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Defense rests in Alex Murdaugh double murder trial

Murdaugh is accused of killing his wife Maggie and son Paul at the family's Moselle estate back in June of 2021.
Credit: POOL
Alex Murdaugh defense attorney Jim Griffin

WALTERBORO, S.C. — The defense has rested in the double murder trial of disgraced South Carolina attorney Alex Murdaugh, closing with testimony from the defendant's brother. 

John Marvin Murdaugh was the last person to take the stand Monday, testifying to his brother's mental state on the night of the killing.  The court then recessed for the day. 

While the defense has wrapped up their portion, it's unclear how much longer the trial could go. Prosecutor Creighton Waters said he has four to five more rebuttal witnesses. 

Earlier, a defense expert testified he thinks two different shooters killed Murdaugh's wife and son. 

While the idea has hovered over the trial because two different weapons were used and no evidence has been presented suggesting either victim tried to defend themselves, crime scene expert Tim Palmbach was the first witness to suggest the two-killer theory in testimony.

Investigators have said 52-year-old Maggie Murdaugh was shot four or five times with a rifle, while 22-year-old Paul Murdaugh was killed by two shotgun blasts near kennels on the family's sprawling Colleton County property on June 7, 2021.

Also on Monday, the judge agreed to a defense request to let the jury visit the family property and see the crime scene for themselves before they deliberate Alex Murdaugh's fate. The date for that trip has not been set.

Murdaugh, 54, is accused of killing his wife Maggie and son Paul at the family's Moselle estate back in June of 2021. Prosecutors say he's the sole person responsible while the defense says the state never seriously looked for any other potential witnesses. 

Related: Alex Murduagh Murder Trial: Who You Need to Know

Related: Alex Murdaugh trial: Who You Need to Know

You can find trial updates here every day. Watch live streaming testimony and coverage on wltx.com, on the WLTX+ streaming app on Amazon Fire and Roku TV, and on the News19 WLTX YouTube page.

Monday Murdaugh trial updates

Dick Harpootlian, of Alex Murdaugh’s defense team, told Judge Newman he expects to wrap up the case Monday afternoon, and State prosecutor Creighton Waters indicated the final prosecution rebuttal witnesses would be called Tuesday. After closing arguments, the jury could be charged with the case Wednesday afternoon. Harpootlian also asked for, and Judge Waters said he would arrange, a trip to Moselle for the jury before closing arguments are made.

Defense continued its case, calling its own forensic pathologist first to go over the autopsies of Paul and Maggie.

Dr. Jonathan Eisenstat, forensic pathologist

Eisenstat worked as the Chief Medical Examiner for the Georgia Bureau of Investigation in Atlanta and GBI covers 154 counties in the state. Eisenstat estimates he performed around 300 autopsies a year and testified in court, some deaths attributed to trauma due to gunshot wounds. Currently, he does consulting work with his business, Eisenstat Forensic Pathology. He is being compensated, $3,000 so far and more pending, by the hour, $5,400 for day testimony.

Eisenstat is asked if he saw Colleton County Coroner’s testimony and asked how he would determine time of death. Eisenstat says you want to get an idea of body temperature first to give you an estimated time of death. Put a thermometer near a body they would give ambient temperature of the environment and do a rectal temperature, look for rigidity and blood pooling. The ambient and core temperatures compared will help determine time of death.

You wouldn’t learn anything by sticking your hand under the deceased armpit – which is what Colleton County Coroner did.

Eisenstat examined materials in this case, specifically Dr. Ellen Riemer’s MUSC autopsy files for Paul and Maggie. He looked at her report, photos from autopsy and from the scene, and x-rays.

On the report for Maggie, the body diagram shows rifle wounds on the entering on the right thigh from 1 to 3 feet, exiting back left thigh; entrance upper right torso, exit bottom left back torso; left wrist and forearm, left wrist, exit on left forearm; tangential to the back right of the head, through the brain, through the back and into the chest – the lethal wound; and Dr. Ellen Riemer and Eisenstat differ on this last wound – wound on left breast and chin. Eisenstat looked for tears in the skin to show bullet direction. He believes from the left breast and chin tears, the came from the same direction as the head wound. Eisenstat says the shot to the chest had Maggie leaning forward when the last two shots hit her.

