Murdaugh defense team wants judge to strike prosecution’s request for alibi
COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCSC) - Attorneys representing prominent former Lowcountry attorney Alex Murdaugh are asking that a request for their client’s alibi in his murder trial be stricken.
Murdaugh is charged in the June 7, 2021, killings of his wife, 52-year-old Maggie Murdaugh; and their youngest son, 22-year-old Paul Murdaugh. They were both shot to death at the family’s hunting property in rural Colleton County.
In court documents, Murdaugh’s defense team said prosecutors demanded a written notice of Murdaugh’s intention to offer an alibi defense, further requesting Murdaugh provide “the specific place or places [Murdaugh] claims to have been at the time of the alleged offense and the names and addresses of the witnesses upon he intends to rely to establish such an alibi.”
But, the defense argues, prosecutors never provided them with critical details as required. The defense also provided a copy of a letter sent to the attorney general’s office on Sept. 19 stating that Murdaugh would not respond to the request until those details were provided.
“The state has not produced any evidence in discovery setting forth the time of the murders, except for the death certificates of Maggie and Paul,” the defense motion states. “The state failed to identify the time it contends the murders occurred in their motion. Furthermore, the state failed to provide a specific time of the murders in response to counsel’s letter dated Sept. 19, 2022. As a result, one must conclude that the state cannot establish through forensic evidence or otherwise the time the murders occurred.”
Based on its investigation, the State Law Enforcement Division previously estimated the deaths to have occurred between 9 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. on June 7, 2021. Murdaugh placed a call to 911 at approximately 10 p.m. that night, telling dispatchers he had arrived on the property to find his wife and son shot. The Associated Press reported that Murdaugh said he had been visiting his ailing father, Randolph Murdaugh III, before coming to the Colleton County property where he found the victims.
Randolph Murdaugh III died of cancer three days later.
The hearing for the defense’s motion is scheduled to take place on Thursday at 10:30 a.m. at the Florence County Courthouse. Judge Clifton Newman will preside over the hearing.
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