maze of alleged criminality known as the ‘Murdaugh Murders’ crime and corruption saga.

For the very latest on this case, keep it tuned to our live feed below …

THE POLLS …

From the opening gavel of this trial, we have launched two daily 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 have evolved over the course of the trial.

As of Friday’s poll, 87 percent of respondents believed Murdaugh was guilty of killing his wife compared to roughly eight percent who said he was not guilty and four percent who said they were unsure. Those percentages were roughly identical.

Here are today’s questions …

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QUESTION ONE …

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Based on the information you have now, is Alex Murdaugh 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 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 …

      5:00 p.m. EST – Court has adjourned for the day and will resume at 9:30 a.m. EST on Thursday March 2, 2023.

      4:48 p.m. EST – Creighton Waters, “Motive, means, opportunity, and ample evidence. All four factors are present. And Maggie and Paul deserve a voice. They need a voice because they can no longer speak.” He then shows the jury a sealed exhibit and says, “This is what he did.”

      4:46 p.m. EST – Waters says all those factors that Murdaugh gave to the jury about why he lied were made up. Murdaugh was lying to the jury like he lies to everyone else he loves. And he was good at it.

      4:40 p.m. EST – Waters states, “Everything he did was to cover up his actions. One man controlled this crime scene initially and that was Alex. But there were some things he couldn’t control and we brought those to you.” Waters continues saying he agrees when Murdaugh said, “Whoever did this had anger in his heart. Whoever did this planned it for a long time. That he hurt the ones closest to him.” The one thing he didn’t expect was that kennel video that came up late in the investigation.

      4:38 p.m. EST – Murdaugh was facing “complete financial ruin”, his father who he idolized was dying, and his son was facing criminal charges. Waters says that Murdaugh’s ego couldn’t handle that and he became a family annihilator.

      4:36 p.m. EST – Waters tells the jury that Murdaugh is trying to sell the jury on the story that he went to the kennels quickly, returned to the house to take the quickest nap in the history of the south, and random vigilantes arrived in the tiny time period between 8:49 and 9:02 p.m. and shot Maggie and Paul Murdaugh. The random 5 feet 2 inch vigilantes.

      4:33 p.m. EST – Waters points out how Murdaugh nods his head yes in interviews when he is telling a lie. He agrees with one thing Murdaugh said, “‘Oh what a tangled web we weave when we first practice to deceive.’ How appropriate coming from that man.”

      4:30 p.m. EST – Creighton Waters, “Why do people lie? People lie because they knew they did something wrong.”

      4:26 p.m. EST – Waters states that Murdaugh told the jury three times that he had approval from the former sheriff of Hampton County to put blue lights in his vehicle. The sheriff told the court he never gave him permission. He lied to the jury.

      4:22 p.m. EST – Waters tells the jury that they are finally going to talk about the story Murdaugh told them. He asks the jury why there was no threat to Buster and says the only threat was Murdaugh. About Murdaugh’s lies to law enforcement, Waters asks, “What father would hold anything back if he was innocent?”

      4:19 p.m. EST – Court has resumed. Jim Griffin tells Judge Newman if he begins his closing argument at 5:00 p.m. that he will likely end at 7:30 p.m. and is concerned about the jury’s attention. Judge Newman assures Griffin that he will have opportunity to conduct his closing when everyone is not weary.

      4:00 p.m. EST – Judge Newman calls for a 15-minute break.

      3:53 p.m. EST – Waters discusses the wounds to Maggie Murdaugh and reminds the jury Maggie was running towards her baby. She had no defensive wounds. He says, “She’s moving when she gets hit, most likely when she hits her leg against that Polaris. There’s biological evidence on that Polaris. And she comes forward and collapses as Alex is moving around her firing.”

      3:50 p.m. EST – Waters reminds the jury that Dr. Kinsey’s opinion matched Dr. Riemer’s regarding the trajectory of the second shot to Paul Murdaugh.

