Alex Murdaugh’s defense rested its case on Monday with the testimony of the defendant’s brother, John Marvin Murdaugh, who emotionally described how he came the family’s hunting property to see for himself what happend and stayed to clean up the crime scene after he was told investigators were finished with it.
The trial is not yet ready to go to the jury, however: Judge Clifton Newman has granted a defense request that the jury visit Moselle, the hunting property and scene of the murders of Maggie and Paul Murdaugh, and the prosecution has rebuttal witnesses to call.
Prosecutors opposed the visit to Moselle and said additional witnesses will need to be called to explain changes in the area around the dog kennels since the murders took place there on June 7, 2021.
While John Marvin Murdaugh, who told lawyers he promised Paul he’d “find out who did this to him,” said he hadn’t done that — as CrimeOnline previously reported — he did say that his brother never told him he had been at the kennels minutes before his wife and son were shot dead.
“I would say that yes, he lied,” he said.
The defense also presented its own forensic expert witnesses to contradict the testimony of Dr. Ellen Reimer, who conducted the autopsies on the victims’ bodies. Forensic pathologist Dr. Jonathan Eisenstat said he though the bullet that killed Maggie Murdaugh traveled downward — Reimer said upward — and that the shotgun blast that killed Paul was a contact wound to the back of the head. Reimer testified that it first struck Paul’s shoulder and traveled through his head.
The defense also presented witnesses who insisted that two people committed the murders.
Testimony resumes Tuesday morning with the prosecution’s reply witnesses.
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[Featured image: Alex Murdaugh reacts to testimony during his double murder trial at the Colleton County Courthouse in Walterboro, South Carolina on February 27, 2023. (Jeff Blake/The State via AP, Pool)]