Alex Murdaugh murder trial: What to know before week 3 of former South Carolina lawyer's trial
WALTERBORO, S.C. — More witnesses are expected to testify Monday about the legal troubles disbarred South Carolina attorney Alex Murdaugh faced before his wife and son were killed at their home.
Murdaugh, 54, is on trial for allegedly shooting 52-year-old Maggie Murdaugh and 22-year-old Paul Murdaugh in June 2021. Prosecutors have called more than 20 witnesses from a growing list of 255 potential witnesses.
Attorney Mark Tinsley is expected to testify Monday without the jury present about the pressure put on Murdaugh over a wrongful death lawsuit stemming from a 2019 boat crash involving his son.
Judge Clifton Newman heard key arguments last week over whether to admit evidence of Murdaugh's more than 100 other charges of financial crimes and at least two of the dozen lawsuits against him as motive in the killings.
Here's what to know about the second week of the trial:
SLED agent testifies Murdaugh said 'I did him so bad'
State Law Enforcement Division Senior Special Agent Jeff Croft testified last week about video footage of an interview with Murdaugh. Murdaugh broke down weeping when asked about seeing the crime scene, and appeared to say, "It was so bad, I did him so bad."
Murdaugh attorney Jim Griffin played the video again, at normal speed and at one-third speed, and asked if it wasn't clear that Murdaugh was saying "... they did him so bad." Griffin also asked why SLED didn't immediately follow up on the alleged "confession."
Prosecutors do not have the murder weapons
A 300 Blackout-caliber weapon was used to kill Maggie Murdaugh and prosecutors have suggested that she was killed with a family weapon. But the murder weapons have not been found, according to Croft.
Croft testified that other areas of the family's home were littered with spent 300 Blackout casings and 12 gauge shotgun shells like the kinds used to kill Maggie and Paul.
John Bedingfield, Murdaugh's second cousin, testified that between 2016 and 2018, he custom built three AR-style rifles in 300 Blackout-caliber to fill special orders from Murdaugh. Lead prosecutor Creighton Waters said in his opening statement that two of the three AR-style rifles purchased by Murdaugh are missing.
Cell phone data traces Maggie and Paul's last communications
Prosecutors believe Paul Murdaugh was killed at about 8:50 p.m., and Maggie Murdaugh soon after. The state called cell phone forensic experts to testify about who they communicated with before their deaths.
Maggie and Paul Murdaugh both read text messages for the last time around 8:49, cell phone data shows. But Lt. Britt Dove, a supervisor at SLED's computer crimes division, testified someone held Maggie's phone in their hand at 8:54 p.m. and again at 9:06 p.m.
The records also showed five missed calls from Murdaugh between 9:04 and 10:03 p.m. Murdaugh called 911 around 10:07 p.m. to report finding the bodies of his wife and son.
Maggie's phone showed no further activity until SLED agents found it beside the road the next day — less than a mile away.
Snapchat video places Murdaugh at the crime scene
Paul's best friend, Rogan Gibson, testified Wednesday he was "100 percent sure" the voices in a video found on Paul's cell phone taken about 8:40 the night of the killings belonged to Paul Murdaugh, Maggie Murdaugh and Alex Murdaugh.
That puts Murdaugh in a place he says he never was, at a time he said he wasn't present, on the night of the murders. Murdaugh told 911 operators and SLED investigators the last time he had seen his wife was roughly two hours before the killings.
Paul's friend Will Loving also testified about a Snapchat video Paul sent him at about 7 p.m. that briefly shows Murdaugh — wearing long pants and a short sleeve shirt — different clothing that what he was wearing when officers arrived at the murder scene.
Witnesses testify about Murdaugh's alleged financial crimes
Newman sent the jury from the room early Thursday and Friday to conduct a hearing to decide if evidence of Murdaugh's alleged financial crimes could be admitted.
Jeannie Seckinger, the CFO of Murdaugh's family law firm, testified she confronted Murdaugh on the day of the murders about missing legal fees. She said Murdaugh told her he was working to prepare "financials" for a hearing in the boat crash wrongful death suit.
Michael Tony Satterfield testified he contacted Murdaugh in June 2021 to inquire about an insurance settlement in the 2018 death of his mother, Gloria Satterfield. Murdaugh promised Satterfield's sons he would help them sue his insurance company, but was later charged with allegedly misappropriating settlement funds.
Griffin called the claim illogical and cited the history of "trust and brotherhood" at Murdaugh's law firm that enabled him to pay back money he had misappropriated or misspent in the past.
Alex Murdaugh trial livestream: Watch live coverage on Monday; read the latest on the trial
More: Opening statements given in former South Carolina attorney Alex Murdaugh's double murder trial
Ex-lawyer Alex Murdaugh's murder trial begins: What we know about the crime saga.
Contact Breaking News Reporter N'dea Yancey-Bragg at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter @NdeaYanceyBragg
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Alex Murdaugh murder trial: Week 3 to open with boat crash testimony