Disgraced South Carolina legal scion Alex Murdaugh was convicted last week of killing his wife, Maggie, and their 22-year-old son, Paul, two years ago on June 7th, 2021.
The conviction came after the jury deliberated for less than three hours, Speaking with Fox News following Murdaugh’s conviction, one of the jurors attributed the quick verdict to a “dog kennel video” that he described as a “crucial piece of evidence.”
As previously reported, the bodies of Maggie and Paul were found near the dog kennels on the family’s Moselle estate in Islandton, South Carolina.
From day one, Murdaugh proclaimed his innocence on the basis that he hadn’t been home on the night that his wife and son were killed.
However, his alibi went out the window last month when prosecutors played a video that Paul had recorded on his phone five minutes before his death.
The video showed him in the estate’s dog kennels handling his friend Rogan Gibson’s dog who he was taking care of for the night.
The key part of the video was the voices in the background, including the voice of Murdaugh.
Watch the video below:
NEW: Here’s the Snapchat video the prosecution played for the jury earlier today. Lt. Dove testified this was taken around 8:44p by Paul on June 7, 2021. Three voices can be heard. The state says this video places Alex Murdaugh at the dog kennel minutes before the murders. @WSPA7 pic.twitter.com/d50jm7B5NE
— Jason Raven (@JasonRaven_) February 1, 2023
“I think it’s incredible timing on Paul’s part. I don’t think that anyone would have ever known that he was down there if it wasn’t for that video. I think that there’s a lot of evidence that points towards Alex, but I feel like that does solidify it,” the juror, identified only as James, told Fox News.
Another piece of relevant evidence was a phone call made by Paul to Gibson.
“During the … homicide trial, Gibson was called to the stand to testify. As the jury learned, Paul was watching Gibson’s chocolate labrador Cash on the night of his death,” according to Distractify.
“Gibson testified that he spoke with Paul at 8:40 p.m. on the phone that night. They discussed whether or not something was wrong with Cash’s tail. On this call, Gibson said he heard Maggie’s voice in the background. He also said he heard a male’s voice that sounded like Alex Murdaugh,” Distractify reported.
Rogan Gibson a close friend of Paul’s best friends, it was his dog that Paul was taking a video of his tail to send. He was the last one to have contact with Paul and heard Alex on phone call before hanging up to wait for video. #MurdaughTrial pic.twitter.com/zYntHZ1N2x
— Skyleigh Heinen (@Sky_Lee_1) February 11, 2023
According to James, a visit to the Moselle estate — one requested by the defense, ironically enough — also helped convince him and the other jurors of Murdaugh’s guilt.
“Based on the testimony from the experts, Murdaugh was standing near the doorway when he used a shotgun to fire the first, nonfatal shot to Paul’s chest, who was in the middle of the feed room,” according to Fox News.
“The second shot came from a dramatic upward angle grazing Paul’s shoulder, entering his neck and blowing his brain out through the top of his skull,” Fox News notes.
While visiting the Moselle estate, James saw a one-inch threshold at the base of the kennel feed room door that reportedly helped explain the second shot’s trajectory.
“I think if [Murdaugh] is looking at Paul, and he’s just shot a buckshot, which, if you’re not firm, it can rock you pretty good, I think he could have been unbalanced. And I think he could have tripped over that threshold and that puts him on the ground shooting up. I think that makes sense to me for the angle of the shot,” James said.
Murdaugh Moselle property Wednesday, March 1, 2023 in Islandton#AlexMurdaugh #AlexMurdaughTrial #jury #Moselle #Islandton #SouthCarolina #tour #crimescene #house #kennels #pool #photos
CREDIT Andrew J. Whitaker/ The Post and Courier/ Pool https://t.co/CThec283IN pic.twitter.com/1zrw2yhPZT
— The Last Show- Karen Lee (@thelastshow) March 1, 2023
Regarding Murdaugh’s own two-day testimony, James said it really didn’t factor much into the jury’s decision.
“There was enough evidence there gathered by SLED (South Carolina Attorney General’s Office) and produced by Paul,” he said.
That being said, according to Fox News his testimony “did show the jurors how the disbarred attorney deceived people so persuasively and effortlessly by often combing the truth with a lie.”
Surprisingly, James said that the prosecution’s closing argument — that “there was a ‘perfect storm’ gathering, and Murdaugh was on the cusp of a devastating financial reckoning,” according to Fox News — also wasn’t convincing.
“I don’t think I’d ever be able to answer why somebody would do something like that. But I know that there are people in the world that don’t make sense, and they do things without making it make sense. So I don’t know that there is an answer other than that it happened and that it shouldn’t have,” he said.
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