Daily Camera (Boulder)
Alex Murdaugh’s height
The defense team at disgraced South Carolina attorney Alex Murdaugh’s double murder trial finally get their chance to present their version of events after more than three weeks of testimony.
Murdaugh, 54, is accused of killing his wife, Maggie, 52, and their 22-year-old son, Paul, at their home in June 2021 as the once-prominent attorney’s career and finances were crumbling. Murdaugh, whose family dominated the legal system in tiny Hampton County for generations, has denied any role in the fatal shootings.
Prosecutors called 61 witnesses and introduced more than 550 pieces of evidence over 17 days of testimony — from descriptions of the brutality of the killings to numbing details about bank records.
Here are some key takeaways so far.
Newman’s decisions in favor of prosecutors have led to trials within a trial, with days spent on testimony related to the other allegations.
If Murdaugh is convicted of murder, that’s likely to be a huge part of any appeal.
The defense has made Murdaugh’s height an issue, suggesting he’s too tall to have fired the shot that killed his son.
At one point, defense attorney Jim Griffin got out a tape measure during a courtroom break and stretched to log his client’s height, thought to be about 6-foot-4 (1.93 meters).
A pathologist and a crime scene expert testified the bullet that killed Paul Murdaugh entered through his abdomen and traveled at a steep angle up through his head, and that the barrel of the shotgun was held away from his skin. The defense suggested a tall man would have to stand at an odd, offbalance angle with a shotgun with a strong kickback to fire that way.
Jurors also heard about a blue rain jacket with gunshot residue on the inside lining. Prosecutors suggested Alex Murdaugh used it to take away the murder weapons, which have not been found.
The jacket was recorded as a large on the crime lab’s evidence log sheet, a lab tech said under questioning from Murdaugh’s attorneys.
They later asked the housekeeper and family friend who washed the family’s clothes what size Murdaugh wore.
Her answer: XXL. prosecutor John Meadors mentioned a cooler that a caretaker at the Murdaugh home mentioned was there before the killings and he hadn’t seen since.
Meadors asked a state agent if someone could theoretically take wet clothing or guns away in a cooler and not get the inside of their vehicle dirty. No cooler has been placed in evidence and that was the only mention of it so far.