South Carolina prosecutors have built a fairly strong, but not air-tight, circumstantial case against Alex Murdaugh for the murders of his wife and son, Maggie and Paul. During the first week of the trial, jurors learned about the following evidence:
—Cell phone video from Paul’s device places the defendant at the murder scene (kennels) at 8:44 pm. His voice can be heard nearby. Five minutes later, the phone is locked for the final time. No more activity. Shortly thereafter, both mother and son are killed. Murdaugh told investigators he did not go to the kennels anytime before the murders. And yet, there he was at the scene of the crimes immediately before the killings.
—Blood was collected from inside the driver and passenger sides of Murdaugh’s Chevy Suburban. The jury has not yet been told whether it matches the victims. If it does, that would be damning evidence that the accused killed them and then drove to the main house, transferring their blood spatter to the inside of his vehicle.
—The defendant was clean from head to toe when police arrived at the scene. There was no blood on his hands, arms, shirt, shorts, and shoes. Yet, Murdaugh said he touched both bodies that were covered in blood. It seems impossible that he would have no blood on himself, unless he had completely cleansed his body and changed clothes.
—There were no footprints or knee prints around Paul’s body that was lying in a pool of blood, even though Murdaugh said he had approached his son’s body and attempted to turn it over.
—The two victims were shot to death with different guns. Both murder weapons have never been found. At least one of Murdaugh’s guns is missing. Ammunition was collected from his home, but we don’t yet know if it matches the ammo that was used to commit the murders.
—There is motive. Prosecutors say the killings were a way to gain public sympathy and help divert attention away from Murdaugh’s prodigious financial crimes that involved stealing roughly $9 million from clients, his law firm, and partners. He also allegedly operated an elaborate money-laundering drug operation. If he’s capable of all that, is he capable of murder?