Autopsy photographs of Maggie shows the wounds on the head. Eisenstat said the shot came from the top of the head, Riemer said the shot came from below. Eisenstat uses the direction of the skin tags (or tears) on Maggie’s to make the determination of the path of the bullets.

Eisenstat said Maggie’s head was shaved to determine if there was gunshot residue and to see any damage to the skull and to preserve evidence. The x-rays from Maggie shows the damage of the last bullet from the top of the head going into her upper torso.

Eisenstat said he was asked to give opinion on gunshot wounds. There were five shots in Maggie, and Eisenstat agrees on four of Riemer’s conclusions.

On Paul’s report, Riemer had indicated two shotgun wounds – to the chest (birdshot) and head (buckshot). The chest wound went across the chest, leaving the arm, Eisenstat agrees with Riemer.

On the second shot to the head, Riemer believed shot came from shoulder and went through head. Eisenstat believes it is a contact wound at the back of the head, opening up in his head, exploding the skull, passing down through the chin and shoulder. Eisenstat cannot say where the shot entered but probably near where Riemer said was the exit wound in the head because Paul’s head was not shaved.

Eisenstat referred to the same textbook defense presented during Riemer’s testimony about contact wounds to the head.

Riemer believed the muzzle of the shotgun was about three feet away from Paul at the second shot and entered under his chin and went through his head while he was slightly bent to the side.

Eisenstat says Riemer has the path reversed. Photographs and x-rays show pellets in the left shoulder and that shows bullets slowing in a path from the head to the shoulder, Eisenstat says. He points to the chest area and left shoulder on Paul’s x-rays showing pellets embedded in the body that are not consistent with a shot coming from below and traveling upward through the skull. The left side of the jaw has pellets in the left side and neck, going into the chest. Eisenstat says the severity of the damage to the skull should come all the way around and says gun was pressed against the head in perfect textbook style.

Eisenstat says there wouldn’t be energy from the shot coming from below to blow the skull apart, disagreeing with Riemer.

Eisenstat said in his opinion the brain was pushed out through back splatter and any shooter would be covered in matter.

X-rays of the shoulder show pellets disbursed along shoulder, coming in a downward motion, Eisenstat says. He says he would have liked to have seen Paul’s shaved head so Eisenstat could look for gunshot residue and burning on the skull and body.

Eisenstat agrees with Riemer’s first shot analysis. Eisenstat says Paul is bent over from the first shot and then gets the second shot to the head. The first shot bruised Paul’s lung and it was probably hard for him to breathe, so he was bent over in pain at the second shot.

Harpootlian asks Eisenstat to sketch what a contact range wound would look like and describe where soot or stippling would be found and the spread of the shotgun pellets over distances from one to around three to four feet. According to Eisenstat, the second shot to Paul was a contact wound with the barrel of the shotgun pressed against his skull.

The large wound on the shoulder and smaller wound to the chin shows, according to Eisenstat, the wound was not left to right, as Riemer said, but coming from the top of the head and the pellet spread beginning to open as they travel. The brain exits the body without being blown into pieces because pressure from the gunshot blows the brain out. There are no x-rays of Paul’s brain and no autopsy photos of just the brain, Eisenstat testifies.

Eisenstat says he used Riemer’s autopsy photographs to help in his determinations. The opinions are Eisenstat’s medical certainty, but he is not an expert on the ballistics trajectory outside of the body. He says crime scene reconstruction is not in his expertise.

Blood, brains, and other biologic material would have been on and in the barrel of the shotgun and probably on the shooter.


Goude asks Eisenstat about time of death and if it’s the pathologist’s job to determine time of death. He said a forensic pathologist could determine time of death with information supplied but not go to the scene of the crime.

Eisenstat relied on Riemer’s report and crime scene photos but was not asked to create a report. Goude asks if a report would have been helpful to explain the scientific nature of his testimony, he said yes, it would be on paper.

Goude asks, on Paul, if he was shot in the back of the head, do the pellets come back out when they exit? No, the range of fire would be about 6 inches and starting to spread from top of head to chin, not going out and coming back but showing a slight pattern spread within one foot.

