Haunting new evidence has come to light in the Alex Murdaugh murder case.
As we’ve been following, the South Carolina attorney was arrested for the murder of his wife, Maggie Murdaugh, 52, and son Paul Murdaugh, 22, in June 2021. Both of the family members were shot dead at the kennels of the family’s hunting estate. While Alex has pleaded not guilty to murder and weapons possession charges in the case, prosecutors are now getting their chance to change a jury’s mind in court — and the first of many pieces of evidence were just released!
In court on Tuesday, the state released the final text messages that were sent to both Paul and Maggie around the time of their deaths. They also released even more phone data (including a potentially very damning video!) in an effort to convince the jury Alex was at the scene at the time of the merciless murders, despite his claims that he arrived hours later.
According to the prosecutors, Paul’s phone locked forever at 8:49 p.m. and 35 seconds. His mother’s locked at 8:49 p.m. and 31 seconds. Neither victim ever opened another text or answered another call after that.
Paul’s last phone usage occurred at 8:44 p.m. when he called his friend Rogan Gibson from the kennels. The pair were discussing Gibson’s dog, which Paul was looking after. Just five minutes after the call ended, the friend texted Paul, saying:
“See if you can get a good picture of it. Marion wants to send it to a girl we know that’s a vet. Get him to sit and stay. He shouldn’t move around too much.”
But Paul never answered causing Rogan to call him five more times between 9:10 and 10:08 p.m. At 9:34 p.m., Rogan contacted Maggie for help, writing:
“Tell Paul to call me.”
She also didn’t respond. Rogan’s final text to Paul came at 9:58 p.m. and simply said, “Yo.”
Meanwhile, Maggie received a text from her husband’s sister as part of a group chat about the family’s patriarch Randolph III‘s health at 8:49 p.m. The message was marked as “read,” and it appears to be the last she saw. At 9:08 p.m., the 52-year-old got a text from Alex that was never read. He messaged her again at 9:47 p.m., saying:
“Call me babe”
But here’s where prosecutors are trying to prove Alex was actually at the scene despite his text messages and statement claiming otherwise. After Maggie’s iPhone locked for the last time, sensors on the phone picked up movement! Data shows the phone recorded 59 steps from 8:53 p.m. to 8:55 p.m. Lieutenant Britt Dove of the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED), who assessed the phone, told jurors the phone’s orientation also changed at 8:53 p.m., which woke up the screen and activated the camera for Face ID. Based on the evidence, Dove believes someone who was NOT Maggie had picked up the phone, testifying:
“It appears the phone’s being moved and the camera’s activating in the background to see if it would recognize somebody’s face that would unlock it.”
The phone’s orientation then shifted again at 9:06 p.m., suggesting it was in someone’s hand. Two seconds later, she got a call from Murdaugh.
Of course, this whole time, Alex has claimed the last time he saw his wife and son was when they had dinner together at around 8:15 p.m. that evening. He then allegedly fell asleep by the TV while the others went to the kennels. After he woke up, he allegedly called his wife before going to visit his mother, who is in the late stages of Alzheimer’s disease. Call logs show he tried calling Maggie three times between 9:04 p.m. and 9:06 p.m., but she didn’t pick up. He then turned on his Chevrolet Suburban at 9:06 p.m. and texted Maggie that he’d be back after checking on his mother, who lives about a 15-minute drive away.
Once again, he called Maggie two more times (seemingly on the way home) at 9:45 p.m. and 10:03 p.m. She didn’t answer because according to the coroner, Maggie and Paul both officially passed away sometime between 9 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Murdaugh then claims when he arrived back home, he found his wife and son dead. He called 911 at 10:07 p.m.
But that’s not all!
Prosecutors then alleged they have proof Alex was with his family when they died. At 8:44 p.m. a video was taken by Paul in which witnesses identify Paul’s voice, Maggie’s voice, and… Alex’s voice. The video has not yet been shown to the jury, but Prosecutor Creighton Waters told them last week:
“The evidence will show that he was there. He was at the murder scene with the two victims. More than that, just over three minutes later, 8:49 p.m. and one second, Paul’s phone locks forever. Never reads another text, he never sends another text, he doesn’t answer calls. Three minutes after that video has the defendant at the murder scene with the two victims, Paul’s cell phone goes silent forever.”
Wow. That evidence has the potential to be so explosive.
The trial, which is now in its second week, is currently taking place at the Colleton County Courthouse in Walterboro, a small town west of Charleston. As Perezcious readers may know, the Murdaugh family has wielded a ton of judicial and political power in the area for generations. In fact, a photo of Alex’s grandfather Buster Murdaugh Jr. had been hanging on the wall in the courtroom before the trial. Pretty crazy. We hope that power doesn’t get in the way of a fair trial…
Aside from the murder case, Alex is facing more than 100 additional criminal charges — everything from drug trafficking to allegations he stole nearly $9 million from clients and other attorneys. In total, 220 people could testify against him in the trial. Yeesh! As far as a motive goes, prosecutors have claimed he (allegedly) killed his family members to generate sympathy and distract from the other financial crimes, but Murdaugh’s lawyers are arguing the motive doesn’t add up. Either way, Waters told jurors last week:
“[It is] up to you to decide whether he’s trying to create an alibi.”
After hearing all of this, what do U think, Perezcious readers? Are these texts and calls suspicious? Let us know your theories (below)!