After calling six witnesses, the prosecution in Alex Murdaugh’s double murder trial was dismissed Tuesday afternoon. This included a crime scene expert who allowed the South Carolina attorney general to point a gun at Murdaugh in the dramatic reenactment.
The trial, which has now entered its sixth week, has documented Murdaugh’s dramatic downfall from a wealthy scion of an influential legal dynasty into an admitted drug addict/thief who allegedly concocted a scam on his law firm and clients of almost $9 million.
Prosecutors claim that Murdaugh, 54 years old, used a shotgun and a rifle to kill his son, Paul, as well as his wife Maggie on June 7, 2021, to distract from his financial misfortunes.
Kenneth Kinsey (crime scene expert) was the final witness to refute defense ballistics expert Mike Sutton, a forensics engineer.
Sutton testified that the angle of the shots indicated that the shooter had to have been between 5 foot 2 and 5 foot 4.
But Kinsey, who first testified on Feb. 16, countered Tuesday that there were too many variables that Sutton didn’t weigh in his analysis.
“This would be considered a static crime scene.” “With very little movement, he said” “However, this was an extremely dynamic crime scene.”
Kinsey stated that based on his analysis, Murdaugh’s killer could have stood at 6 feet 4 inches, which is the exact height of Alex Murdaugh.
Kinsey was interviewed in South Carolina by Alan Wilson, South Carolina Attorney-General. Kinsey was being examined for the first time during the trial.
Wilson inquired about Tim Palmbach, a defense blood-spatter expert who claimed Paul had been shot in the chest. He then circled around Paul and delivered a fatal blow to his back. Wilson fired a shotgun at Kinsey and they reenacted the incident. Kinsey called defense theories “preposterous” because they were inconsistent with the evidence.
After Murdaugh’s testimony was challenged, the prosecution called Ronnie Crosby (his former law partner and close friend) as their first witness in a case of rebuttal.
Jurors heard Murdaugh testify last week that he checked the pulses of Maggie and Paul during a call with 911. He found their bodies near the Moselle hunting estate dog kennels.
Lead prosecutor Creighton Waters asked Crosby, who arrived at the crime scene the night of the murders to support his grieving friend, what Murdaugh told him.
Crosby responded, “My understanding is that he stated that he had checked the items before calling 911.”
According to Chevrolet Suburban data, he called the police within 20 seconds of pulling up at the crime scene.
Murdaugh denies shooting his son and his wife. Prosecutors say they were shot to death at 8:49 p.m. after their phones had been unlocked for the last time.
Cross-examination revealed that defense lawyer Dick Harpootlian claimed Crosby’s testimony was affected because of his resentment towards Murdaugh over taking away their law office.
Crosby claimed that the firm borrowed millions of dollars to pay Murdaugh’s creditors. This money came from the pockets of the partners.
“Are you angry at him for stealing your money?” Harpootlian asked several times in a combative exchange.
“I have no feeling one way or another,” he replied, visibly annoyed.
“You don’t have any feelings about Alex Murdaugh stealing your money?” Harpootlian pressed.
Crosby responded, “I have been mad with him, Mr. Harpootlian because of what he did to my law firm and my partners as well as my clients.” Our clients – his family, the things he did to so many people. He said that he had let it go years ago.
Prosecutors called Dr. Ellen Riemer to testify that Paul was hit by a second bullet. It entered his neck and grazed his shoulder. He then blew his brain out.
Two witnesses for the defense testified Monday, that Paul was hit in the back by the first shot and was struck directly in the skull with the second shot.
Riemer remained strong in her initial conclusion of a bullet entering his neck but was not a direct injury.
She said that “His eyes would be displaced from orbital bone” by contact wound injury.
Paul’s brain was severed from his body and found near his feet, but his face remained intact, according to prior testimony.
Last week, 14 witnesses were called by the defense including Murdaugh.
John Marvin Murdaugh was Monday’s final defense witness. He wept as his nephew’s body was cleaned up after an accident.
He cried out: “I saw blood, brains, and bits of the skull!” It was horrible.
He stated that he was stunned investigators didn’t leave the scene and that it had been “the hardest thing” he had ever witnessed.
In that difficult moment, he said, he made a vow to his nephew: “I told Paul I loved him, and I promised him I’d find out who did this,” he recalled.