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Alex Murdaugh trial will be a battle over evidence as the state reveals Snapchat video ‘critical’ to the case

U.S. NEWS

The defense team of a once-prominent South Carolina attorney is seeking to block. The testimony of some of the state’s expert witnesses.

Alex Murdaugh trial will be a battle over evidence as the state reveals Snapchat video 'critical' to the case

On the night that Alex Murdoff’s wife and son were fatally shot. On the ground of their rural estate in Colleton County, South Carolina. The 22-year-old sent a video to several friends on Snapchat.

Prosecutors say its existence is a “critical” aspect. Of the double-murder trial of Murdoff. 54, a onetime prominent lawyer accused of killing his wife, Margaret, 52, and their young son Paul on June 7, 2021. The trial continues Tuesday with jury selection.

As Mordoff’s defense team filed. Motions Monday to block the testimony of some of the state’s expert witnesses.

Court officials spent the first day of jury selection going. Through about 700 jury summonses. And Newman will select 123 qualified jurors Tuesday to form a jury of 12 and six alternates. The defense suggested opening statements could begin Wednesday afternoon.
Newman has already ordered representatives of Snapchat.

The Snapchat video was sent by Paul to his friends at 7:56 a.m., according to court documents, just two hours. Before Murdoff told a 911 dispatcher that he found his wife and son dead.

A Snapchat spokesperson said Tuesday. That the tech company cannot comment on pending litigation. But that “we cooperate with legitimate legal requests for law enforcement support. Including the need for a witness to appear in court.”

Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Besides to potential digital evidence. Forensics can also play an important role during trials.

But in the latest filing by Moordoff’s lawyers, his defense team is asking the court to deny evidence. That authorities said would show blood splattered on his father’s shirt from Paul. The defense claims the shirt was destroyed before it could be tested. And they say there is evidence that the expert who tested. The shirt changed his decision under pressure from state agents. Prosecutors also said at the December hearing that blood spattering could be problematic. . They have not commented on the matter in court papers or in the courtroom since then.

Defense files shed light on aspects of the crime scene that have not been before disclosed. They include that Margaret was shot in the back of the head. By five different gunshots from a semi-automatic rifle.

Murdaugh’s shirt contained DNA from the victims. But his defense said it was the result of contact with their bodies. which had fallen near a dog kennel on the property. According to the filing, “The scene of the murder was gruesome; there was a large amount of blood. On and around their bodies that transferred onto Mr. Murdoff’s hands and clothing. As he frantically examined them for signs of life.”

During a motion hearing held Tuesday. In response to the defense team’s filing, prosecutors agreed. They would not address the blood spatter evidence in opening statements. And determine whether to use such expert testimony at trial.

Prosecutors are expected at trial to explain. Why they believe Murdoch killed his wife and son. At the December hearing, they alleged that he carried out the killings in a desperate. Attempt to garner sympathy before revealing a string of publicly alleged financial crimes. They accused Murdoch of stealing nearly $8.5 million from more than a dozen victims. Including through his family’s firm and clients. He has yet to stand trial or enter a plea to these charges.

An attorney for Murdoff said at Tuesday’s hearing. That the state’s complaint defies logic.

His lawyers also said he had an alibi and was spending time with his mother, who has dementia. And her carer on the night of the murder.

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