      3:47 p.m. EST – Waters states Dr. Riemer was very clear in her opinion that the shotgun wound to Paul could not have come from the top of his head.

      3:40 p.m. EST – Waters plays the third interview from August 11, 2021 and points out Murdaugh’s selective memory of events.

      3:35 p.m. EST – The second interview conducted by SLED on June 10, 2021 is being played. Waters points out the tone of the interview, “Is that a aggressive interview? Is that something that makes somebody paranoid?”

      3:32 p.m. EST – Waters discusses the reasons Murdaugh gave for lying about being at the kennels then shows the jury portions of Murdaugh’s first interview in the early morning hours of June 8, 2021. Stopping the video sporadically to ask the jury, “Is the point where Murdaugh decided to lie?”

      3:26 p.m. EST – Waters reminds the jury of the strange comment Murdaugh made to Maggie’s sister, Marion, “Whoever did this thought about it for a really long time. I think if you think about the defendant statements and some of the things he says, a lot of times he says things in one context, but he means something else.”

      3:22 p.m. EST – Waters tells the jury that the evidence shows that despite claiming he checked the pulses of his dead wife and son, there was only 19 seconds between his arrival at the kennels and the call. Waters says, “You’ve seen the horrific injuries they suffered. 19 seconds. Is that enough time for a surprised human being to come across that scene and process what they were seeing? The reason why it’s so quick. The reason why it’s so quick is because he knew exactly what scene he was gonna find.”

      3:18 p.m. EST – Murdaugh calls Chris Wilson and has a totally normal conversation. Waters says, ” Of course it is with this guy. He’s convincing.” Waters continues explaining Murdaugh was manufacturing alibi. He was calling anybody who will answer the phone for the short conversations and reminds the jury, “And it’s the first one of the first things out of his mouth in the first interview, ‘Look at my phone. I call this person. I call this person.'”

      3:15 p.m. EST – Leaving Almeda, Alex pauses for 54 seconds as he calls Maggie. Waters points out that Murdaugh remembered very specifically about his phone falling down between the console, but he can’t remember the last conversation he had with his deceased wife, “Would a reasonable person remember those things? Would they not replaying in their mind every day the last conversations that they had?”

      3:11 p.m. EST – Murdaugh drives to his parents’ home at 74 miles an hour while calling people to manufacture an alibi. Despite testimony that people often parked at the tree line at Almeda, Waters says the 195 steps taken are unusual and as Shelly Smith testified, there was 6 minutes between the call to her to open the door and him actually going into the house.

      3:08 p.m. EST – Waters tells the jury about the backlight activation feature on the iPhone. He states the raise to wake feature is meant to respond to someone lifting the phone up normally, not violently.

      3:03 p.m. EST – Waters points out 2 seconds after Murdaugh’s Suburban fires up, Maggie’s phone registers an orientation change before a call comes in from Murdaugh’s phone. He continues, “If it’s some random vigilante who knew to hide out there and counted on family being there. Did he have ESP?” He’s making so many calls to make sure they are okay, why didn’t Murdaugh just drive down there?

      3:00 p.m. EST – Waters states that Murdaugh’s phone began moving at 9:02 p.m. and shows the jury the image of the hose that Roger Dale Davis said he had wrapped up. Positing that Murdaugh was hosing off at the kennels before heading back to the main house.

      2:57 p.m. EST – Waters tells the jury that Maggie’s sandal prints indicate that she heard the shots that killed Paul and went to run over to him, “She heard that shot and was running to her baby when she got mowed down by the only person we have conclusive proof was at the scene just minutes before.”

      2:54 p.m. EST – Waters says Murdaugh shot Paul through the chest thinking it would kill Paul, but it didn’t. He calls it a “million-to-one shot.” He says Murdaugh used to guns because of his prosecutorial knowledge thinking he would confuse the crime scene. He poses the idea that Alex, putting down the Blackout, was startled Paul was still alive, explaining the angle.

