The state calls its 14th witness, DNR agent John Bedingfield, a Barnwell man who has a side business building and repairing guns.
Bedingfield testifies he is related to Alex Murdaugh. Their grandmothers are sisters. Bedingfield said in late 2016, he sold .300 Blackout rifles to Alex Murdaugh as Christmas presents for Buster and Paul so the boys could shoot hogs on the Moselle property.
Bedingfield testifies one of the guns was black, the other tan. They were outfitted with thermal scopes.
Murdaugh wanted suppressors for both guns, but Bedingfield couldn't sell them to him because Murdaugh failed to complete the necessary paperwork, even though he paid for them. Bedingfield still has them.
Bedingfield testifies that in April 2018, he had another conversation about making and selling Alex Murdaugh a third .300 Blackout rifle. Alex said Paul had lost/misplaced his rifle, and Alex wanted to replace him. …
.. This rifle had no scope because they were expensive, $1,500 to $1,800 each. Maggie ultimately picked it up for him once the gun was ready.
Bedingfield testifies that Alex Murdaugh paid $9,188 for the first two .300 Blackout rifles on 12/23/16. The third one cost $875. It was cheaper because it didn't have the thermal scope or suppressor.
The state finishes questioning Bedingfield. Now Griffin is up to cross-examine him for the defense.
Griffin seems to be laying the groundwork with Bedingfield to argue later that the state can’t use ejector marks to match the .300 Blackout shell casings found by Maggie’s body to the older spent casings on other parts of the Moselle property.
Griffin elicits testimony that the ejectors Bedingfield uses in building .300 Blackout rifles come pre-assembled. Griffin argued before trial that ejectors manufactured in the same batch from the same machinery could leave the same ejector marks on shell casings.
That would make it impossible to say with 100 percent certainty that the ejector marks left on multiple shell casings came from the exact same gun, Griffin argued earlier. (The jury hasn't heard that argument yet)
Griffin then gets Bedingfield to say that he has known Alex Murdaugh for years and seen the defendant with his boys. He notes Alex spent nearly $10K on the guns as Christmas gifts for Buster and Paul. Bedingfield said Alex's relationship with his sons has "always been good.”
Bedingfield steps down. The state calls its 15th witness, SLED's Britt Dove. He works in SLED's computer crimes unit.
Dove spends several minutes detailing all of his training, expertise and certifications.
Dove is going into great detail about how cell phones store their users' data and how agents like him can unlock that information and interpret it. He is very possibly the brightest, most confident and clearest of all of the state’s 15 witnesses so far.
He is explaining some pretty complicated stuff in a very simple way. Others have explained some pretty easy stuff in incredibly complicated/unhelpful ways.
Dove now moving on to testify about the contents of Maggie's phone, including which apps were tracking her location.
Dove testifies about a screenshot of Maggie's phone that shows five missed calls from “Alex"
We're on a 15-minute break just as the state prosecutor was seemingly about to ask Dove about a log of Maggie's calls from 6/5/21 to 6/7/21.