Soot or stippling is noted in certain injuries, not noted on shoulder and head on Paul. The top of Paul’s skull was missing, his face was not blown out. His brain left his head and was left on the floor.

Goude shows Eisenstat an image of brain that has been injured but not blown apart and pellets on the floor of the feed room. Other images show the door to the feed room and blood spatter on the top of the door, no spatter on the sidewalk.  Eisenstat asked if he saw images of the feed room with items on the top of a shelf with a demarcation line on those items. Eisenstat said trajectory outside the body is not his expertise.

Eisenstat determined manner of death to be homicide.

Timothy Palmbach

Palmbach is a crime scene analyst from Connecticut, trained under famed forensic scientist Henry C. Lee in blood spatter analysis. Palmbach also has a law degree but does not practice law.  He was hired to review the case, look at forensic evidence and other reports. He charges $5,000 retainer and another $8,000 plus travel.

Palmbach says he was provided photographs, x-rays, lab reports, diagrams, and autopsy reports. He said he told defense attorneys early on he was concerned about the shotgun wound to Paul and the second shot being a contact wound and recommended defense hire a forensic pathologist to review the case as well.

Palmbach said he went to Moselle on Friday, February 24.

Palmbach said in Paul’s murder, the right shoulder was open to the feed door and the shot came into his chest and exited his left arm and went through a window. The shooter would have been outside the door, how close is subject to different variables. Palmbach noted a small amount of gunshot residue (GSR) was on the door frame. He testified he saw no indication of GSR pattern testing of Paul’s clothing. There is evidence of minor stippling, and he believes the gun was no more than two feet away.

Both spent shells were found inside the feed room. Palmbach makes assumption the casings had to be in the feed room because the weapon was a semi-automatic or pump action shotgun.

Any indication Paul has defended himself? Palmbach said Paul was probably startled by the shot, so no. His hands didn’t come up and the angle of his body would have changed if he tried to defend himself.

Buckshot was first shot. The second shot, Palmbach said, the explosive nature to Paul’s head was from a high-energy source contact wound. The shot and affiliated gasses were compressed through the barrel of the gun, causing the wound on Paul.

On the top of the door, there is spatter. Palmbach explains the barrel of the gun is in very close proximity to the head and the gasses created by the shot’s firing are expanding and finding the closest hole to escape from -- which is the entrance wound -- so backspatter would be up on the door.

Palmbach measured the spatter on the door and the possible pellet impact on the door at the feed room. He says the direction of the pellet and its impact on the door frame shows the pellet was moving upward. Palmbach explains the pellets were in an explosive, focused pathway that expanded as the energy entered the skull and gathered and pushed blood, brain and biological material back through the opening and upward.

The wadding stopped in the brain and became caught in the explosive force and was expelled and fell to the floor, where it was found.

The shooter would have been close enough to get the barrel of the gun to contact Paul’s head and the shot is somewhat overhead and downward. Delivering the shot, the shooter is getting hit with large amounts of biological material and possibly pellets, according to Palmbach, covering the shooter’s clothing and hair.

Palmbach says there is blood in various places inside the feed room. The hole in the side of Paul’s head caused spatter, with a void that might have been the shooter.

Griffin asks about a reconstruction by another crime scene analysist, Kinsey, that Palmbach says is wrong. The shot distribution, blood spatter, pellet location, Palmbach says, is inconsistent with Kinsey’s findings.

Palmbach says it’s all about distance and pellet spread over distance. He relied on photographs of the crime scene showing the final resting place of Paul -- his brain is next to left knee and ankle, blood transfer is in the doorway, Paul’s feet on the right inside of the doorway, his body bends to the left outside the doorway. Other photos are views of the floor area inside the feed room. A photo looking downward from outside shows blood stains in a vertical drip pattern attributed to the first chest wound where Paul was left standing upright. Blood drops show movement away from that position going toward the feed room door. The wadding in the feed room came from the head shot, Palmbach says.

Palmbach said an area on the floor and trim show a second impact area, related to the ceiling spatter. As Paul gets shot the second time, the shot comes from his head and hits the chin and shoulder and exits the shoulder area was as well as through the brain. There is spatter from the entrance wound and exit wound.

Kinsey had testified Paul’s second gunshot injury entered at the shoulder through exited the head.

