Alex Murdaugh allegedly told his sister-in-law that his wife and son didn’t suffer during their killings, yet he’s still claiming to be innocent.
As we’ve been following, the once prominent South Carolina lawyer has been in court for weeks now over allegations he murdered his wife, Maggie, 52, and son, Paul, 22, on June 7, 2021, at their property while supposedly trying to cover up a string of financial crimes. He has pleaded not guilty.
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In the latest update from court on Tuesday, Murdaugh’s sister-in-law, Marian Proctor (inset), took the stand to speak about Alex’s behavior after the deaths. She recalled asking if her sister “had suffered” when she was shot to death, noting via The State:
“He assured me that she had not. Now, I don’t know that I think that was true.”
Maggie was shot multiple times, including once in the back and additional shots while she was on the ground, all with an AR-style rifle, according to prosecutors. Doesn’t sound like a very peaceful way to go. Also, how would Alex know whether or not his family suffered unless he’d been at the crime scene at the time of their deaths?! (He claims he didn’t arrive home until after they were already killed.) Hmm…
According to The New York Times, in the days after the murders, Proctor claimed Murdaugh didn’t seem concerned with catching the killer at all, saying:
“We never talked about finding the person who could have done it. It was just odd.”
Instead, she claims the former attorney speculated the attack had been planned, continuing:
“He did not know who it was, he felt like whoever did it had thought about it for a long time.”
“I just didn’t know what that meant.”
Per the Associated Press, in the months after the tragic event, Alex was more focused on exonerating Paul’s former crimes than dealing with the unresolved murder case, which is certainly not the reaction we might expect a grieving parent to have. As we’ve covered, Paul was charged with boating under the influence in a 2019 boat crash that killed a 19-year-old. She recalled:
“He said that his number one goal was clearing Paul’s name. And I thought that was so strange, because my number one goal was to find out who killed my sister and Paul.”
On Wednesday, Alex’s camp tried to explain why he may not have been worried about finding the killer. According to his defense, Alex spent $50,000 a week (!!) on drugs, which could have been a motive for Maggie and Paul’s killing.
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Defense attorney Jim Griffin claimed the father of two allegedly purchased drugs with the help of his cousin, Curtis “Eddie” Smith. You may remember that name. Curtis was the man Alex allegedly paid in a murder-for-hire plot so his surviving son could collect an insurance policy. The relatives were also indicted on criminal conspiracy as well as two counts of drug trafficking back in June, and when Alex was arrested in 2021, his lawyers claimed he’d been battling opioid addiction for years. So, was this all about drugs this whole time??
In this week’s trial, Jim cross-examined SLED special agent David Owen, who is the lead investigator in the murder case. David insinuated that the $50k was being paid to drug smugglers with Curtis acting as the middleman. But, according to their investigation, they believe Smith may have been stealing some of the funds for himself, which might be why someone had the motive to go after Alex’s loved ones.
When Griffin asked the official why authorities didn’t investigate Curtis or anyone else as suspects (including not testing his DNA against evidence taken from the crime scene), he insisted Alex has been the only suspect. Interestingly, this line of questioning prompted Judge Clifton Newman to rule that details of the alleged murder-for-hire scheme could be brought into testimony. Murdaugh’s team has already admitted he concocted the murder/suicide plan but the details had been declared inadmissible previously. Now, Murdaugh’s lawyers have “opened the door” to allow it, per the judge. So, we could be hearing lots more on this!
The trial is expected to last for at least two more weeks. Alex faces up to life in prison. Also, he has been charged with dozens of alleged financial crimes which will be dealt with in a different trial. If interested, you can hear lots more from Marian’s emotional testimony (below).
Thoughts? Let us know (below)!
[Image via Law&Crime Network/YouTube]