On Wednesday, lawyers representing disbarred attorney Alex Murdaugh alleged that South Carolina prosecutors are withholding evidence related to the murders of Murdaugh’s wife and son.
According to South Carolina Public Radio, Murdaugh’s lawyers requested the prosecution’s evidence immediately after Murdaugh was charged with murder in mid-July. The deadline to turn over the evidence was Monday, and defense attorneys said prosecutors did not turn over the evidence because they asked the judge to issue a protective order which would restrict how the defense can handle the evidence and who they can show it to.
Murdaugh’s lawyers claimed that prosecutors requested the protective order on Friday to delay sharing the evidence after the deadline. However, prosecutors explained in court documents that the deadline was missed because the defense originally seemed to agree to Friday’s protective order but they changed their minds, South Carolina Public Radio reported.
Murdaugh’s legal team said they want to hire experts to assess GPS data which authorities said ties Murdaugh to the murders. They also said they want to review DNA and physical evidence which allegedly shows Murdaugh fired one of the two guns used in the June 2021 slayings.
“We want to try this case in January,” attorney Dick Harpootlian said during Wednesday’s press conference.
Officials said they want to prevent autopsy, crime scene photos, and various evidence from being publicized before trial. However, Harpootlian accused prosecutors of already leaking information to the media.
“All I know about blood spatter is what I read in some blog,” he said, according to South Carolina Public Radio.
In June 2021, Maggie and Paul Murdaugh, 52 and 22, were found fatally shot at their family’s 1,770-acre lodge in Colleton County. Alex is believed to have acted alone in their slayings. Court documents indicated that Maggie was killed with a rifle while Paul was fatally shot with a shotgun.
Months later, on September 3, Alex survived an alleged suicide plot that reportedly entailed him having former client Curtis Smith, 61, shoot him in the head so his son Buster would receive a $10 million insurance payout. A day before the shooting, Alex was forced out of his family law firm amid allegations he misappropriated funds.
Two days after the apparent botched suicide, Alex announced he was entering rehabilitation for drugs. Alex was charged with insurance fraud in connection with the suicide-for-hire plot and released on bail.
However, in October 2021, Alex was rearrested upon leaving a rehabilitation center in Florida for allegedly stealing $4.3 million from the estate of his former housekeeper, Gloria Satterfield, who suffered a fatal fall on his property in February 2018. In that case, he was accused of stealing insurance payouts that were intended for Satterfield’s family. Authorities recently announced plans to exhume Satterfield’s body amid an ongoing investigation into the circumstances surrounding her death.
In June of this year, Alex and Smith were indicted for allegedly purchasing and distributing oxycodone in multiple counties.
Murder charges against Alex came days after he was formally disbarred by the South Carolina Supreme Court. In addition to the murder charges, Alex is facing 84 criminal counts for allegedly stealing money from a slew of clients and his former law firm. He remains jailed on $7 million bail.
A motive in Maggie and Paul’s murders remains undisclosed.
For the latest true crime and justice news, subscribe to the ‘Crime Stories with Nancy Grace’ podcast. Listen to the latest episode:
[Featured image: Buster, Maggie, Paul, and Alex Murdaugh/Facebook]