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Home Crime Alex Murdaugh trial live: Prosecutors point to murder motive after Snapchat video reveals different clothing

Alex Murdaugh trial live: Prosecutors point to murder motive after Snapchat video reveals different clothing

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What happened in court on Wednesday?

Witnesses say voice in murder scene video is Alex Murdaugh

Jurors were shown cellphone footage taken by Paul at the dog kennels of the sprawling family estate in Islandton just minutes before he and Maggie were shot dead.

Off-camera, three voices are heard – Paul, Maggie and a man prosecutors say is Alex Murdaugh.

In dramatic testimony, two friends of Paul with close ties to the family told jurors that they are “100 per cent sure” that the voice belongs to Mr Murdaugh. The disbarred attorney has claimed he was napping at the family home at that time.

Snapchat shows Alex Murdaugh in different clothing one hour before murders

Jurors were shown a Snapchat video Paul sent to his friend Will Loving less than one hour before he and Maggie were murdered.

The video, sent at 7.56pm on 7 June 2021, shows Alex Murdaugh on the grounds of the family estate.

He is dressed in trousers, loafers and a blue button-down shirt – different clothing to which he is seen wearing in police bodycam footage after the murders. In the bodycam, Mr Murdaugh is dressed in a white short-sleeved t-shirt and shorts.

Murder timeframe narrowed down to eight-second window

Prosecutors claim that Paul was shot dead first at around 8.50pm, followed by Maggie – with cellphone data being used to narrow down the murders to a precise eight-second window.

SLED Lt. Britt Dove testified that Paul’s last phone activity was at 8.48.59pm and Maggie’s was at 8.49.27pm.

Eight seconds later at 8.49.35pm, Paul received a text message but it went unread.

Neither Maggie nor Paul used their phones after that.

Calls Murdaugh made to wife on night of murders ‘deleted’

In dramatic courtroom testimony, jurors heard that calls Mr Murdaugh made to his wife on the night of the murders were mysteriously later “deleted” from his call log.

In court on Tuesday, Lt Dove testified that Mr Murdaugh had called Maggie five times between 9.04pm and 10.03pm on the night of 7 June 2021 after he had allegedly killed her and Paul. None of the calls were answered.

Lt Dove, who processed the three cellphones belonging to Mr Murdaugh, Maggie and Paul, testified that the trove of phone calls Mr Murdaugh made to his wife’s cellphone after he allegedly shot the victims dead was missing from his call log. The only explanation for the missing data is that the call logs were manually and intentionally deleted by someone, he said.

Defence casts doubt on theory Murdaugh took Maggie’s phone

Under cross-examination, the defence casted doubt on the theory that it could have been Mr Murdaugh who threw Maggie’s phone along the side of Moselle Road.

Lt Dove admitted that cellphone data suggested Maggie and Mr Murdaugh’s phones were not in the same place at the same time at 9.06pm.

This was important because 9.06pm is when the final orientation change – or movement – was recorded on Maggie’s phone.

Lt Dove testified that this movement could have been as it was being thrown from a vehicle to where it was discovered the next day, with the defence pointing out Mr Murdaugh was walking with his cellphone at that time.

However, under redirect, prosecutors cast doubt on the defence’s timeframe for when the phone was tossed from a car down Moselle Lane, as Lt Dove testified that an orientation change can only take place when the phone screen is on.

The SLED agent testified that the screen on Maggie’s phone was off between 9.07pm and 9.31pm so if the phone was thrown from a car during that time, there would have been no orientation change.

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