      2:50 p.m. EST – The first time Murdaugh admitted he was at kennels was when he got on the stand. Waters asks the jury why would Murdaugh even think about that lie if he was an innocent man? Waters explains Murdaugh put the chicken up and got back to Moselle at 8:49 p.m. and took the quickest nap ever. He continues to say there is “not a single person close to him who hasn’t been lied to by this man, and I submit to you that this one is the most blatant one yet.”

      2:45 p.m. EST – Waters tells the jury that law enforcement officers acquiring the video placing Murdaugh at the scene months in their investigation “changed everything” asking why any “reasonable father or husband” would lie about such an important piece of information “so early.” “We know that the defendant was there just minutes earlier, at the scene of the crime, with the victims.”

      2:42 p.m. EST – “Despite having a nearly photographic memory” Murdaugh couldn’t remember key details of the evening of the murder. Waters pulls from the cell phone data to fill in these gaps, systematically proceeding through Maggie and Paul’s activities and movements in the final hour of their lives.

      2:39 p.m. EST – Traveling to the timeline presented at the end of the states case, Waters tells jurors that Murdaugh “almost never was right” in the version of events that he gave to investigators. Waters mentions the snapchat video, which put Murdaugh at the scent of the murder minutes before the shooting, and how the revelation of this crucial piece of evidence changed Murdaugh’s story again.

      Prosecutor Creighton Waters makes closing arguments in Alex Murdaugh’s trial for murder at the Colleton County Courthouse on Wednesday, March 1, 2023. Joshua Boucher/The State/Pool

      2:32 p.m. EST – Waters moves onto another unaccounted-for weapon – the Benelli Super Black Eagle 12 gauge shotgun. The Murdaugh men all owned Benelli super eagle shotguns. Benellii shotguns are arguably the best money can buy, and are coveted by hunters worldwide. Waters produces Buster’s Super Black Eagle II, a weapon the jury has seen many times, as he reiterates that “family weapons killed these victims.” He reminds the jurors that shells matching those found at the crime scene were found across the property. “The defendant had the means to commit these crimes.”

      2:28 p.m. EST – Waters immediately takes the jury back to “Motive, means and opportunity to commit the crime.” Waters reminds the jury that a missing .300 blackout rifle Murdaugh purchased was used to murder Maggie, and that Murdaugh’s story on the rifle shifted throughout the course of the investigation. Waters recounts testimony that Paul had sighted this rifle months before the murders, and that shell casings matching the murder scene were found next to the Moselle residence.

      2:26 p.m. EST – Judge Newman calls court back into session. After the jury take their seats prosecutor Waters prepares to resume his closing arguments.

      1:06 p.m. EST – Judge Newman has called for a 1 hour and 15 minute break for lunch.

      1:04 p.m. EST – Regarding the interviews with SLED agent David Owen, Waters states, “He doesn’t look like he’s withdrawing from any drugs. His responses are appropriate. He’s not displaying any paranoia. He’s smooth. He is focused on the events. He’s focused on trying to get information about the case for law enforcement officers, which is interesting in its own right.”

      1:00 p.m. EST – Waters begins addressing Murdaugh’s alleged opioid addiction. Waters asks the jury, “1000 milligrams a day. Does that sound survivable?” He continues, “And if you if it was (survivable) that you could still engage in work, have a successful practice and then on top of that, engage in these complex conspiracies to steal and fool everyone and live a life. And how people outwardly think that you’re who you profess to be in public.” He asks the jury if Murdaugh was taking 1000 milligrams a day, does that make sense?

      12:58 p.m. EST – Creighton Waters breaks down Murdaugh’s finances for the jury.The red indicates his negative balances and the green indicates his income. Waters tells the jury, “We talked about a lot of things about the finances and I know there’s been a lot of that but it’s really the only way to understand all the things that were affecting this middle-aged, outwardly successful, professional man who had all these pressures like no one had ever seen.”

      12:57 p.m. EST – The storm stopped after the homicides.

