How Paul Murdaugh helped solve his own murder


For a year and a half, Alex Murdaugh has denied being near where his wife, Maggie, and 22-year-old son, Paul, were brutally killed.

But it was one of his victims – his son – who would provide the key evidence after his death that legal experts say exposed his father’s web of lies and ultimately led to his conviction for double homicide.

“It’s ironic, at the end of the day, that it was the victim, Paul Murdaugh, who solved his own murder,” Palm Beach County District Attorney Dave Aronberg told CNN Thursday night.

Murdaugh, a now-disgraced former South Carolina lawyer, was convicted Thursday of shooting and killing his wife and son and a day later was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. He claimed his innocence.

Key evidence came from a video Paul recorded on Snapchat and sent to several of his friends moments before he was shot and killed. It appeared to show one of the family dogs at the kennel on their property. He also captured Alex Murdaugh’s voice in the background – and placed it at the crime scene.

The video, which Murdaugh was unaware of before trial, marked the collapse of his alibi and left him no choice but to take the stand and explain why he repeatedly lied to authorities about his fate, legal experts told CNN.

Murdaugh, while denying killing his wife and son, testified that he lied about his whereabouts due to paranoid thoughts stemming from his addiction for years to opioid painkillers, as well as his distrust of investigators. While on the stand he also confessed to other lies, admitting in court that he had stolen millions from his law firm and clients for around two decades.

He told the jury that despite his repeated past deceptions, he was honest about one thing: he did not kill his family.

But the jurors did not believe him.

And in a case with little to no direct evidence linking Murdaugh to the scene, South Carolina’s top prosecutor credited the video clip for the jury’s swift conviction.

“This was a case of circumstantial evidence, but what people need to understand is that circumstantial evidence is just as powerful as direct evidence,” South Carolina Attorney General Alan said Friday. Wilson, who was part of the pursuit team. “I think the kennel video hung him.”

“The jury saw how he was trying to manipulate them, saw how he lied and they read it, and they heard the kennel video and they made the right decision.”

Craig Moyer, one of the jurors who helped convict Murdaugh, told ABC News in his first public interview that it took the group less than an hour to reach a unanimous decision.

It was the video that convinced him.

“I could hear his voice clearly,” Moyer told ABC. “And everyone else could too.”

Moyer said he was surprised that Murdaugh admitted to lying about the video, but, he added, he still did not believe the defendant was telling the truth about what happened in the night of June 7, 2021.

Murdaugh was “a good liar”, said Moyer, “but not good enough”.

“When he spoke up – that is, Alex Murdaugh – it was an opportunity for him to make his claim. It was a very hard sell though,” said Joey Jackson, attorney for the CNN criminal defense and legal analyst “Even though you deny, deny, deny being at the kennel, you took a stand because it came out you were there. The cell phone data put you there, the data from the car put you there, in addition to the fact that your own voice put you there, by virtue of what your son recorded.

“I think by virtue of what this juror said, it was clear that he was of the opinion that … (Alex Murdaugh) continued to lie, the evidence was clear and he was guilty,” Jackson added. .

juror murdaugh

‘All he did was blow snot’: Juror on whether Murdaugh was crying on stand

The video was recorded by Paul at 8:44 p.m. on the evening of the murder, according to testimony at trial.

Colleton County Coroner Richard Harvey said he estimated Maggie and Paul’s time of death was around 9 p.m. – although he said it was possible. the pair could have been shot anytime between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m.

After admitting to lying to authorities about his whereabouts that night, Murdaugh said he briefly went to the kennel and left around 8:47 p.m.

He then visited his mother and found the bodies of Maggie and Paul when he got home, Murdaugh said.

Murdaugh told the court that as his long-standing addiction progressed, it often caused him to go into “paranoid thinking”. Those paranoid thoughts were triggered on the night of the homicides, he said, when investigators tested his hands for bullet residue and questioned him about his relationship with his wife and son. Murdaugh claimed that was why he lied.

“All of these things, coupled after I found them, coupled with my distrust of (the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division) made me have paranoid thoughts,” he testified. “I didn’t have clear ideas. I don’t think I was able to reason. And I lied about being there, and I’m so sorry I did.

“Once I told the lie, I told my family, I had to keep lying,” he told the court.

Former prosecutor Sarah Ford told CNN that Murdaugh “really had no choice but to speak up and clarify” the video at the kennel.

“And the jury didn’t buy that clarification. He was lying long before he walked into that courtroom, long before he took the stand and the jury believed he was lying to them at that stand,” he said. Ford.

After his sentence, Murdaugh was released to the South Carolina Department of Corrections.

He was treated Friday evening at a Columbia reception and assessment center, the department said in a news release. As part of the process, he had his head shaved, standard procedure for inmates processed through the system, department spokeswoman Chrysti Shain said.

Murdaugh will then undergo medical tests and a mental health and education assessment, the statement added.

Over the next month and a half, department officials will consider the results of his tests and assessments as well as his crime and sentence when deciding which maximum-security prison he will be sent to, the department said.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

GreenLeaf Tw2sl