SC - Paul Murdaugh & mom Margaret Found Shot To Death - Alex Murdaugh Accused - Islandton #31

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I think many of us are experiencing hearing from attorneys and others (on TV or YouTube) who seem to think AM was a good witness. I find that shocking and absolutely disagree. I’m so tired of all these “experts” and I personally agree with the WS members who did not find AM believable or a good witness. I will admit I wouldn’t bet my own money on a guilty verdict because I think one or more jurors may have been influenced by AM’s emotional displays, which I found fake. Not all jurors have a background in following true crime or experiencing how narcissists and addicts lie. Even though there may not be direct evidence, I found the digital evidence created enough of a timeline showing that the circumstantial evidence adds up. I would vote guilty if I were a juror. And thank you to Cash the chocolate lab. Your tail helped tie AM to the murder scene … sending virtual treats to you! :)
 
Well in my view i couldn’t agree more. I saw a sniveling man on the stand who couldn’t keep his story straight. Hopefully the jury has been paying attention to the storyline, in which case it should be easy. Is it reasonable that somebody else just arrived out of nowhere to kill MM and PM while AM was in the house or just when he left? I just don’t believe it. Never mind all the rest. AM did everything for himself before, during and after the murders, end of story. Sad state of affairs.


He was a high riding money addict who killed people’s dreams and took out his own family.
And don’t get me started on the death and disrespect of Mallory Beach.

“ and THEN I lied” - AM

MOO
 
The way I am thinking about the motive (to the extent that people even really need a great motive to kill) is (IMO):

- The pressure from the boat crash cases was mounting. Tinsley, the Beach family's attorney, had told him that he was going to have to pay a lot of money to settle the case. Alex told Tinsley that he was broke. Tinsley didn't believe it based on what he knew of Alex's caseload and was going to force Alex to turn over financial information. If his financial information came to light, it was going to become clear that he was stealing from clients. That would have gotten him disbarred and would have stopped him from making a legitimate living. Worse, it was going to turn off the spigot on his illegitimate income. Even worse, Alex would probably have to go to prison.
- If the boat crash case were to settle -- or go to trial -- he was going to lose everything, including Maggie's beloved beach house and Moselle, which was Paul's "absolute passion"
- Paul's criminal defense was costing a fortune and would have been making its way through the courts for years, which caused more financial pressure.
- Alex's usual modus operandi of tampering with the jury was not going to fly in the boat crash cases, because Tinsley told him that if he had even a hint of a whiff of tampering, Tinsley was going to immediately file new suits in Beaufort County -- where the Murdaugh family name isn't as powerful and Alex wouldn't be able to jury tamper -- naming Buster and Maggie. More financial pressure.
- Maggie was encouraging Alex to settle the suits, but Alex was backed into a corner and couldn't without all of the above consequences, which she did not know of.
- IMO, Maggie and Paul were becoming aware of financial issues through declined credit cards and bounced checks. Maybe Paul ("Little Detective") had even done some snooping and had unearthed some evidence of the ill-gotten gains.
- Maggie and Little Detective were putting pressure on him by finding drugs and confronting him. They were coming between him and opioids.
- IMO, Alex was having an affair and he also had to worry about that coming to light, because if Maggie divorced him, he would be financially ruined (I am basing my opinion about the possibility of an affair on Mushelle Smith's testimony that he had only been by at night to visit his mother a couple times in the years that she worked for Miss Libby coupled with testimony by Marian about how much time he spent there and Maggie's text saying that she was worried about Alex because he wasn't getting enough sleep due to all the time he was spending with his parents at night.)
- Alex's father, who was his protector and fixer for his entire life, was dying. There would be no daddy to help him soon.
- The above consequences -- becoming penniless and being found to be a thief and a liar and an addict -- would have ruined his social standing as a powerful Murdaugh.

Killing Maggie and Paul would remove several pressure points. The criminal boat case would be dismissed. Juries would be less likely to award big damages against him and maybe Tinsley would even drop the case. He wouldn't have to worry about letting down Maggie and Paul by being found out to be a con man and a thief and by losing Moselle and the beach house and the rest of the lifestyle they had become accustomed to. He would no longer have to worry about hiding things from Maggie and Little Detective. Maybe he would be able to find a way to replace some of the missing money before anyone became any the wiser, or at least before anyone made public accusations, enabling him to avoid prison.

Do I think these are great reasons for murder? No, of course not, but it doesn't matter what I think is a good reason -- these were good reasons to Alex. People have murdered for much, much less.
 
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He never really answered JG’s question…did he?

Griffin: “Alex, did you murder Maggie?”
AM: “I would never hurt Maggie.”
G: “Did you murder Paul?”
AM: “I would never hurt Paul.
If I was under the pressure that they’re talking about here, I can promise you I would hurt myself before I would hurt one of them, without a doubt.”

 
I do think the boat case is a comprehensive review of AM as a master manipulator who has no respect for LE or an LE investigation. Who would attempt to coerce traumatized friends to lie to save Paul, and thus AM. That Murdaughs were allowed beyond LE barricades while LE searched for Mallory Beach's body but her parents weren't allowed to be there-drove right by the parents into the secured area. Then then all committed to the lie-I'm sure AM ensured everyone adopted that story. That's all AM typical MO! I just hope the jury has common sense and actually uses it.
That's why I think one of the boat victims might be a rebuttal witness - perhaps the young man that Alex tried to frame? Alex testified today that he, at no time, attempted to coerce any of the boat accident victims. Netflix just released (two days ago) footage of Alex doing exactly that.

At the end of the day, the Judge asked about remaining witnesses and whether any new charges would be brought. No decision today. An additional charge of perjury would help secure a conviction.
 