      12:54 p.m. EST – The storm arrives on June 7, 2021. Waters states everything is converging on Murdaugh at once on the day Maggie and Paul were murdered.

      12:51 p.m. EST – Waters describes the “gathering storm” Murdaugh was facing and states that they reached a crescendo on June 7, 2021.

      12:43 p.m. EST – Regarding Murdaugh’s finances, Waters states Murdaugh was running what was akin to a Ponzi scheme, “kind of like a pyramid scheme where it depends on new money coming in to pay old investors and it works. It’ll work for a long time as long as you can keep that money coming in. But the second you can’t. The second that you’re out of options, it crashes and burns us out. Every Ponzi crashes and burns.”

      12:38 p.m. EST – Waters aptly describes the concept of murder and malice aforethought. He explains, “Voluntary intoxication does not impair a person’s ability to act with malice aforethought. That’s a legal principle. If you voluntarily get intoxicated, it is not a defense to a crime. And it does not negate the malicious nature of that crime. If one voluntarily intoxicates themselves, they are just as responsible for their actions as when they are not intoxicated.”

      12:34 p.m. EST – While explaining direct and circumstantial evidence, Waters uses this image:

      12:32 p.m. EST – Waters shows the jury the following images relating to reasonable doubt:

      12:29 p.m. EST – Waters puts the following images on the screen for the jury regarding credibility:

      12:27 p.m. EST – Waters continues, “And it seems like a story that’s far removed from most people’s experience because it is a different story like has never been seen before. When you have a middle aged man who’s outwardly successful who has a strong family legacy who has a prominence in the community and a reputation, but is living a lie.”

      12:25 p.m. EST – In the wake of the homicides of his wife and son, Waters says, “All those things that were coming to a head immediately go away.” He tells the jury that the roadside shooting is the same method.

      12:22 p.m. EST – Waters continues laying the narrative out for the jury, “And that changed everything. That set in motion things that were going to happen because of the criminal charges related to that case, as well as the civil charges related to that case. And in the aftermath of the boat case, things change, the pace of his stealing increased.” He says in May 2021, things continued to change when a paralegal received the expense check from the Farris case but not the fee check and states “all of these things are coming to a head and his finances are falling apart.”

      12:20 p.m. EST – Creighton Waters continues, “The other thing you have to understand is during this time when he’s earning millions of dollars of stealing millions of dollars, he’s also borrowing millions of dollars from wherever he can. The bank, his law partners, his father. It still wasn’t enough. The slow burn was continuing continuing until the boat crash happened in February.”

      12:18 p.m. EST – Waters tells the jury, “He stole by billing personal expenses to the firm. He stole by stealing from his own family. You heard the testimony about the check he stole from his brother Randy. But then the main ways were two schemes that he developed and the first one was to get checks made out from the client trust account to Palmetto State Bank. To fast talk with staff and fast talk the clients who got those disbursements and then take it to Palmetto State Bank. And each time until the end, it works because the client was also getting a big check. And they were walking out of there thinking that everything had been fine.” Waters says, “But then in 2015, they opened up the fake forge account.”

      12:16 p.m. EST – About Alex Murdaugh, Waters says, “He was a person of singular prominence and respect in this community. But he’s also a person who’s been able to avoid accountability for all of his life.”

      12:14 p.m. EST – Creighton Waters has begun his closing argument. Creighton Waters states, “There is only one person who had the motive who had the means had the opportunity to commit these crimes.” He continues, “The defendant is the person on which a storm was descending.”

      12:11 p.m. EST – The jury has returned from Moselle and court has resumed. Judge Newman tells the jury, “You have seen all of the testimony, heard all of the evidence, and visited the scene of the crime. Now you will hear closing arguments.”

      11:42 a.m. EST – A fourth dispatch from pool reporter Valerie Bauerlein of The Wall Street Journal

      At 10:31 a.m., Attorney General Alan Wilson left the property in an SUV driven by CCSO Sgt. Daniel Greene. 

