A South Carolina agent testified on Monday that not only was a bloody footprint at the Murdaugh murder scene from a member of law enforcement, but detectives did not photograph footprints apparently belonging to Paul.
During cross-examination, SLED agent Melinda Worley also explained that a photo showing a mark on Maggie’s leg was not taken to scale, meaning it’s exact size is unclear. Worley then agreed with defense attorney Dick Harpootlian’s assessment that none of the photos taken the night of Maggie and Paul’s 2021 murders abided by her agency’s standards.
Worley also stated that at least one detective who walked through the crime scene left behind a footprint — specifically one found near Paul’s body, which was located in the feed room of the family’s Colleton County property.
Last week, Colleton County detective Laura Rutland testified that there were no footprints located in the blood near Paul Murdaugh’s body even though Alex claimed he turned him over twice and checked his pulse.
Rutland also testified that she saw no blood on Alex — including on his shoes and hands. During cross-examination, Rutland would not say if, to her, Alex appeared to be the person who had just killed his son on their family’s property.
On Friday, Worley said she swabbed 10 different areas in Alex’s car and all of them returned presumptive positive results. She said she also photographed a 16-gauge shotgun shell located on the rear floorboard of his vehicle.
Murdaugh is believed to have acted alone in the slayings, allegedly shooting Maggie with a rifle and killing Paul with a shotgun. He was reportedly filmed driving away from the lodge an hour before he called 911 to report their deaths. He allegedly carried out the double slaying after visiting his mother.
Prosecutors said cell phone data and forensic evidence tie Murdaugh to the slayings. Meanwhile, Murdaugh’s attorney, Dick Harpootlian, said the cell phone records were incomplete and asserted that Alex would be covered in blood if he killed his wife and son at close range. Harpootlian said no blood was found on Alex’s clothing.
In September 2021, months after Paul and Maggie’s slayings, Alex suffered superficial head wounds when he allegedly had former client Curtis Smith, 61, shoot him in the head so his surviving 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. Shortly thereafter, he was charged with insurance fraud in connection with the September 2021 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 plan to exhume her body amid an ongoing investigation regarding her death.
In addition to the murder charges, Alex faces more than 100 criminal counts related to fraud.
In June 2022, Alex and Smith were indicted for allegedly purchasing and distributing oxycodone in multiple counties. In December 2022, Alex was indicted for tax evasion for allegedly failing to claim the $6 million he allegedly earned through illegal acts between 2011 and 2019.
Alex was charged with Maggie and Paul’s murders days after he was formally disbarred by the South Carolina Supreme Court.
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[Featured image: Police handouts]