Alex Murdaugh trial live coverage: Prosecutor re-enacts shooting to disprove murder defense

Alex Murdaugh: Prosecutor Puts Rifle to Witness’s Head to Rebut Defense Timeline

Prosecutors in the double-murder trial of Alex Murdaugh are calling rebuttal witnesses to the stand after jurors heard emotional testimony from the brother of accused killer John Marvin Murdaugh on Monday.

Lead prosecutor Creighton Waters is calling up to seven witnesses as part of his rebuttal case, before jurors were taken on a field trip to Mozella’s property to see the crime scene for themselves.

At the property, jurors will tour the dog kennels and feed room where Maggie and Paul were murdered on June 7, 2021.

The defense rested its case on Monday after calling 14 witnesses to try to convince jurors of Mr Murdaugh’s innocence.

John Marvin was the last defense witness to testify, breaking down in tears as he described how he “cleaned up” the crime scene – and what was left of his nephew Paul.

Murdaugh’s younger brother said law enforcement did not clean up Paul’s blood, brain and skull before turning the site back over to the family hours after the murders.

His testimony came after two experts disputed the autopsies, with one pushing the defense’s two-shot theory.

Watch Alex Murdaugh’s trial LIVE


On cross-examination, Griffin tries to reassert some of the defense’s theories about the angles and trajectories of the shots fired at Maggie.

Dr. Kinsey stands by his testimony and Mr. Sutton’s conclusions about the shootings.

He says he doesn’t disagree with what Mr Sutton tried to do. He disagrees with the degree of certainty with which he claimed the shooter could not have been 6’4”.

The pitch takes a 15 minute break.

Oliver O’Connell28 February 2023 20:49


After referring to John Marvin Murdaugh’s testimony that he cleaned up the crime scene, Dr. Kinsey explains that there are specialized crime scene cleanup companies so the family doesn’t have to. It is not a failure on the part of law enforcement.

In closing, Dr Kinsey says I see “nothing that would rule out a 6’4 shooter”.

He wonders if his expertise can rule out two shooters.

“I can’t include or exclude two shooters.”

Asked if the defense can definitively say there were two shooters, Dr. Kinsey says, “Absolutely not.”

Oliver O’Connell28 February 2023 20:33


He adds that it is impossible to find pellets in the door and frame if the shot was fired from behind Paul.

He says in the entirety of the scene, it doesn’t make sense for someone to fire the first shot outside the feed room and then duck behind Paul to fire the second.

Oliver O’Connell28 February 2023 20:23


Dr. Kinsey and A.G. Wilson interpret the defense theory that Paul was shot in the back of the head.

The witness describes the theory as “absurd” and that there is no evidence to show biological evidence consistent with such a shot. That evidence is at the door behind where the alleged shooter would have been in the defense’s theory.

Oliver O’Connell28 February 2023 20:20


Dr. Kinsey is asked about what happens to a person if he is shot at point blank range. Again the jury hears about the terrifying impact such a shot can have on a person.

It is questioned whether the injuries sustained by Paul are consistent with a contact shot to the head. Dr. Kinsey says it is not.

Oliver O’Connell28 February 2023 20:14


Moving on to the shotgun used to kill Paul and how the buckshot from the first shot fired at him in the supply room went through the glass window and embedded in the tree outside, he explains that again there are too many variables that are unknown.

Again he concludes that there is no evidence to exclude a 6’4″ person from being the shooter and that they could have been kneeling.

“There is so much we cannot know.”

Oliver O’Connell28 February 2023 20:08


Referring to the defense expert’s representation of the crime scene, Dr. Kinsey says this is based on the shooter remaining static and many other variables are not taken into account.

Dr. Kinsey says that instead of it being a static crime scene, there was a lot of movement. So you can’t use the location of the casings to determine exactly where the shooter was standing — the casings are spread out over a relatively large area.

As the 300 Blackout rifle is missing, it is impossible to try to recreate where the shells will land.

Therefore, he testifies that a 6’4″ shooter (Murdaugh’s height) could have fired the shots that killed Maggie at the angles indicated by the defense expert’s evidence, either by kneeling or by shooting from behind.

He notes that a 7’4″ shooter could do it.

Oliver O’Connell28 February 2023 20:05


Moving on to the angle to the bullet in the doghouse, he notes that it is made of wood about half an inch thick, so it gives a much more reliable impression of the angle as well as the direction from which the bullet was fired.

He is more confident about the angle of the shot at the doghouse because of the material it was shot at.

Oliver O’ConnellFebruary 28, 2023 19:51


Looking at the bullet on the paper side of the quail cage at Moselle, Dr. Kinsey says he is certain of the direction the bullet came from, but not the angle.

The angle could be changed by the barrel of the gun or a similar issue with the firearm. He says an analogy would be throwing a football — it might be going in the same direction, but it could be spinning in the air.

Dr. Kinsey goes on to explain how using dowel rods to measure bullet trajectories on a material like cardboard also results in surface damage as the rod is inserted and pulled out.

He says he’s confident in the direction of the ball’s entry on the paper side of the cage, but has zero confidence in the angle.

Oliver O’Connell28 February 2023 19:49


Dr. Kinsey will first examine the testimony given by bullet trajectory analyst Mike Sutton.

Last week, Mr. Sutton testified that Maggie’s killer was 5’2″ to 5’4″, about 12 inches shorter than Murdaugh.

“I think his intentions were good, but I think his methods were wrong,” says Dr. Kinsey.

Oliver O’Connell28 February 2023 19:38

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