Alex Murdaugh Trial: Prosecution, Defense Give Closing Arguments In Six-Week Murder Trial

The murder trial of disgraced South Carolina attorney Alex Murdaugh drew to a close on Thursday after the prosecution and defense presented their closing arguments.

Lead prosecutor Creighton Waters presented the prosecution’s closing arguments on Wednesday after jurors returned from visiting the scene where Murdaugh’s wife, Maggie, and youngest son, Paul, were murdered on June 7, 2021. Murdaugh has been charged with their murders.

Waters argued that Murdaugh killed his family in an attempt to distract from his numerous alleged financial crimes, which were about to be exposed. Murdaugh is also accused of stealing millions of dollars in settlement funds from his clients.

“This defendant … has fooled everyone, everyone, everyone who thought they were close to him,” Waters told jurors, according to CNN. “Everyone who thought they knew who he was, he’s fooled them all. He fooled Maggie and Paul, too, and they paid for it with their lives. Don’t let him fool you, too.”

Waters argued that Murdaugh used two different family weapons – a rifle and a shotgun – to murder his wife and son. He also reminded jurors that Murdaugh was at the scene of the crime just minutes before the murders, a fact he had denied for two years. At trial, prosecutors presented cell phone evidence that Murdaugh was at the dog kennels with his wife and son just minutes before they were killed. When he took the stand in his own defense, Murdaugh admitted that he was there and that he had lied to investigators about his whereabouts.

The prosecution argued that Murdaugh was the only person with the means, motive, and opportunity to kill his family, though there is no direct evidence to tie Murdaugh to the crimes, only circumstantial. There were no eyewitnesses, and the murder weapon has never been found. Investigators also never found any bloody clothing belonging to Murdaugh.


On Thursday morning, Judge Clifton Newman dismissed a female juror for engaging in improper conversations about the case with people outside of the courtroom. An alternate juror will take their place.

After that announcement, defense attorney Jim Griffin delivered his own closing arguments, saying investigators made numerous mistakes while investigating Maggie and Paul’s murders.

“We believe that we’ve shown conclusively that [South Carolina Law Enforcement Division] failed miserably in investigating this case,” Griffin said, according to CNN. “And had they done a competent job, Alex would have been excluded from that circle [of suspects] a year ago or two years ago.”

Griffin told jurors that investigators failed to secure the crime scene and didn’t take fingerprints or foot and tire impressions. He said that investigators didn’t take DNA samples from Maggie and Paul’s clothes, but they did take samples from Murdaugh’s clothes that night.

“They had decided, that ‘unless we find somebody else, it’s going to be Alex,’” Griffin argued.

The prosecution will have one more opportunity to rebut the defense’s arguments before the jury begins deliberation.

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