Palmbach said Paul was against the doorway and the shooter was on the opposite side of the door. The pattern void (voiding area) on the door and partially on the floor, Palmbach said, is from the shooter, not Paul. In the upper left quarter of the door is large amounts of blood and brain transfer and pellet impact. The amount of debris in the photo is showing shooter location and transfer of material to the shooter.

Paul’s head wasn’t even two or three feet from the ground but there was enough explosive pressure to move the spatter above the door, Palmbach says.

Palmbach points to the extent of blood spatter at top of door and the size of the droplets on the door. He says the sizes are due to the high pressure of the gunshot explosion.

If the shooter was outside and aiming for the shoulder, would the spatter be such? Palmbach said if the shoulder was hit, there shouldn’t be an exit wound to the head because there wouldn’t have been enough energy, and no rear blast of blood and hair and bone that is observed.

Palmbach identifies the photos he took on Friday. They show —an overall photo of door showing impact and pellet lodged in door jamb; a closeup view of the pellet in the door trim showing it is a steel pellet and its size; a closeup impression on the steel door that is elongated to show direction of the pellet (upward motion); and photo of Palmbach in a relative position of the shooter. Palmbach is crouched tightly along the doorway, near where Paul would be passing through. There is no room for the shooter to be inside the room with Paul. Palmbach believes the barrel of the gun is short but doesn’t have a weapon to test.

Maggie’s reconstruction by Palmbach had some key observations – he says she is moving but always facing the shooter. He says she never turned, moved a bit in the area, and the shooter moved somewhat. Another photo shows Maggie under a blanket with her feet facing the dog house near the kennels. Markers show bullet casings and a piece of brain material belonging to Maggie.

A photo of the side-by-side ATV shows a damaged earring that was blown over to that direction from Maggie’s left ear. Palmbach says blood on Maggie’s lower body came from her head wound. Maggie’s shooter would possibly have blood spatter on them, Palmbach says. The shooter was within three feet of Maggie.

Palmbach believes there were two shooters, based on Paul’s shooter would have to be in front of Paul’s head and the impact of the second shot would have possibly injured the shooter and covered the shooter with biological material. That shooter, for a brief period of time, was out of it, Palmbach believes. All things are very temporial, very close together time-wise. Paul shot first, didn’t see it coming. Palmbach says anyone in the area would have heard the shots and Maggie’s response would have been either run to the sound or toward Paul. A logical argument would be why bring two guns to the scene and if one is the 300 Blackout. The rifle comes with a high-round capacity clip and only eight shots were fired. Palmbach says in his opinion, Paul’s shooter was one step into the feed room when the first shot was fired. He says more could have been done to find footprints in the feed room by spraying reagents in the area that would enhance footwear patterns. Dirt in the area should also been analyzed, according to Palmbach.

No fingerprint analysis of the feed room has been seen, says Palmbach.


Palmbach said he reviewed evidence provided to him and did not provide a written report. To his knowledge he does no know if he received all of the evidence.  

Other than Paul’s footprints and some partial footprints, Palmbach cannot see any other prints. He says Paul’s shoes aren’t excluded and hasn’t seen the reports other than those supplied to him.

The blood in right corner of doorframe had no pellet defects, only on the top of the doorframe? Yes

When you fire a shotgun, the impact is all around rather than in the direction of the shot? It looks like a bomb going off if it is contained.

Most of the brain was intact? Physically intact

It was found as a mass on the ground? Yes

Paul’s face not destroyed by this second shot? Palmbach explains because the pent-up shot energy followed the easiest path for expansion to exit -- which was back through the entrance of the wound.

John Marvin Murdaugh

John Marvin is Alex’s brother, owns equipment rental businesses in Hampton and Okatie, and is the only Murdaugh that didn’t go to law school.

He describes his family as normal, doing normal family things. Father Randolph passed on June 10, 2021, mother Libby still alive.

Randolph in and out of hospitals in early 2021, John Marvin lives in Beaufort and would visit parents but not as often as Alex or Randy. Routine for brothers to check on parents because of proximity. Randy lives in Hampton, Lynn in Summerville, Alex at Moselle are closer to the parents.

