A defense witness and former law partner of disgraced South Carolina attorney Alex Murdaugh testified Wednesday that the crime scene where Murdaugh’s wife and son were murdered wasn’t properly cleared.
Mark Ball told jurors that he and more than a dozen other people – Murdaugh’s former law partners and friends – walked around the crime scene shortly after Murdaugh’s wife Maggie and son Paul were murdered. He said he arrived just 45 minutes after Murdaugh called 911, but before police arrived, The New York Post reported.
Ball also testified that he went back to the Murdaugh estate the day after the murders and found evidence left behind by investigators, including shotgun pellets, clumps of tissue, and even a piece of Paul’s skull.
“There was just a piece of Paul’s skull about the size of a baseball laying there,” Ball said. “And there was a large bloodspot tissue out right off of the apron of that area right outside the feed room. That was there and it’s kind of like walking across the grave, just, it’s one of those things you just don’t do.”
Ball added that he had access to the crime scene because it wasn’t properly secured, with him and others who weren’t involved in the investigation able to walk around freely. He said that it had been drizzling the night of the murders and that water was dripping onto Paul’s body while officers investigated the scene.
“It’s a crime scene. You don’t want water dripping all over the place, but more importantly, I thought it was pretty disrespectful. Paul was a good young man and quite frankly it just pissed me off,” Ball told jurors.
It wasn’t the first time the defense has argued that the crime scene wasn’t properly secured. Last week, the Murdaugh’s former housekeeper testified that she found several odd things as she moved around the house the day after the murders, such as the pots from the dinner she had prepared the night before being put away when they were usually left for her the next morning.
She also found Maggie’s pajamas laid out neatly on the floor of the doorway leading to the laundry room, something the housekeeper said wouldn’t normally happen.
It also appeared as though someone had showered in the home since she found a puddle of water on the floor next to the shower, a damp towel, a pair of khaki pants, and a white T-shirt.
All of this, the defense argued, showed how police didn’t secure the property while they were investigating.