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Buster Murdaugh takes the stand during day 19 of Alex Murdaugh double murder trial

 

Jurors returned to the Colleton County Courthouse on Tuesday morning as the defense begins their case in the trial against attorney Alex Murdaugh over the double murder of his wife and son at the family’s storied and massive hunting lodge in June 2021.

The 54-year-old disgraced legal scion – disbarred soon after murder allegations and various alleged financial improprieties came to light – is accused of shooting and killing his wife, Margaret “Maggie” Murdaugh, 52, and their youngest son Paul Murdaugh, 22.

The state rested their case late last week – taking slightly longer than expected – with surprise, last-minute-allowed testimony about the defendant’s admittedly botched 2021 suicide attempt.

During that effort, part of an insurance fraud scheme, Alex Murdaugh suffered what law enforcement termed a “superficial” injury to his head. Jurors heard the 911 call about that incident and both sides hashed it out over the particulars.

Prosecutors wrapped things up at 4:06 p.m. EST on Feb. 17 after providing extensive timeline evidence offered by South Carolina Law Enforcement Division Special Agent Peter Rodofski – a witness that lead prosecutor Creighton Waters promised would be on the stand for a “lengthy” amount of time to shore up the state’s theory of the timeline on the day of the gruesome double murders at Moselle.

Two files compiled by SLED were released to the press and the public after the conclusion of the state’s arguments. The full, 88-page timeline is available here. The 43-page condensed timeline is available here.

Jurors were excused from service on Monday as the court system in South Carolina was closed for the President’s Day holiday.

Attorney Dick Harpootlian is expected to begin the defense’s case-in-chief.

Before the jury took their places on Tuesday, however, defense attorney Jim Griffin caused a minor controversy by retweeting an article critical of law enforcement’s investigation into the murders.

Jurors learned that Buster Murdaugh does not know his father’s birthday, a brief moment of levity before the defense witness described his reaction upon learning of the slaughter at his family’s hunting lodge.

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