John Marvin knew Paul very well, had a special relationship. Nicknamed “little rooster” and “PauPau.” Family called him PauPau.

Paul worked for John Marvin prior to June 2021, and the two summers before that at John Marvin’s Okatie/Bluffton store.

John Marvin describes the relationship of Paul, Buster and Alex as close. They hunted together at John Marvin’s property. John Marvin said Alex and Maggie had a good marriage. They, like everyone else, had ups and downs but it was a great relationship. Alex and Maggie would have family trips, vacations, welcoming Buster and Paul’s friends.

John Marvin owns Greenfield where Paul and Buster would hunt.

John Marvin experienced Paul leaving guns and clothes at his house. Paul went duck hunting at Greenleaf and John Marvin went back to the blind a week later and found Paul’s clothing in the blind.

He doesn’t carry a gun when he rides his property; never had a gun when hunting with his father.

John Marvin didn’t pick up his father from the hospital but took him to the doctor in Savannah on June 7. Randolph was having breathing issues and was placed in the hospital after the doctor’s appointment. John Marvin understood Randolph’s cancer wasn’t causing the issues, probably pneumonia. John Marvin sent text messages to Randy and to family with updates on Randolph’s health. Family learned on Tuesday, June 8, Randolph would be coming home under hospice care. He died on June 10.

There were some vehicles being switched around on June 7 – Randy knew Randolph needed to see his doctor and asked John Marvin to take him. Randy got the appointment set but their father needed to be there right away, so Randy met John Marvin in Ridgeland to pass his father off to get to Savannah for the appointment. Randy took John Marvin’s truck and John Marvin has his mother’s car. Paul was working at John Marvin ‘s and John Marvin called Paul to drive Libby’s car to Almeda and pick up John Marvin’s truck and drive it to work at John Marvin’s the next day. Paul’s normal truck was in the shop getting worked on. John Marvin said Paul was dirty from work, playing with John Marvin’s kids in the yard the last time he saw Paul.

John Marvin said Alex called him about Paul’s death. He said Alex had called earlier while Alex was on the way to Almeda and sounded normal.

John Marvin thinks Alex said Paul and Maggie had been hurt and asked him to please come to Moselle. John Marvin had Paul’s farm truck and drove that to Moselle. On the way, Randy calls him and asks him to get in touch with another law partner. John Marvin said the farm truck broke down on him and he called Yemassee Police Chief Greg Alexander to meet him in Yemassee. Alexander passed John Marvin on the road and when the truck quit on him, John Marvin called Alexander to get him. John Marvin wasn’t sure if there were any guns in the farm truck. He didn’t look for guns, he was concerned about getting to Moselle.

John Marvin said there were “lights flashing and tons of people, first responders of some sort” when he got to Moselle. They went through the main gate and saw Alex, he jumped out of Alexander’s car and ran to him. Alex was distraught. John Marvin says they hugged and cried. They stayed adjacent to the crime scene for a while, didn’t go to the house until 2 or 3 a.m. after arriving around 10:30 or 11p.m.

John Marvin doesn’t remember seeing SLED there. Other people – law partners and family – were there. John Marvin saw pots and pans and people cleaning up the kitchen. He doesn’t remember the television being on but had never been there when it wasn’t on.

John Marvin went to Almeda with Alex, Buster and Brookland that night. He remembers Alex wearing a t-shirt and shorts. He thinks Alex had a shower. John Marvin said he didn’t get too much sleep that night.

Next day, John Marvin says he got up and Alex was already up. John Marvin told him he was going to Greenfield to shower and put on fresh clothes and would meet them at Moselle. John Marvin said he was the first one there and waited for others to arrive. John Marvin doesn’t remember if the house was unlocked.

John Marvin eventually went to the kennels after the others got there. He said he needed to see the scene to understand and try to process it. He said he doesn’t remember how long he stayed there. He reached out to a friend in law enforcement before he went down there, and his friend gave him the OK to go there. The scene was not cleaned up. John Marvin saw where Maggie had been in the grass. He walked over to the feed room and saw blood and brains and pieces of skull and for some reason, John Marvin thought it was the right thing to do to clean up the scene. He said he was overwhelmed, in disbelief. John Marvin told Randy he was cleaning the scene.