      At 10:32 a.m., a convoy of a dozen vehicles processed out of the driveway. The vans carrying the jury were in the middle of the group of vans and SUVs. The vehicles turned left out of the driveway, instead of turning right the way we came. It is not clear whether they were headed to a second location or back to the courthouse by a different route. 

      At 10:34 a.m., your pool was driven to the kennel area. John Marvin Murdaugh, personal representative of Maggie Murdaugh, had requested of the sheriff’s office and of Jay Bender that the media not be granted access to the scene, or only abbreviated access, so our visit was fairly truncated. We had roughly 14 minutes to view the kennels and shed.

      It is a heavy place to visit. The property has stood vacant for 20 months and the grass is high. Some items seem to be left where they fell, including a deflated football behind the kennels and a tube of sanitizing wipes in the shed. There is a yellow hose wrapped haphazardly in the spot described by Roger Dale Davis, the caretaker for the dogs. There are no animals in the kennels. There was no ATV visible and no significant remaining farming equipment that your pooler could see.

      The feed room feels like a haunted place. It is roughly 10’ deep and 6’ wide, according to measurements taken by Special Agent Melinda Worley. Crime scene expert Kenneth Kinsey described Paul as standing about 5’ into the feed room when he was hit by the first shotgun blast to the chest. The doorway is off-center and on the right; there is a shelf on the left at waist high. Standing in the center of the small room, which is roughly 6’ wide, your pooler could not see to the left outside of the doorway, where Mr. Kinsey said the shooter would have been. 

      The concrete pad where Paul fell is within sight of the corner of the shed, where Maggie’s body was found. Maggie fell roughly 12 steps from where Paul would have fallen (12 steps for me at 5’7” and also 12 steps for Steven Gresham at 6’1”). There was no visible sign that two people had died in a violent manner in such close proximity, no blood stain or anything similar to it, either in the feed room, on the concrete pad or at the corner of the shed. The interior of the feed room appeared to be redone with newer plywood and parts had been painted. The back window remains and the bullet holes are large and cracked around the edges.

      There was significant testimony about the bullet hole in the quail house. The hole is still visible and is in cardboard that appeared to be stapled to the side of the structure. 

      It is 11:34 a.m. and your pooler is typing from the back of the van en route to the courthouse. More to come shortly.

      11:16 a.m. EST – Answers to commonly asked questions:

      • How long will they deliberate? It’s up to the jury.
      • Sequestration? There is no decision at this time.
      • Jury Questions and Request? Yes, on the record.
      • Will the jury have technology to view exhibits? Yes.
      • Attorneys presence? They will be somewhere close, but not required to be in the courtroom.
      • Time of notice of verdict? The longer the deliberations, the more notice will probably be given because the attorneys and staff will be dispersed
      • Weekends? Yes, they will deliberate through the weekend if necessary.

      10:53 a.m. EST – Interesting …

      10:33 a.m. EST – A third dispatch from pool reporter Valerie Bauerlein of The Wall Street Journal

      At 10:07 a.m., Dick Harpootlian and co-counsel Margaret Fox came down the short driveway in Mr. Harpootlian’s black Mercedes. Mr. Harpootlian said the jury is now at the house and is wrapping up their tour. Defense lawyer Jim Griffin is delivering the closing argument as soon as this afternoon and was not with his colleagues. 

      Your pool was informed by deputies that Attorney General Alan Wilson is here, too, escorted by Sgt. Daniel Greene. It was Sgt. Greene’s bodycam video the jury viewed at the close of the prosecution’s questioning of Mr. Murdaugh late last week. 

      Your pool is still staged at the foot of the driveway. The birdsong is constant and beautiful; the sky is still overcast.

      The grass on the property is tall and the shrubs outside the caretaker’s cabin are bushy and overgrown. The black mailbox at the entrance to the kennels is covered in pollen and spiderwebs. There is a “no trespassing” sign tied to a post at the top of the mailbox. 

