BLOG: Day 26: State to call final witnesses in Murdaugh murder trial

Published: Feb. 28, 2023 at 3:00 AM EST|Updated: Feb. 28, 2023 at 5:29 PM EST
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WALTERBORO, S.C. (WCSC) - Prosecutors are expected to call two rebuttal witnesses in the Alex Murdaugh murder trial Tuesday, a day after the defense rested its case.

Murdaugh, the disbarred Lowcountry attorney, is accused in the June 7, 2021, murders of his wife, Maggie; and their son, Paul.

Murdaugh’s brother, John Marvin Murdaugh, took the stand on the defense’s final day, testifying at times through tears.

“He told me it was okay to leave, okay to leave what was left of Paul,” he said. “They would clean it up. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever been through in my life.”

READ RECAP: Jury hears graphic testimony as defense rests in Murdaugh murder trial

Murdaugh’s brother testified about the night of the murders and going to the family’s Moselle Road property the next morning.

He also weighed in on the comment Alex Murdaugh made to South Carolina Law Enforcement Division investigators on June 10, 2021. The recording of that comment became a subject debate among witnesses during testimony. At one moment in the recording, Alex Murdaugh made a statement he insists was, “They did him so bad,” but SLED agent SLED Agent John Croft said he heard, “I did him so bad.”

John Marvin Murdaugh said he heard, “They did him so bad” and that his brother had said the same thing that night and has said it since that night.

Looking ahead, lead prosecutor Creighton Waters said he believed the state could get through the witnesses Tuesday. Defense attorney Dick Harpootlian was skeptical about the claim, saying Waters has often underestimated the amount of time needed in the case.

SPECIAL SECTION: The Murdaugh Cases

Jurors may also see the property where the killings happened. Before jurors were ushered into the courtroom on Monday morning, Judge Clifton Newman responded to a defense request to allow jurors to see the property in person, saying he would allow a visit. Waters objected, saying the property has changed since the night of the killings.

Defense attorney Dick Harpootlian raised concerns about security, claiming that several trespassers showed up at the property over the weekend taking selfies outside the feed room where Paul Murdaugh was killed.

Newman said the area would be secured before jurors would be allowed to see it.

It is not clear when jurors would be taken to the property or how long that might extend the case.