Mark Ball shows up about 20 minutes later and John Marvin said Ball told to go back to the house and the others would clean up the scene. Ball got John Marvin back to the house and back to his family.

John Marvin said back at the house, people (law partners) were asking about Maggie’s phone and was told her phone wasn’t there and was lost. Someone suggested using Find My Phone or Find My Friends app to find the phone and that’s how John Marvin located Maggie’s phone. John Marvin approached a SLED agent and showed them the app on Buster’s phone where the app was pinging Maggie’s phone. John Marvin said SLED told him they had technology coming and didn’t take the phone; John Marvin went to a friend in the solicitor’s office, and they went off toward the ping location.

John Marvin said he was present when the phone was collected. The phone’s location was marked, SLED had blocked off the road and a SLED agent came by and picked up the phone. John Marvin called Alex for Maggie’s phone password and passed the code to law enforcement.

John Marvin is asked if he was aware of the news release saying there was no threat to the public. He said he had and was baffled by it. He said it implied the person who did it was in jail.

John Marvin went back to the house after the phone was found and SLED agents came in and searched the house. John Marvin said he walked Agent Katie McCallister through the house --she was looking for 12-gauge shotgun, 300 Blackout and ammunition that went with those, looking for other things, John Marvin doesn’t know what else. She searched every room in the house, he said. She looked in sinks and showers, according to John Marvin.

John Marvin said there were rifles, shotguns, bow & arrows, and crossbows in the house and in the gunroom. A 20-gauge shotgun in a bedroom wasn’t taken into evidence.

John Marvin said Alex didn’t have a “go to” gun. When Alex shot, John Marvin said he usually used a 20-gauge but had used 12-gauge shotguns in the past.

John Marvin said he came to know Agent David Owen and told Owen to call him if he needed to reach anyone. Alex gave SLED permission/consent to search Moselle. John Marvin said no one asked him for consent to search Almeda but said he would have given consent and taken them over there should they have asked.

SLED did go to Greenfield on June 10 to interview Alex, Randy, Buster and John Marvin. Agents conducted the interviews in their cars, simultaneously, one car for each person. During Alex’s interview of June 10, Alex says “they did him so bad,” according to John Marvin. He said he heard Alex say that many times before the trial.

After the murders, John Marvin or other family members were with Alex. John Marvin made a conscious effort to stay with Alex. Alex’s demeanor was broken, destroyed. “Words do not do it justice.” Through the summer, John Marvin doesn’t know how Alex was coping. Alex was losing weight.

Conrad asks John Marvin: On June 7, did folks at Moselle raise questions about potential motive related to the boating accident? John Marvin said he heard it many times and Chief Alexander mentioned it and had asked John Marvin about it. John Marvin was aware of the accident and the charges facing Paul. He said there was no backlash in the community but on social media, totally blown out of proportion about what was said about Paul and Alex.

John Marvin called Michael Paul on June 7 while he was at the crime scene at Moselle and MP asked if it was related to the boat accident.

At Almeda, John Marvin is asked where he routinely parks. He said there are a couple of spots – at the carport (or in the dirt beside it) at the side door, or he pulled around to the grass along the back of the house.

John Marvin looks at the OnStar GPS data from June 7 at Almeda. He says the back of the house is where he parked yesterday when he went to Almeda to visit his mother on her birthday. The back of the house was where their father stayed when he was alive, and his mom and dad didn’t use the front of the house.

The cook house is about 60-80 yards from the back of the house at Almeda.

Prior to Labor Day weekend 2021, John Marvin didn’t know Alex had an opioid addiction. John Marvin had been on a fishing trip and got back Saturday night. He and Randy took Alex to a detox center in Atlanta that night. Randy and Alex were in Savannah and Alex was undergoing withdrawals, thrashing and kicking his legs, and couldn’t control himself (soiling himself in the back seat).

After spending time in Atlanta, Alex went to Orlando for rehab and was more subdued, he slept a lot and John Marvin said he would wake and jerk forward like from a bad dream, like he when he found Paul and Maggie.

John Marvin was present when SLED searched Almeda and a coat was seized. John Marvin doesn’t know what kind of coat, but it was found “back on the property.” John Marvin said he told SLED it was probably his father’s.

