Jurors in Alex Murdaugh case to visit murder scene

Feb. 28 (UPI) -- The dramatic double-murder case of former prominent South Carolina attorney Alex Murdaugh starts to wind down this week with the jury getting a chance to walk through the family hunting lodge property where the lawyer's wife and son were killed.

Murdaugh's defense attorney, Richard Harpootlian, requested that the jury be permitted to visit the scene at the property, known as Moselle, where his client is accused of killing his wife Margaret and their 22-year-old son Paul.


"You can't really appreciate the spatial issues without actually seeing them," Harpootlian said, referring to discussions surrounding the distance between the family's home and the dog kennels where the bodies were found and the amount of time it would take to traverse the property.

Presiding Circuit Judge Clifton Newman granted the request over objections from state prosecutor Creighton Waters, who charged that the property looks different than it did at the time of the deaths and could give jurors a false impression.

Newman said he would instruct the jury to be aware that "certain things may not be the same as they were two years ago" at the time of the killings.


He added that law enforcement would guide the jury through the property after Harpootlian warned there were "literally dozens of people at Moselle last weekend trespassing to get selfies in front of the feed room."

The judge did not specify exactly when the jury would make the trip but said it would come after the prosecution finished calling its witnesses.

Murdaugh spent two days on the stand in his own defense on Thursday and Friday, where he changed his story about seeing his wife and son shortly before the murder but continued to insist that he did not kill them.

The defense rested its case Monday after calling more than a dozen witnesses including Murdaugh's brother, John Marvin Murdaugh, who testified that he did not believe authorities had found out who was responsible for the killings.

Murdaugh's only surviving son, 26-year-old Buster Murdaugh, also took the stand to testify in his father's defense, aiming to explain some of the actions his father took that prosecutors had called into question.

Prosecutors have charged that Murdaugh was about to be indicted on a slew of financial crimes and the murders were a way to generate sympathy for him. Murdaugh also is facing 99 counts of financial crimes related to his attorney work in a different case.


Prosecutors, though, have no murder weapon, bloody clothes or eyewitnesses, leaving them to build their case about Murdaugh's murky timeline of his whereabouts when the crime happened in 2021.

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