Graphic: Court documents reveal new details in Murdaugh murders

Cell phone likely removed from Paul Murdaugh’s pocket after he was killed, investigator says
We are four days away from the start of Alex Murdaugh's murder trial and the focus is on whether or not a key piece of evidence will be allowed in court
Published: Jan. 20, 2023 at 11:38 AM EST|Updated: Jan. 20, 2023 at 11:44 AM EST
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COLLETON COUNTY, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - A motion filed by Alex Murdaugh’s defense attorneys to block blood spatter testimony in his murder trial outlines new details about the night Maggie and Paul Murdaugh were killed.

Alex Murdaugh is accused of shooting his wife and youngest son at their hunting lodge on Moselle Road on June 7, 2021.

His defense team has insisted Murdaugh is innocent and is pushing to have testimony from a blood spatter expert thrown out ahead of the trial, which is set to begin on Monday. The debate about blood spatter in the case is hinged upon stains on a shirt worn by Alex Murdaugh on the night of the murders.

This photo from a Jan. 18 filing shows Alex Murdaugh wearing the stained shirt collected for...
This photo from a Jan. 18 filing shows Alex Murdaugh wearing the stained shirt collected for testing on the night of the murders of his wife and son.

The motion they filed includes opinions from Chief Deputy Kenneth Kinsey with the Orangeburg County Sheriff’s Office, who prosecutors asked to review evidence in the case.

The report states that Maggie and Paul Murdaugh were both found facedown with multiple gunshot wounds.

This diagram shows the recreation of the crime scene at the Moselle property on the night Paul...
This diagram shows the recreation of the crime scene at the Moselle property on the night Paul and Maggie Murdaugh were murdered. An affidavit from Dr. Kenneth Kinsey provided his opinions on the locations of the bodies and shots fired.(Motion for sanctions: State of S.C. v. Richard Alexander Murdaugh)

The report says Paul Murdaugh was shot first in the chest inside a mudroom near the dog kennels on the property, and the shooter was likely standing just outside the room’s door with the breach of the shotgun inside the room. The second shot, which was to his head and immediately fatal, was fired as Paul moved to the door’s threshold. The report says “it is unlikely the shooter was standing with a shouldered weapon at the time of the second discharge.”

Kinsey said, in his opinion, there is no evidence of a struggle between Paul Murdaugh and the shooter.

According to the report, a cell phone in Paul Murdaugh’s back pocket had been removed and a blood stain was found inside the pocket. Kinsey said he believes the phone was taken out of Paul’s pocket by someone else after he was killed and the blood stain was produced during its retrieval.

Court documents filed on Thursday state that records from Snapchat are part of the prosecution’s evidence.

Maggie Murdaugh, whose body was found a short distance away, was shot five times with a rifle in her torso, upper abdomen, thigh, wrist, and head. The report says the gunman may have been behind Maggie to her left side, but Kinsey said he could not determine the exact position of the shooter. The gunshot wound to her head was immediately fatal, according to the report. Investigators said no bullets were found in the soil underneath Maggie’s body to suggest shots were fired downward by someone standing directly over her.

From left: Buster, Maggie, Paul and Alex Murdaugh pose for a family photo.
From left: Buster, Maggie, Paul and Alex Murdaugh pose for a family photo.(FOX Carolina News)

Kinsey said he could not determine if stains on Alex Murdaugh’s shirt from the night of the double homicide are consistent with spatter from a gunshot, however, he did report that there were more than 100 smaller stains around the neck of the shirt that are “distinctly different” from other stains on the shirt.

Below is the full motion filed by Murdaugh’s defense team.

WARNING: Document contains graphic information