Prosecutors in Alex Murdaugh’s double-murder trial are slated to present their rebuttal case Tuesday in Walterboro, South Carolina – after jurors heard from more than 70 witnesses.
Lead prosecutor Creighton Waters said Monday that he had at least four more witnesses who would “focus on issues raised during the defense case.”
“I don’t think many of them except for one will be very long,” Waters added.
At the end of the rebuttal case, the jurors will take a field trip to the sprawling hunting estate known as Moselle where Murdaugh allegedly gunned down his wife, Maggie, 52, and his son, Paul, 22, in June 2021.
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Defense lawyer Dick Harpootlian said he was “skeptical” that the prosecution would wrap up its case Tuesday in time for the jury to embark on their tour of Moselle in Islandton, South Carolina.
“[Water’s] estimate of time has been a little mushy I think is a good way to put it,” the attorney said. ” I’m not criticizing, but this was going to be a three-week trial, now it’s a six-week trial. “
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Closing statements could start as early as Wednesday.
Prosecutors say the disbarred attorney used a shotgun to blow off his son’s head and a rifle to execute his wife at about 8:50 pm June 7, 2021.
The livestreamed trial has chronicled Murdaugh’s spectacular downfall from the wealthy scion of a respected and powerful legal dynasty to an admitted pill-popper and thief who is alleged to have stolen nearly $9 million from his law firm and clients.
The defense, which launched its case last week, called 14 witnesses – including Murdaugh himself.
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Murdaugh repeatedly told Colleton County jurors that he had nothing to do with the slayings of his wife and son when he took the stand in his own defense on Thursday.
But he admitted that he repeatedly lied to investigators, family and friends about his alibi. He initially claimed he was napping when Paul and Maggie were shot to death by the estate’s dog kennels.
Murdaugh finally came clean after a video recovered from Paul’s phone in 2022 placed him at the crime scene with the victims four minutes before the slayings.
“The second that you’re confronted with facts that you can’t deny, you immediately come up with a new lie?” Waters challenged Murdaugh during cross-examination on Friday. “Isn’t that correct?”
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“Mr. Waters, as we have established, I have lied many times,” Murdaugh replied.
Murdaugh suffered another setback after spending two days in the witness box.
He was arrested Friday on a misdemeanor charge stemming from alleged alleged contraband, according to Colleton County Jail records and a source.
Murdaugh’s sister, Lynn Murdaugh Goette, allegedly handed a book to a member of his legal team in court to give to him, according to the source.
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The charge is a modest addition to the 99 counts spanning 19 indictments that he already faces stemming from financial crimes. These don’t include the charges in the murder case.