Two witnesses within the homicide trial of Alex Murdaugh advised the courtroom Wednesday they’re “100%” sure that Murdaugh’s voice is on footage prosecutors say undermines the disgraced former South Carolina legal professional’s declare he was not on the scene of the killings when his spouse Maggie and 22-year-old son Paul had been fatally shot.
The video, simply in need of a minute lengthy, was filmed on Paul’s telephone beginning at 8:44 p.m. the evening of the killings in 2021, based on Lt. David Britton Dove, a supervisor within the pc crimes heart on the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division who extracted forensic information from the telephones of Murdaugh, his son and his spouse.
Three totally different voices might be heard within the footage, Dove testified Wednesday, saying the video appeared to have been recorded within the space of the Murdaugh household’s kennels. And whereas Dove didn’t personally know the voices, he stated, “You can tell that they’re different voices.”
Prosecutors imagine a type of voices – the one different on the video moreover the victims’ – belongs to Alex Murdaugh, putting him on the scene on the time of the murders. And whereas Murdaugh maintained in interviews with legislation enforcement he was not there, two witnesses Wednesday backed up prosecutors’ declare.
Rogan Gibson, who stated he was a detailed good friend of Paul’s and the Murdaughs had been like a second household to him, advised investigators shortly after the killings he was 99% positive he heard Alex Murdaugh’s voice within the background of a telephone name he had with Paul at 8:40 that evening. When he was proven the video final November, he advised investigators he was 100% positive it was Murdaugh’s voice within the background of the footage – an assertion he repeated in courtroom Wednesday.
When requested by state prosecutor Creighton Waters if he acknowledged Alex’s voice, Gibson stated, “Yes, sir.”
“100%?” requested Waters. “Yes, sir” replied Gibson.
Will Loving, one other witness who was Paul’s good friend, additionally testified he was “100%” positive it was Alex’s voice on the video.
Prosecutors have indicated cellular phone proof is essential of their case towards Murdaugh, who has pleaded not responsible to 2 counts of homicide and two counts of possession of a weapon in the course of the fee of a violent crime within the killings of his spouse Margaret “Maggie” Murdaugh and his 22-year-old son Paul on June 7, 2021.
Murdaugh known as 911 the evening of the killings to report he’d discovered his spouse and son shot lifeless on the household’s dwelling in Islandton, South Carolina – a property often known as Moselle.
But prosecutors accuse Murdaugh of committing the murders to distract consideration from a collection of alleged illicit schemes he was working to keep away from “personal legal and financial ruin,” per courtroom filings. Separate from the homicide fees, Murdaugh additionally faces 99 fees stemming from alleged monetary crimes, per the state legal professional normal.
Evidence will present, the state has claimed, that Murdaugh’s alleged monetary crimes had been “about to come to light” when his spouse and son had been killed.
Gibson knew the Murdaughs virtually his complete life, he stated. He testified it was Alex Murdaugh’s voice that might be heard within the video calling for the household’s yellow lab, Bubba, to drop a hen from his mouth.
Paul Murdaugh known as Gibson the evening of the capturing, at 8:40 p.m., to ask if one thing was incorrect with Gibson’s canine, Cash, which was in a kennel on the Murdaugh property. The two tried to carry a video name in order that Gibson might see the canine, however the reception was not adequate, Gibson testified.
Paul advised him he would take a video of the canine and ship it to him if the FaceTime name didn’t work, Gibson stated, however he by no means obtained the footage. Gibson tried to name and textual content Paul after the failed video name, he stated, however his good friend by no means responded.
Prosecutor Waters of the South Carolina Attorney General’s Office – which is prosecuting the case as a result of Murdaugh household’s decades-old ties with the native solicitor’s workplace – teased the video in his opening assertion final week, saying that whereas Alex claimed to investigators he was napping on the home, video proof would present he was current on the household’s kennels, the place the our bodies of his son and spouse had been discovered.
