Murdaugh, 54, is standing trial on two counts of murder. His 22-year-old son Paul, investigators said, was found shot twice with a shotgun near dog kennels outside the family’s Colleton County hunting lodge. Maggie Murdaugh, Alex’s 52-year-old wife, was shot four or five times with a rifle close by. Both were shot in the head after being gravely wounded, according to authorities.
On Thursday, the second day of the trial, jurors heard from Colleton County Sgt. Daniel Greene, the first law enforcement officer to arrive at the crime scene at Murdaugh’s South Carolina hunting lodge on June 7 of last year. Body camera footage showed Greene questioning Murdaugh and protecting the crime scene.
Greene testified that when he arrived at the scene about 20 minutes after the 911 call, he saw Murdaugh talking on the phone near where the bodies were found, with a shotgun resting against his truck, which Murdaugh said was for protection. Though Greene said the man was upset, the officer didn’t see him shed “any visible tears.”
Murdaugh faces 30 years to life in prison if convicted of the murders.
Since the killings, Murdaugh’s life has seen a stunningly fast downfall. In neighboring Hampton County, his family of prosecutors and private lawyers dominated the legal system for generations.
Even before being charged with murder, Murdaugh had been held in jail without bail on about 100 charges related to crimes such as money laundering, stealing millions from clients and the family law firm, tax evasion and trying to get a man to fatally shoot him so his surviving son could collect a $10 million life insurance policy.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.