      It is 10:24 a.m.

      10:15 a.m. EST – A second dispatch from pool reporter Valerie Bauerlein of The Wall Street Journal

      At 9:37 a.m., your pool turned on Moselle Road. We could see the truck carrying Ms. Hill and Ms. Harris ahead of us, but the jury was out of view as we travelled the last several miles to Moselle itself.

      Colleton County is vast, one of the largest counties by square miles in the state. It is roughly the size of sprawling Horry County in square mileage with a fraction of the population. The jurors heard testimony that even though the 911 call came in at 10:06 p.m., it took until 10:22 p.m. for the first deputy to arrive on the scene. The vastness of the place and the remoteness of Moselle really hits home on the drive. Your pool can go a mile or more without seeing a home. 

      At 9:41 a.m., your pool turned into the kennel entrance at Moselle. There were at least 6 vehicles on the far side of Moselle Road with journalists taking pictures and videos. So the road is not blocked in the manner we had been told to expect though there are deputies guarding the entrance. 

      Your pool van pulled briefly up the short drive to the kennels and did a quick circle around the kennel area and shed before coming back to wait at the foot of the driveway on Moselle Road. The jury preceded us by several minutes. We had a few seconds to view them as they walked the narrow path between the kennels and the shed. One juror was standing in the feed room door, glancing up at the doorway that has been the subject of so much wrenching testimony. Judge Newman was with them, standing still, looking down. He was in street clothes. Some of the deputies on watch while the jurors tour are some of the key witnesses in the case, including CCSO Detective Laura Rutland, who sat in on Alex Murdaugh’s first interview with SLED investigator David Owen in the early hours of June 8. They were parked that night in SLED Special Agent Owen’s SUV to get out of the rain. 

      It is overcast now and the air feels heavy. Your pool can hear birds singing and is writing this dispatch from the tailgate of a sheriff’s office pickup truck parked at the foot of the kennel driveway. Your pool is about 100 yards from the green caretaker’s cottage where Buster testified he had lived with friends over the years. There is a light breeze. Reporter Arthur Cerf of Paris just drove by slowly. He has been a fixture in the courtroom. Reporter Thad Moore of The Post and Courier is among the journalists on the far side of Moselle Road. 

      It is 9:52 a.m.

      Valerie Bauerlein, Will Folks and Jenn Wood

      9:43 a.m. EST – The first pool update from Valerie Bauerlein of The Wall Street Journal

      Your pool consists of Steven Whitaker, photojournalist for Court TV; Andrew Whitaker, photographer with The Post and Courier, and me, Valerie Bauerlein of The Wall Street Journal.

      Our names were chosen by lot on Tuesday by Jay Bender, press liaison for the trial.

      I wanted to send a quick note about logistics. I will file reports as possible based on connectivity and how the morning plays out. I plan to file the most fulsome and final report an hour after we return to the courthouse. 

      The 12 jurors and 2 alternates assembled at the Colleton County Courthouse at 9 a.m. and loaded into three transport vans in the secured and gated area behind the courthouse. The windows were blocked to keep anyone from looking in. The vans left the courthouse at 9:10 a.m.

      Behind the jury was a phalanx of security vehicles and court personnel. Judge Clifton Newman rode in a pickup truck driven by Colleton County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Jason Chapman. You may remember Capt. Chapman from the first full day of testimony; he was the lead local officer the night of June 7, 2021, at Moselle. He testified about Alex Murdaugh’s demeanor and the challenges of securing a scene in rainy conditions.

      Clerk of Court Rebecca Hill and Court Reporter Elizabeth Harris followed the judge in a truck driven by Mike Atwood, who has led courthouse security for the duration of the trial. It was Mr. Atwood who told the judge about the bomb threat mid-trial.

      It is a beautiful morning, sunny and warm. We are told the ground will be wet when we arrive and the warm weather is prone to bringing out snakes, though I *think* snakes come out in the evening. Unlike Tuesday’s witness Ronnie Crosby, who testified that he is an expert on wild hogs, your pool is a city mouse and not overly familiar with local wildlife habits.