“You’ll see that video and you’ll hear from witnesses that identify Paul’s voice, Maggie’s voice and Alex’s voice,” Waters stated, telling the courtroom Paul was filming a canine that belonged to his good friend as a result of they had been involved in regards to the animal’s tail. Murdaugh “told anyone who would listen he was never there … The evidence will show that he was there. He was at the murder scene with the two victims” minutes earlier than Paul’s telephone “locks forever.”
In his personal opening assertion, protection legal professional Dick Harpootlian stated the audio from the video obtained by the prosecution would merely present Murdaugh and his spouse having a “normal discussion” with “no animosity.” Paul is “very happy,” Harpootlian claimed. “Nobody’s down there threatening him. Daddy is not pulling out a shotgun and killing him.”
During cross examination by the protection Wednesday, Gibson stated Alex and Paul Murdaugh had an important relationship, and spoke about Alex as an affectionate and loving father who was concerned together with his sons. Alex was like a second father to him, Gibson stated.
Murdaugh cried so much and “was just real distraught, sad, just tore up” in regards to the deaths, Gibson testified.
“Can you think of any circumstance that you can envision, knowing them as you do, where Alex would brutally murder Paul and Maggie?” protection legal professional Jim Griffin requested.
“Not that I can think of,” Gibson answered.
The protection legal professional additionally questioned Gibson in regards to the sheds, workshops and autos ceaselessly being left unlocked on the Murdaugh property, and weapons usually left unprotected or simply laying round. Gibson conceded it could be simple for somebody to sneak on the property and steal one thing. On redirect from the prosecution, Gibson acknowledged he had by no means heard Paul complain about folks doing that.
In his testimony Tuesday, Dove, the fifteenth witness known as by the prosecution, detailed the communications of Maggie’s telephone the evening of the killings, together with a textual content from Alex at 9:47 p.m. that learn, “Call me babe.” It was by no means learn.
In his opening assertion final week, Waters advised the jury Murdaugh repeatedly known as his spouse that night earlier than texting her that he was going to go to his mom and driving to Almeda, South Carolina.
“It’s up to you,” Waters stated, “to decide whether or not he’s trying to manufacture an alibi.”
According to Dove’s testimony Tuesday, the evening she was killed, Maggie learn two textual content messages – at 8:31 p.m. and eight:49 p.m. – in a gaggle chat with household about Murdaugh’s father, who was in ailing well being, seconds earlier than her telephone locked for the ultimate time.
The show of Maggie’s telephone turned off minutes later, at 8:53 p.m. At 8:54 p.m., the orientation modified to panorama and the digital camera activated – a sign, Dove stated, the telephone was moved and the digital camera tried to find Maggie’s face in an unsuccessful try to unlock.
Maggie’s telephone confirmed repeated missed calls from her husband over the course of the subsequent hour, Dove testified, together with proof it had switched to portrait mode. That, the professional stated, was one other indication the telephone was doubtless held in somebody’s hand. A ultimate name from Murdaugh was missed simply earlier than 10:04 p.m.
But these calls seemed to be lacking from Murdaugh’s telephone, Dove stated Wednesday, testifying that decision logs present a niche in calls between June 4 and 10:25 p.m. the evening of June 7.
“A gap like that would indicate” that calls had been “actually removed from there,” Dove stated, including the one technique to take away the calls from the log could be to take action manually.
Asked particularly if the calls had been deleted from the log, Dove stated, “it would appear that way,” noting there was no technique to know once they had been deleted or who was accountable.
Additionally, Murdaugh was in the identical group chat as his spouse when kinfolk had been texting about his dying father, Dove stated Wednesday. And whereas proof reveals Maggie learn each messages, Murdaugh didn’t learn them till the subsequent day, Dove stated, regardless of telling state investigators about his concern for his father’s well being.
This conduct seemed to be outdoors Murdaugh’s typical texting habits, Dove testified, saying Murdaugh usually had a behavior of checking texts inside 5 minutes, or typically 30 to 40 minutes.
Correction: An earlier model of this story misspelled the Murdaugh household title. The story additionally incorrectly described a portion of Rogan Gibson’s testimony. He advised investigators shortly after the killings that he was 99% positive he heard Alex Murdaugh’s voice within the background of a telephone name he had with Paul at 8:40 that evening.
Source web site: www.cnn.com