Disgraced law-breaker Alex Murdaugh looked up an online restaurant minutes after discovering the butchered bodies of his wife and son, records show.
Prosecutors in Mr. Murdaugh’s double-murder trial on Friday presented a timeline of the evening of June 7, 2021, when Paul and Maggie Murdaugh were shot dead on their property in Islandton, South Carolina. Mr Murdaugh is accused of carrying out the killings to draw attention to his mounting legal and financial troubles.
To build a chronology of events, agents with the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) pulled records from the barred lawyer’s phone, as well as the victims. The information gathered from 6pm to 11pm on the day of the shooting shows many interactions between Maggie, Paul, Mr Murduagh and other relatives.
The report also shows Mr Murdaugh’s strange search at 10.40pm, just 34 minutes after alerting 911 dispatchers that he had found the bodies of his wife and son at the property’s dog kennels – and 15 minutes after the first deputy arrive at the scene.
“Alex Murdaugh searched for ‘Whaley’s Edisto’ in the Safari browser,” the timeline says.
The restaurant in Edisto Island is almost an hour and a half away from Murdaugh’s hunting lodge.
Phone records also show that Mr Murdaugh attempted to call his late wife, once at around 6.44pm and again at 9.04pm. They spoke for two seconds at around 7pm and then for eighteen seconds at 9.04pm.
At 9.47, Mr Murdaugh texted his wife: “Call me babe.” The message went unread.
The state previously shared a timeline of the murders with the court, saying that Paul was shot on the dog kennels first at 8.50pm and Maggie minutes later.
Mr Murdaugh called Maggie again at 10.03pm, just three minutes before calling 911.
He spoke to the dispatchers until 10.17pm and the first representative arrived at the scene at 10.25pm.
From the time he hung up on the 911 dispatcher until law enforcement arrived, Mr. Murdaugh called at least three family members or close friends. Mobile phone records allege Mr Murdaugh was approached at the dog trails moments earlier – when the suspect “told everyone he was ever there”.
He called his son Buster who then survived at 10.44pm, and the call lasted eight seconds.
A carer for Mr Murdaugh’s mother previously told jurors about Mr Murdaugh’s unusual behavior on the night of the murders and in the days that followed.
She confirmed that Mr Murdaugh turned up at his sick mother’s house between 8.30pm and 9.30pm on the night of June 7 – then left 20 minutes later. A few days after the murders, she testified that Mr. Murdaugh asked her to tell the authorities that he had stayed at his parents’ home for twice as long as he had.
Elsewhere in the report revealed on Friday, it is noted that Maggie spoke with her mother and sister Marian Proctor, and Paul had several conversations on Snapchat. A video taken from Paul’s Snapchat shows him at the dog kennels on the grounds of the family estate. Many witnesses identified two voices heard in the background as those of Mr. Murdaugh and Maggie.
Another Snapchat video recorded by Paul at 7.56pm is a focal point of the trial, as it shows Mr Murdaugh in trousers, a loafer and a blue down shirt – clothing that does not match what he is seen on police body camera footage. the aftermath of the murders.
In the bodycam footage, which was shown in court last week, the disgraced lawyer is dressed in a short-sleeved white t-shirt and shorts.
Prosecutors have pointed out that the lack of items linking Mr Murdaugh to the killings – such as weapons that were not found and blood found only near the bodies and not on his clothes – showed that he cleaned the crime scene before he went to visit his mother. .
Mr Murdaugh denied the allegations and pleaded not guilty last June.
The double murder trial in Walterboro, South Carolina, is far from Mr. Murdaugh’s only legal problem. Apart from the case, Mr Murdaugh faces at least 100 other criminal charges over a series of financial fraud allegations.
He is expected to take the stand in his own defense early next week, a source close to the defense told News 3.
Chris Slobogin, director of the criminal justice program at Vanderbilt University, said The Independent that calling a defendant to testify is often a “tactic of last resort” by the defense, but could also work in Mr. Murdaugh’s favor.
“If Murdaugh is unable to explain all of the prosecution’s evidence, if he allows any incriminating or contradictory statements, or if he becomes defensive or angry, the jury is likely to be very tough on him,” he said. “Also, the prosecution can challenge him for crimes or inconsistent statements he has made in the past. But a seemingly credible defendant can also turn the tide.”