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Disgraced attorney Alex Murdaugh broke down in tears as his attorney described how his son and wife were ‘massacred’ at the family’s South Carolina hunting estate.
Mr Murdaugh wiped tears from his eyes as his solicitor described the scene he claimed his client had found near the estate’s kennels and denied having anything to do with it.
Dick Harpootlian told the jury that the prosecution’s explanation for the murders was all ‘theory’ and ‘speculation’ and that Mr Murdaugh was a ‘loving’ husband and father.
And he also suggested in his opening statement to the high-profile murder trial that two gunmen may be responsible for the June 2021 killings, which he insisted Mr Murdaugh had nothing to do with.
“Alex was Paul’s loving father and Maggie’s loving husband. You’re not going to hear a single witness say that Maggie and Alex had anything other than a loving relationship,” he said.
“Paul, the apple of his eye. You’ll see video from the night of the murders of Paul and Alex on horseback looking at the trees they planted, a Snapchat sent to other people. They were laughing, having a good time.
Mr Harpootlian then graphically described the murders for the jury, which caused Mr Murdaugh to be emotional when the solicitor said his son’s head had exploded ‘like a watermelon hit with a hammer’.
“Horrible, horrible, butchery. To convict Alex Murdaugh of murdering his son, you’re going to have to accept that less than an hour after forming an extraordinary bond with him, he’s brutally executing him…not believable.
The defense lawyer later told the court that investigators immediately decided that Mr Murdaugh was guilty of the murders.
“They decided that night that he did it with no forensics, no cellphones, they’ve been driving that round peg into a square hole since June 2021,” he said.
“There are no eyewitnesses, no forensic evidence linking him to the murder or shooting anyone that night. Cell phone records indicate he would have less than 10 minutes for the kill, get in the house, get in the car and start it up and get covered in blood.
Mr Harpootlian then suggested there may have been more than one killer at the scene that night.
“Is the question one shooter or two? A shotgun and an AR. What was Maggie running from? Was there enough time to kill Paul, then find the AR and ambush Maggie? Much more likely that there were two people,” he said.
Prosecutors alleged in pre-trial court documents that Mr Murdaugh killed his wife and son to distract scandals engulfing him and that his alleged financial crimes were “about to come to light”.
Mr Murdaugh has pleaded not guilty to two counts of murder and two counts of possessing a weapon in the commission of a violent crime.
South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced last month that prosecutors would seek not the death penalty but life in prison without parole if Murdaugh is found guilty.
In addition to the murder charges, Mr Murdaugh faces 99 charges stemming from 19 grand jury indictments for various crimes, including alleged fraudulent clients and his former law firm of nearly $9 million. of dollars.
Alex Murdaugh breaks down as lawyer describes brutal ‘butchering’ of wife and son
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