Live trial of Alex Murdaugh: Prosecutor tells jury not to be “fooled” by defendant and come to a guilty verdict

Alex Murdaugh: Prosecutor says crime ‘onslaught’ led him to kill wife and son

The state of South Carolina has concluded its closing arguments in the Alex Murdaugh double murder trial. Chief District Attorney Creighton Waters spoke for three hours Wednesday at the Colleton County Courthouse in Walterboro.

He laid out the case against Murdaugh, beginning with the “building storm” of financial troubles that led to the murders and concluding with a plea to the jury, the victims – wife Maggie and son Paul Murdaugh – who he believed had been deceived , to give the accused a voice like everyone else.

“Don’t let him fool you, too,” Waters told the jury.

Because the prosecution’s presentation lasted longer than expected, the defense team will deliver its closing argument Thursday morning before the jury begins to consider the fate of the once powerful legal successor.

Earlier Wednesday, a jury toured the scene where Maggie and Paul were brutally murdered on June 7, 2021 on the grounds of Mosel, the family home.

Prosecutors dropped their case Tuesday after calling dissenting witnesses to dispute defense experts’ theories and show how Murdaugh continued his lies on the witness stand.


Theme: “A Gathering Storm” – Part Three

Another aspect of this “coming storm” was Mr Murdaugh’s opioid addiction, which Mr Waters said the defendant admitted made him “paranoid, agitated and energetic”.

“The retreats would make him do anything to get rid of her,” he reminded the juror, who told Murdaugh.

However, Mr Waters asked the jury to question the extent of Mr Murdaugh’s allegations that he had used drugs – raising doubts that the accused killer had repeatedly lied on the witness stand.

He questioned whether 1,000mg a day “sounds survivable,” much less whether someone consuming that much could have been a successful lawyer, implemented a complex cheating scheme, and lived their life without those around them noticing .

“How many times has he casually looked you in the eye and not been telling the truth?” he asked jurors.

Mr. Waters also asked the jury to consider how, as an attorney from a long line of attorneys, Mr. Murdaugh understands how the justice system works.

“This is a person trained to understand how to put a case together. Think about whether or not that person is constructing defenses and alibis,” he said.

Oliver O’ConnellMarch 2, 2023 07:15


Motive: “A Gathering Storm” – part two

Mr Waters said the scheme dragged on for years but reached a peak after the fatal boating accident of 2019.

“This slow burn went on and on and on until the boat crash happened in February 2019,” Mr Waters said.

“That changed everything. That started everything.”

In February 2019, Paul was allegedly intoxicated while driving the family boat when it crashed, killing 19-year-old Mallory Beach.

Paul was prosecuted for the incident while Mr. Murdaugh was sued by the Beach family.

The Beach family’s attorney, Mark Tinsley, had testified how, in the run-up to the murders, he had filed a motion to force access to Mr. Murdaugh’s finances.

The next hearing in the case was scheduled for June 10, 2021 – three days after the murders.

After the boat wreck, Mr Waters said “the pace of his theft increased,” and he stole every penny of a $4 million settlement for the family of his housekeeper Gloria Satterfield (who died in a mysterious voyage in 2018 and died in Moselle).

But even on the day of the murders, the prosecutor said Mr Murdaugh’s financial crimes were on the verge of being exposed.

On June 7, 2021, a jury heard him confronted by his firm’s CFO, Jeanne Seckinger, about a payment he stole from the firm and its clients. He was also three days away — on June 10, 2021 — from the hearing on the boat accident lawsuit.

Mr Murdaugh’s father, Randolph, was also “very, very ill,” Mr Waters said.

The prosecutor said the Murdaugh family legacy – and his place in it – was also threatened by the boat crash case and the exposure of his financial crimes.

He was willing to do “anything to keep the hamster wheel turning, to evade accountability,” and said he had done so for 10 years.

Mr Waters added: “If he can stay one step ahead just one more day…then he never has to face that accountability he never has to face.

“All of these factors come together in a week and a day. And then the day comes, his father is in the hospital… There is an argument with Jeanne… He is working on the boat trunk and then the tragedy happens. It’s not the only reason, but it’s part of the reason.

“The pressure on this man was unbearable and reached a climax on the day he murdered his wife and son. Everything that day.”

Mr Waters told the jury how the murders of his Maggie and Paul “made all those things go away”, with the hearing being postponed and his law firm putting any investigation into missing payments on a page to rally around him.

When the financial fraud scheme was finally exposed on September 3, 2021, Mr Murdaugh then orchestrated the botched killer conspiracy to “victimize” himself again, Mr Waters said.

