Murdaugh Trial, Day 26: Last witnesses in case before jury sees crime scene
Alex Murdaugh’s former law partner said Tuesday that he is past his anger over millions of dollars stolen from the firm, as the final witnesses in the South Carolina double murder trial testified and the court prepared to bring jurors to the scene of the killings.
Ronnie Crosby had a testy exchange with defense attorney Dick Harpootlian as prosecutors got a chance to reply to the defense’s case, including by rebutting their experts who suggested two different shooters killed Murdaugh’s wife and son with two different weapons.
>> Scroll to the bottom of this webpage for previous trial coverage.
Once prosecutors finish their witnesses, jurors will ride 40 minutes to see the sprawling Colleton County property where the Murdaughs lived. The exact date and time of the jury trip has not been scheduled because it is dependent on how many witnesses the prosecution calls in its reply case.
Prosecutors brought Crosby back to the stand to talk more about Murdaugh stealing millions of dollars from his clients and the firm the Murdaugh family founded more than a century ago. Prosecutors contend Murdaugh thought he was about to get caught stealing and killed 52-year-old Maggie Murdaugh and 22-year-old Paul Murdaugh near kennels on June 7, 2021, to buy time to cover up the money trail.
During cross-examination, Harpootlian asked Crosby, who often represents accident victims, if going through trauma can cause people to forget details or get times wrong. Prosecutors have pounded Murdaugh for various inconsistencies and lies, including not saying he was at the kennels the night of the killing when he could be heard heard on video recorded by his son.
“You’re trying to take me somewhere you probably don’t want to,” Crosby said, starting a tense exchange between the attorneys.
“You’re angry at him for stealing your money,” Harpootlian said.
“I have had anger with him, extreme anger, Mr. Harpootlian, because what he did with my law firm, my partners, his clients, our clients — what he did to his family. What he did to so many people,” Crosby said, bristling. “But you can’t walk around with anger.”
Harpootlian then asked Crosby if he thought Murdaugh killed his wife and son.
“I don’t have an opinion. I don’t have the benefit of the materials you have,” Crosby said.
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Murdaugh is awaiting trial on about 100 other charges, including financial crimes. Murdaugh, who has been disbarred, admitted to the thefts, which could carry decades in prison, on the stand last week.
Defense attorneys asked that the jury be able to visit the scene of the killings to help them understand how small the storage room is where Paul Murdaugh was killed and the distance between the two bodies. Prosecutors were against the visit, saying the scene looks different than it did in June 2021 as trees and vegetation have grown and no one has lived on the property since the killings.
Judge Clifton Newman is allowing only the jury, attorneys from both sides, security and police, and a court reporter to come. He banned drones from flying over. Once the jury leaves, one reporter, photographer and videographer will be able to see the property.
PREVIOUS TRIAL COVERAGE:
Murdaugh Trial, Day 24: Prosecutor: Alex Murdaugh ‘fuzzy’ about new details of case
Murdaugh Trial, Day 23: On stand, Alex Murdaugh denies killings but admits lying
Murdaugh Trial, Day 22: Alex Murdaugh law partner talks crime scene problems, thefts
Alex Murdaugh trial: Buster Murdaugh says dad was ‘destroyed’ by killings
Murdaugh Trial, Day 19: Alex Murdaugh wanted to die after wife, son killed, agent says
Murdaugh Trial, Day 17: Hose becomes prime evidence in Alex Murdaugh’s murder trial
Murdaugh Trial, Day 16: COVID could create crisis in Alex Murdaugh murder trial
Murdaugh Trial, Day 14: Attorney: I trusted Alex Murdaugh despite odd fee payments
Murdaugh Trial, Day 13: Paralegal angry by Alex Murdaugh theft, knew he loved family
Murdaugh Trial, Day 12: Jurors hear about blue rain jacket in Alex Murdaugh trial
Murdaugh Trial, Day 11: Alex Murdaugh murder jury to hear financial crimes evidence
Murdaugh Trial, Day 10: Maid’s son tells judge Alex Murdaugh took $4M for her death
Murdaugh Trial, Day 9: Financial misdeeds allowed in Alex Murdaugh murder trial
Murdaugh Trial, Day 8: Both sides use trove of cell data at Alex Murdaugh trial
Murdaugh Trial, Day 7: Agent insists Alex Murdaugh suggested he killed his son
Murdaugh Trial, Day 6: Defense faults crime scene collection
Murdaugh Trial, Day 5: Hours after killings, Alex Murdaugh said he didn’t see wife
Murdaugh Murder Trial, Day 4: Jury shown body cam footage from night of murders
Murdaugh Murder Trial Day 3: Jury finalized, opening statements given
(VIDEO: Murdaugh Trial, Day 25: Defense at Murdaugh trial says 2 shooters; jury to see scene)