South Carolina officers destroyed the T-shirt Alex Murdaugh was wearing the night his wife and son were gunned down – making it impossible to dispute claims it linked him to the murders, his lawyers said.

The legal team for the disgraced 54-year-old successor, in a 96-page filing on Wednesday, claimed that conflicting claims about the shirt were at the heart of a “campaign of selective and misleading leaks to convince the public that Murdaugh is guilty before.” he will be brought to justice.”

Prosecutors hired an unqualified expert, ex-cop Tom Bevel, “to allege that the white cotton T-shirt worn by Mr. Murdaugh on the night Maggie and Paul were murdered was associated with high-speed splattered with blood most likely from the shooting of Paul”. the filing states.

But Bevel’s initial report “strongly said the shirt contained no stains related to back spatter from a gunshot,” attorneys Dick Harpootlian and Jim Griffin wrote.

Mug shot of Alex Murdaugh.
The T-shirt Alex Murdaugh was wearing the night his wife and son were murdered was “destroyed,” his lawyers said.
via REUTERS

“Yet for some reason, without any additional evidence, he completely changed his mind after visiting the lead in person [South Carolina Law Enforcement Division] SLED investigator David Owen,” they wrote.

After that, Bevel suddenly claimed “that the shirt has over 100 stains that match back spatter from a gunshot,” the filing says.

Murdaugh’s lawyers earlier this month asked to get the shirt for further testing at “an outside lab” – only to be told 13 days later it had been “destroyed,” the filing said.

Photos of the t-shirt now showed it almost entirely blue, with parts also cut out.

“SLED has chosen to conduct its testing in a manner that prevents others from conducting subsequent testing,” they pointed out — which “may well have been done in bad faith, but it could also just be gross negligence.”

Either way, “neither the defense nor Mr. Bevel could do any testing on the shirt because the state destroyed it.”

Alex Murdaugh in court.
Murdaugh’s lawyers say the shirt is at the heart of a “campaign of selective and misleading leaks to convince the public that Murdaugh is guilty before he is brought to justice.”
TNS

Murdaugh’s legal team also determined that the disgraced attorney was the one who found his wife and son murdered near a dog kennel outside one of their homes on June 7 last year.

“The crime scene was gruesome; There was a large amount of blood on and around their bodies, which was transferred to Mr Murdaugh’s hands and clothing as he frantically examined them for signs of life,” they wrote of the high likelihood he would have blood or DNA on him.

“But the state needs evidence of blood spatter because it’s extremely difficult to explain how Mr. Murdaugh was able to murder Paul with multiple 12-gauge shotguns at point-blank range in a small closet without at least some blood spattering his shirt.”

“Eventually, blood was splattered on the closet door, walls and ceiling. So instead of accepting an honest exculpatory report, the state changed it to a false incriminating report,” the filing reads.

SLED chief Mark Keel told The Post and Courier that his force is “reviewing the application and will respond in due course.”

Gates outside the Murdaugh home where Maggie and Paul were found murdered last June.
“The murder witnessed was gruesome,” the filing said of the night last June when Alex’s wife and son were found murdered outside one of their homes.
AP

South Carolina Attorney General spokesman Robert Kittle told the outlet prosecutors would respond in a court filing next week.

Murdaugh — a fourth-generation attorney from a powerful Southern legal family — has pleaded not guilty to the murders. His trial is scheduled to begin on January 23.

In addition to the double murders, he faces nearly 100 other charges ranging from money laundering to drug offenses to stealing customers and attempting to arrange his own death in order to pay his surviving son a $10 million life insurance benefit provide.

Focusing on the case quickly led to his shocking downfall when he admitted years of drug addiction and stole from his family’s law firm.

On Tuesday, a South Carolina banker was found guilty of wire and bank fraud for helping Murdaugh take money from clients’ legal settlements.

Former Palmetto State Bank CEO Russell Laffitte has been allowed to remain free on bail while awaiting sentencing at a later date. Each of the six counts on which he was convicted in federal court carries a maximum sentence of up to 30 years in prison.

“None of this would have happened without Alex Murdaugh,” prosecutor Emily Limehouse said in her closing statement.

SLED chief Mark Keel told The Post and Courier that his force is “reviewing the application and will respond in due course.”

South Carolina Attorney General spokesman Robert Kittle told the outlet prosecutors would respond in a court filing next week.

Source