“When accountability arrived at his door, he was a victim. And he told a detailed lie, going so far as to draw a composite sketch with law enforcement,” he said.

“And it worked for a while … But this time it broke even faster when his own brother found out he was trying to buy drugs and it broke.”

Oliver O’ConnellMarch 2, 2023 6:15 am


Theme: “A Gathering Storm” – Part One

First, Mr. Waters took the jury through the timeline of events leading up to the murders, drawing a line from Mr. Murdaugh’s notoriety in the community and his escalating multi-million dollar fraud scheme to the murders of Maggie and Paul.

“He was a person of unique importance and respect in his community,” he said.

“But he was also a person who managed to avoid responsibility in his life.”

Mr Waters described Mr Murdaugh’s “outside illusion” as a successful lawyer who, in reality, had some “bad deals” and ran into financial difficulties during the recession.

Mr Waters told jurors how Mr Murdaugh “became so addicted to money that he started stealing” from his law firm, he said.

This marked the beginning of the accused killer’s multi-million dollar fraud scheme – a scheme he confessed to in the courtroom.

Throughout the trial, the jury heard testimony from his law firm and clients, how he represented clients in court cases and then pocketed the settlement money for himself. The huge scheme even involved opening a fake account posing as the legitimate company Forge to siphon off funds. In all, he stole millions of dollars from his law firm PMPED and its clients and now faces more than 100 separate counts in this case.

Oliver O’ConnellMarch 2, 2023 5:15 am


Means, motive, opportunity

During the state’s dramatic closing statement, District Attorney Creighton Waters said Alex Murdaugh had “the means, the motive and the opportunity” to kill his wife and son.

Mr Waters “set the stage” for what he said, up until the moment Mr Murdaugh allegedly took two “family guns” and shot dead his wife and son.

He explained that the disgraced lawyer had long been a prominent figure in the community but was actually “living a lie”.

A “storm was building” at the time of the killings, Mr Waters said, with Mr Murdaugh’s financial crimes on the verge of exposure due to the boating accident lawsuit and his law firm.

Mr Waters also addressed the timeline on the day of the murders and how Mr Murdaugh’s actions after the murders – and even on the witness stand – continued to point to his guilt.

“The timeline takes him there. The forensic timeline puts him there. The use of his family’s weapons supports this,” he said.

Oliver O’ConnellMarch 2, 2023 4:15 am


Is Alex Murdaugh guilty of murder?

Here’s what the defense and prosecutors argued in a six-week trial:

Oliver O’ConnellMarch 2, 2023 3:15 am


Three corpses, 700 hectares and lots of pigs: in the Moselle

Bordering the banks of the Salkehatchie River, 4147 Moselle Road is made up of over 1,700 acres of land including a 5,275 square foot home, a farm, a two mile stretch of river – and of course the dog kennels.

Explore the Moselle and its history:

Oliver O’ConnellMarch 2, 2023 2:15 am


A minute by minute timeline of the night Maggie and Paul were murdered

What happened on the Moselle on June 7, 2021?

Oliver O’ConnellMarch 2, 2023 1:15 am


Murdaugh jury visits Moselle estate where wife and son were murdered

The jurors in Alex Murdaugh’s high-profile murder trial have visited the site where his wife Maggie and son Paul were brutally murdered before deciding the fate of the disgraced legal offspring.

The panel – consisting of 12 jurors and two remaining alternates – were taken to the family’s sprawling 1,700-acre estate on the Moselle on Wednesday morning to view the dog kennels and feeding room where Mr Murdaugh is said to have brought his loved ones on June 7, 2021 had shot.

Rachel Sharp has the details of the case.

Oliver O’ConnellMarch 2, 2023 00:15


Murdaugh’s “storm” of crime made him a “family wrecker,” prosecutors say

At the Colleton County Courthouse in Walterboro, South Carolina, prosecutor Creighton Waters Wednesday described how the once-powerful lawyer spent years “on the hamster wheel” to avoid accountability when he stole millions of dollars from his law firm and its clients.

While maintaining the pretense of a respected attorney and carrying on the legacy of his prominent family, he had actually “lived a lie” for the past decade and the “pressures became overwhelming.”

Rachel Sharp reports a thorough and dramatic closing speech by the state.

Oliver O’ConnellMarch 1, 2023 23:15


As soon as the defense has presented its closing arguments on Thursday, the public prosecutor’s office will be given the right to comment.

The jury will then receive their instructions and any deputies will be excused.

Then the deliberations begin in an extraordinarily complex case.

During his closing arguments, Waters called Murdaugh a “master liar”.

Oliver O’ConnellMarch 1, 2023 10:15 p.m

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