Alex Murdaugh trial live: Prosecutor re-enacts shooting to disprove defense account of murders

Alex Murdaugh: Prosecutor points rifle at witness’s head to disprove defense timeline

Prosecutors in the double-murder trial of Alex Murdaugh are calling for rebuttal witnesses to take the stand after jurors heard emotional testimony from the brother of accused killer John Marvin Murdaugh on Monday.

Lead prosecutor Creighton Waters is calling up to seven witnesses as part of his rebuttal case, before jurors are taken on a field trip to the Moselle property to see the crime scene for themselves.

At the property, jurors will tour the dog kennels and feed room where Maggie and Paul were shot dead on June 7, 2021.

The defense rested its case on Monday after calling 14 witnesses to try to convince jurors of Mr Murdaugh’s innocence.

John Marvin was the last defense witness to testify, breaking down in tears as he described how he had “cleaned up” the crime scene – and what was left of his nephew Paul.

Mr. Murdaugh’s younger brother said law enforcement only cleaned Paul’s blood, brain and skull before returning the site to the family hours after the murders.

His testimony came after two expert witnesses disputed the apocalypse, with one pushing the defense’s two-shooter theory.

Watch Alex Murdaugh’s trial LIVE


On cross-examination, Griffin tries to rebut some of the defense theories about the angles and trajectories of the shots fired at Maggie.

Dr. Kinsey stands by his testimony and Mr. Sutton’s conclusions regarding the shooting.

He says he does not agree with what Mr Sutton tried to do. He disagrees with the degree of certainty he claimed the shooter could not have been 6’4”.

The court takes a 15 minute break.

Oliver Connell28 February 2023 20:49


After referring back to John Marvin Murdaugh’s testimony that he cleaned up the crime scene, Dr. Kinsey explains that there are specialized agencies to clean up crime scenes so that the family doesn’t have to. It is not a failure of law enforcement.

Finally, Dr. Kinsey says that I don’t see “anything that could rule out a 6’4 shooter”.

He is asked, in his expert opinion, if he can rule out two shooters.

“I can’t rule in or rule out two shooters.”

When asked if the defense can definitively say there were two shooters, Dr. Kinsey replied: “Absolutely not.”

Oliver Connell28 February 2023 20:33


He also says that it is impossible to get pellets in the door and frame if the shot was fired from behind Paul.

He says overall on the scene, it doesn’t make sense for someone to shoot the first shot through outside the dining room and then push behind Paul for the second shot.

Oliver Connell28 February 2023 20:23


Dr. Kinsey and AG Wilson act out the defense theory that Paul was shot in the back of the head.

The witness describes the theory as a “positive” theory and that there is no evidence showing biological evidence consistent with such a set. That evidence is on the door behind where the alleged shooter would be in the theory of the defense.

Oliver Connell28 February 2023 20:20


Dr. Kinsey is asked about what will happen to a person if they are shot at point-blank range. Again the jury hears about the terrible impact such a shot has on a person.

He is asked if the wounds suffered by Paul are consistent with a contact shot to the head. Dr. Kinsey says no.

Oliver Connell28 February 2023 20:14


Moving on to the shotgun used to kill Paul and how buckshot from the first shot fired at him in the feeding room went through the glass window and embedded in the tree outside, he explains that there are too many variables again which is not known.

Again he concludes that there is no evidence to exclude a 6’4” person from being the shooter and that they could have been kneeling.

“There is so much we cannot know.”

Oliver Connell28 February 2023 20:08


Referring to the recreation of the defense expert at the scene of the crime, Dr. Kinsey says that this depends on the shooter remaining static and that there are not many other variables to consider.

Dr. Kinsey says there was a lot of movement rather than this being a static crime scene. So you can’t use the location of the shell casings to determine exactly where the shooter was standing – the casings are spread out over a relatively large area.

Because the Blackout 300 rifle is missing it cannot be test fired to recreate where the cases land.

Thus, it shows that a 6’4” shooter (Murdaugh’s height) could have taken the shots that killed Maggie at the angles shown in the defense expert’s view, either by kneeling or shooting further back.

He notes that a 7’4” shooter could do it.

Oliver Connell28 February 2023 20:05


Moving on to the angle in the bullet hole in the doghouse, he notes that it is made of wood about half an inch thick, so it gives a much more reliable sense of the angle as well as the direction from the bullet is fired.

He has more confidence in the angle of the shot into the doghouse because of the material in which it was fired.

Oliver Connell28 February 2023 19:51


Looking at the bullet hole on the carbon side of the quail cage at Moselle, Dr. Kinsey says he is confident of the direction the bullet came from, but not the angle.

The angle could be changed with the barrel of the gun or similar firearm issue. He says an analogy would be throwing a football – it could go in the same direction, but it could spin in the air.

Dr. Kinsey goes on to explain how using dowel rods to measure the trajectory of a bullet in a material like cardboard causes damage to the surface when the rod is inserted and pulled out.

He says he’s confident in the bullet’s entry into the cardboard side of the cage, but has zero confidence in the angle.

Oliver Connell28 February 2023 19:49


Dr Kinsey will first look at the evidence given by bullet trajectory analyst Mike Sutton.

Last week, Mr. Sutton testified that Maggie’s killer was 5’2” to 5’4”, about 12 inches shorter than Murdaugh.

“I think his intentions were good, but I think his methods were flawed,” says Dr. Kinsey.

Oliver Connell28 February 2023 19:38

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