Trial of Alex Murdaugh live: When will the jury reach a verdict?

After five and a half weeks of testimony, jurors in Alex Murdaugh’s double murder trial are scheduled to begin their deliberations Thursday.

Before they begin to consider a verdict, the 12 jurors and two alternates visited the scene of the crime – the dog kennels and feeding room on the Murdaugh family’s 1,700-acre Moselle estate.

There, Mr Murdaugh is accused of brutally murdering his wife Maggie, 52, and younger son Paul, 22, on June 7, 2021.

Paul was shot twice with a shotgun while standing in the kennel’s feeding room, with the second bullet blasting his brain out of the skull.

Maggie was shot four to five times with an AR-15 rifle a few feet from her son while backing into an ATV parked under a hangar.

Mr Murdaugh has pleaded not guilty.

After inspecting the grounds, the jury was brought back to the Colleton County courthouse in Walterboro, and South Carolina chief prosecutor Creighton Waters and his team, including state attorney general Alan Wilson, presented their closing argument , in which they explained why Mr Murdaugh should be found guilty of the murders.

Mr Murdaugh’s defense team, led by solicitor Dick Harpootlian, will set out his reasons why the accused should be found not guilty based on reasonable doubt that he committed the murders on Thursday morning. Attorney Jim Griffin will present his closing arguments.

Judge Clifton Newman did not set a deadline for the closing arguments and Mr Waters spoke for three hours on Wednesday, deferring the defense case to Thursday.

Once this is complete, the state will be able to respond to the defense argument.

Judge Newman will then give instructions to the jury before they retire to their deliberations.

As with any trial, there is little evidence of how the jury took the testimony of 61 prosecution witnesses, 14 defense witnesses and six rebuttal witnesses over nearly six weeks.

Reporters in court have described her as observant throughout the trial.

A murder trial requires a unanimous guilty verdict, leaving only one juror to believe that the state has not proven its case beyond a reasonable doubt.

The jury is not expected to convene over the weekend, but this has been a process full of surprises.

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