Cross examination was really not focused on the murders as much as the financial crimes and lies that AM repeatedly admitted to. Yes he's a bad guy (a drug addict, thief and a liar) but in looking at the big picture the Murdaughs were all about protecting their own no matter what i.e. the boat accident and circling the wagons. I don't agree with the suggested motive. I just wouldn't be able to convict him of murder for that reason and because:

1.Relying on time of death at around 8:50 (i.e when they stopped responding to texts). Argument: the cell service was spotty unless you stood in certain areas (testified to). Facetime was not good according to friend so he asked PM to take a video. PM never sent the video. He may have been waiting until he could actually get to a spot where he could send it. Coroner said time of death between 9:00-10:00. AM left at 9:06. It could have happened after that.
2.Missing guns. Guns all over the property, in unlocked vehicles. Granted usually a murderer would bring their own weapon, but maybe they did but found something better at the scene and opportunity.
3.Trafficking drugss - although prosecution says it has absolutely nothing to do with it the felons that are involved in that will kill family members as a warning but also you as well if they want to. It doesn't matter if you are living in a small, secluded town. Maybe AM was trying to become a big fish.
4. AM should have been covered in blood, no blood in the house, no evidence of anything wrong in the house.
5. Missing clothes: prosecution never asked him to produce according to testiony. He stayed all over after the murders and stayed with friends, clothes left everywhere.
6. No financial gain.

There was about 1 hr 45 min of financial crimes yesterday and about 30 minutes today, so the vast majority was spent on the murders
 
[…]

After more than four hours of questioning Murdaugh about financial crimes, drug addiction, and lies he told about his alibi, lead prosecutor Creighton Waters asked him directly if he killed his wife and son.

“Mr. Murdaugh, are you a family annihilator?”

“You mean like did I shoot my wife and son?” Murdaugh asked. “No. I would never hurt Maggie Murdaugh. I would never hurt Paul Murdaugh, under any circumstances.”

[…]

“The reality is Mr. Murdaugh, the reason why no one’s ever heard that before is because you had to sit in this courtroom and hear your family and your friends come in one after the other and testify that you were on that kennel video,” Waters said. “So you, like so many times over the course of your life, had to back up and make a new story that kind of fit with the facts that can’t be denied. Isn’t that true, sir?”

“No sir, that’s not true,” Murdaugh said.

[…]

Trial Day 24: Murdaugh denies being ‘family annihilator’, offers his theory on murders
 
I was curious about jury instructions but while searching for them realized SC took them offline! I've never heard of that but it says on their page they did. That seems really bizarre to me. They should not be secret as far as I've ever known.

But "reasonable" doubt is often a very helpful explanation for jurors. Too many don't understand technical, legal "reasonable" doubt. It's not synonymous with any "doubt".

I also saw SC has a strange jury instruction when a case is purely circumstantial. I've never heard of that either. But I'm an attorney in a bank...

If anyone is interested in this Logan instruction there's plenty of cases about it. For example
Failure to Give Logan Instruction Not Harmless Error Where Evidence Almost Entirely Circumstantial


I don't necessarily think the Logan instruction is a problem as I think the circumstantial evidence DOES all hang together. But I am curious about it as I hadn't known about this type of circumstantial evidence instruction.

This is the link I have for jury instructions for SC

 
That's why I think one of the boat victims might be a rebuttal witness - perhaps the young man that Alex tried to frame? Alex testified today that he, at no time, attempted to coerce any of the boat accident victims. Netflix just released (two days ago) footage of Alex doing exactly that.

At the end of the day, the Judge asked about remaining witnesses and whether any new charges would be brought. No decision today. An additional charge of perjury would help secure a conviction.
Wonder if Alex has a nickname for Connor..

Maybe Con Con.. or wait that seems more appropriate as a nickname for Alex himself. Big Con Con man.
 
[…]

After more than four hours of questioning Murdaugh about financial crimes, drug addiction, and lies he told about his alibi, lead prosecutor Creighton Waters asked him directly if he killed his wife and son.

“Mr. Murdaugh, are you a family annihilator?”

“You mean like did I shoot my wife and son?” Murdaugh asked. “No. I would never hurt Maggie Murdaugh. I would never hurt Paul Murdaugh, under any circumstances.”

[…]

“The reality is Mr. Murdaugh, the reason why no one’s ever heard that before is because you had to sit in this courtroom and hear your family and your friends come in one after the other and testify that you were on that kennel video,” Waters said. “So you, like so many times over the course of your life, had to back up and make a new story that kind of fit with the facts that can’t be denied. Isn’t that true, sir?”

“No sir, that’s not true,” Murdaugh said.

[…]

Trial Day 24: Murdaugh denies being ‘family annihilator’, offers his theory on murders
He would never say that he didn’t shoot or murder Maggie and Paul, just that he would never hurt them.
 
Would Maggie have needed to okay the $600,000 extension on Moselle if she owned it?

If so, did she refuse?

Did he ask her and that sparked her to reach out to an accountant to examine what was going on with their finances?
I've been asking that question -- did Maggie need to approve? -- since the evidence came in last week about AM's June 3 request for the additional $600k Moselle line of credit. AM's email to Laffitte at Palmetto said this: "I need to extend farm credit line another 600k. My dad will sign also if needed. How much turnaround would that take?" This was on Thursday, June 3.

Things seemed very questionable with the large overdrafts that Palmetto was allowing AM before this -- I'm not sure what they would have required for the added $600k. As we know, AM's father was severely ill at this point, and there's been no evidence (that I'm aware of) about whether AM asked MM about it. Even if MM hated being at Moselle I can't imagine she would want to risk losing that asset, especially since it was in her name. JMO.

 
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