Evidence controversy in Alex Murdoff case made public


Columbia, SC (AP) — Attorney for forbidden South Carolina attorney Alex Murdaugh says prosecutors are taking too long to share their evidence killed wife etc. n, unfairly making it difficult to defend him in his upcoming trial.

It’s a technical legal dispute that precedes several trials, but as Murdoff’s case attracted excessive public attention, attorney Dick Harputlian called a news conference Wednesday, pulling a dozen cameras at which he declared Said prosecutors want “trial by ambush”.

Prosecutors shot. “This manufactured drama is a well-known part of the defense attorney’s playbook,” the state attorney general’s office responded in the legal papers.

MurdaughThe 54-year-old was indicted in July of the shootings of his wife Maggie, 52, and their 22-year-old son, Paul, who died on June 7, 2021 at one of the family’s homes in Colton County . , with him strongly denied is killing them.

Murdoff’s lawyers immediately asked for prosecution evidence, and according to court rules, officers handed it over in 30 days. That deadline was Monday and defense lawyers said prosecutors did not provide evidence because they wanted a judge to decide whether a protective order is needed that limits who the defense can show evidence to and that documents. How does it handle photos and recordings?

Defense lawyers said prosecutors waited until Friday to make a security request so that they could delay providing evidence after the deadline. Since it took 13 months to complete the investigation, the defense said, prosecutors should have already been prepared to send a lot of evidence.

“I don’t have a piece of paper. I don’t have email. I don’t have an exhibition. I don’t have any evidence,” said Harputalian. “We want to try the matter in January.”

Prosecutors said the only reason they missed the deadline was that defense attorneys initially agreed to a protection order on Friday and then changed their mind, according to their legal filings in the case.

Officials said they want to protect the autopsy or crime scene photos from becoming public and other evidence before the trial.

Harputalian said someone in the attorney general’s office had already leaked the information. “I know of blood splatters that I read in some blog,” he said.

State Attorney General Alan Wilson said in a statement that neither prosecutors nor state investigators leaked information in the case.

If a judge finds that prosecutors deliberately delayed the release of evidence for the defense, that evidence may be excluded from a trial, although the judge will almost always attempt to resolve the dispute by other means, if possible. Yes it

The defense said it was waiting for evidence so it could hire experts to review the GPS data, which officials say could be linked to the shooting scene or physical evidence such as blood and DNA. What investigators might say was that they fired one of the two guns they said. Used in murders.

“There’s cellphone data. There’s data from the black box in his truck. There’s forensics. We’ve never seen an autopsy or an analysis of the time of death,” Harputalian said.

If convicted of murder, Murdog would face 30 years in prison without parole. Prosecutors can also choose to seek the death penalty under state law because more than one person was killed, but they gave no indication of what they might do.

June 2021 deaths prompted authorities to look into all corners About the life of Murdoff. At least half a dozen investigations allege that he Stole $8.5 million To the people who hired him and he lied to the police that he was shot by a stranger on the side of the road. Authorities say he actually told a friend to kill him so that his surviving son could take out a $10 million life insurance policy after the family firm determined he was stealing the money. friend Said the gun went off as he tried to wrestle it from the grip of a suicidal Murdoff.

Murdoff is familiar with the legal wrangling. his family dominate the legal landscape With his father, grandfather and great-grandfather elected prosecutors for the area for nearly a century in smaller, neighboring Hampton County for 87 years.

Defense lawyers want to take Murdough to trial as soon as possible so that his name can be cleared. The two sides appear to have agreed in January, with Harputalian telling a news conference outside his law office that he wanted to stick to that timetable “hell or high water” and that the lawyer and the rest of his firm would do whatever. It is also necessary that he will review the evidence whether it is five pages or 5 million pages.

“Ride from here at 11 or 12 at night, you’re going to see the lights,” said Harputalian, who later asked another question at the news conference and said with a smile. “Not me, but someone who works for me.” Is .”


Follow Jeffrey Collins on Twitter https://twitter.com/JSCollinsAP,


Leave a Reply