      The logistics are: the jury will be taken through the kennel entrance and have a total of 30 minutes to view the property. They will spend the bulk of their time at the kennels and the shed where Maggie and Paul Murdaugh were killed. Towards the end of the visit, the jury will be taken to the main house for a view of the exterior. They will not go inside.

      During the jury view, your pool will be staged on Moselle Road. The sheriff’s office will have the road blocked for security. It is not clear how much we will be able to see of the jury as they tour. Once the jury leaves Moselle, we will have 30 minutes to tour the property and like them, be taken up for a quick view of the exterior of the main house. 

      After leaving the courthouse, your pool took Sniders Highway past the Hampton Inn, which has been the unofficial headquarters for the press and the prosecution. We expect it will take about 30 minutes to travel the 22 miles to Moselle. The highway is flanked by pine trees and occasional houses almost as soon as you cross west over I-95. A haze descended as we traveled west alongside swampland and occasional homes on Highway 63, though it is not clear whether it is a controlled burn.

      It is 9:33 a.m.

      ***

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      11 comments

      Avatar photo
      The Colonel Top fan March 1, 2023 at 11:05 am

      No surprise Pooty Poot won’t be summing up. Jury hates him and he has largely been ineffective in this trial. State ought to let the AG do their close – he was very effective yesterday (though admittedly, he had 5 weeks to get ready…

      Reply
      Evan Stiner Top fan March 1, 2023 at 11:18 am

      I think that because the AG was at Moselle means the Mr. Waters will be doing the closing.

      Reply
      Avatar photo
      The Colonel Top fan March 1, 2023 at 11:43 am

      Meh, if he was closing you would think he’d be prepping right now rather than “being visible”. My bet is Waters and I’m betting he burns the “house of Murdawk” to the ground in about 125-135 minutes.

      Reply
      paige ward Top fan March 1, 2023 at 11:14 am

      Griffin to deliver closing… interesting. Have felt the whole trial something has been off with DH. Long covid??? Is the woman seated behind him his wife? She has been assisting him throughout. NOT a criticism but an overall observation. Will say that gun incident was bizarre as well as him asking R Crosby if he thought AM was guilty… Bizarre behavior for sure.

      Reply
      Evan Stiner Top fan March 1, 2023 at 11:26 am

      Does each side only get one closing or does the prosecution get to do a rebuttal closing?

      Reply
      Tom Markovicb March 1, 2023 at 4:19 pm

      Fit news, you guys are doing a fabulous job on reporting on the trial. Thank you I will continue watching your first place reporting

      Reply
      Mary Anne Robinson Top fan March 1, 2023 at 6:24 pm

      In South Carolina snakes love to be in the sun. I don’t why someone thinks they come out at night.

      Reply
      Stephen Guilfoyle Top fan March 1, 2023 at 8:48 pm

      The state gets to do a rebuttal closing some times.

      Reply
      Anonymous March 1, 2023 at 9:10 pm

      The Murdaugh family has taken over social media and even moved the Trump family drama to take a back seat to their mess! Wow, this is really huge. The Trumps can get a breath of fresh air thanks to Alex Murdaugh!

      Reply
      Debra Morse Top fan March 2, 2023 at 2:05 am

      I understand family love and standing together in the face of adversity. But the Murdaugh family should ask themselves this: what if I had happened to drop by Moselle on 6/7/21 unannounced. Would I be alive today? Would Alex have murdered me to cover up the murders he’d committed? Sometimes you have to face horrible realities and tell the truth.

      Reply
      Debra Morse Top fan March 2, 2023 at 2:05 am

      I understand family love and standing together in the face of adversity. But the Murdaugh family should ask themselves this: what if I had happened to drop by Moselle on 6/7/21 unannounced. Would I be alive today? Would Alex have murdered me to cover up the murders he’d committed?

      Reply

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