John Marvin said in a later interview with SLED, he was shown a blue raincoat and asked to listen to a video recording. At this point John Marvin was told the coat had been found in a closet. John Marvin said he doesn’t know why he was told the coat was found in two different places. He says he’d never seen the blue coat and thinks the coat came from an upstairs closet that holds items in storage and junk.

Griffin asks him, did Randolph carry guns? Not like Paul, who always had guns. Randolph may go dove hunting and the gun might ride around with him for two weeks. During hunting season, there would be guns. Randolph had one gun that John Marvin never saw Randolph cleaned.

John Marvin said SLED would update him when he called David Owen. John Marvin was told of some evidence against Alex, and some turned out to be inaccurate – SLED asked John Marvin =, Randy and Lynn to identify a coat and a recording.

Agent Ryan Neal relayed to John Marvin, Randy and Lynn that a t-shirt Alex was wearing on June 7 was covered with blood and -- it allegedly appears on a body cam video -- Alex takes the bottom of the shirt and wipes sweat from his face and that’s how SLED knows Alex was the one who killed Paul and Maggie.

John Marvin says Alex had a good relationship with Maggie’s parents.

John Marvin said at the kennels on June 8, he made a promise to Paul he would find out who did this to him. John Marvin said he hasn’t found out.


Conrad asks about the cooperation he and Randy provided to SLED. To John Marvin’s knowledge Alex was fully cooperating with SLED. John Marvin believed anytime SLED asked for anything, he would provide cooperation. Alex didn’t tell him, but it seemed to John Marvin he was cooperating.

John Marvin said he learned about Alex being at the kennels during a SLED interview on August 12, 2022.

Before August 2022, did Alex tell you he was at the kennels? No

Did he tell you after you listened to the video? No

By not telling SLED he was at the kennels, that is not Alex providing full cooperation?  No, he lied

John Marvin said Paul usually drove a white F-150 Platinum pickup truck, but it was in for service that Monday. At the end of the day, Paul was driving John Marvin’s F-150 to Moselle on June 7.

John Marvin went to Moselle after Alex called him and when John Marvin got to Moselle, he saw his truck parked in front of the house at Moselle. John Marvin’s keys were in the ignition, where Paul left them. The farm truck John Marvin was driving broke down on Hwy 63 and he left it there and got a ride with Chief Alexander to Moselle.

John Marvin was not aware Alex had loaned money to Chief Alexander over the years.

John Marvin says he was not aware of Alex’s opioid addiction before September 2021. John Marvin had not seen him as often but had no reason to suspect Alex was on pills. To John Marvin’s observations, Alex was operating as normal.

On June 8, John Marvin was the first at Moselle and doesn’t remember when Blanca got to Moselle, but it was after he arrived.

In the gun room, John Marvin was in the main part of the house when SLED was there and went into the gun room to make sure agents had full access. John Marvin doesn’t recall who was there but several of the law partners were in the gun room.

On June 10, agents come to Greenfield to interview John Marvin, Randy, Alex, and Buster. John Marvin offered the agents to come inside the house, he doesn’t remember one of the agents coming in and introducing himself.

On October 12, 2021, SLED came to John Marvin’s house for an interview with him, his wife and Buster. John Marvin sat in on the interview with his wife. He does not recall the blue jacket coming up with interview with Buster. John Marvin says there was no blue jacket discussed at that interview, to the best of his knowledge.

Driving Alex to detox after Labor Day and said Alex woke up as if from a dream about June 7. John Marvin said that was his impression, Alex didn’t say anything about what woke him.

The day of June 7, John Marvin and Randy sent out calls and texts about father’s health. June 7 was a hopeful day that it was pneumonia not cancer. John Marvin said he sent one group text that Alex was included on – just a family group text. If Alex told Jeanne Seckinger that his father was terminal, John Marvin said one or both of them were wrong -- if Jeanne said it, she was wrong.

Conrad asks John Marvin, would you say the Murdaugh name and legacy is important to you? Yes, I think it’s important, all families are important.

Check back throughout the day for the latest updates 

Murdaugh Testimony Recap 

The case resumes after hearing almost exclusively from the defendant for two days to close out last week. 

Murdaugh tearfully told the jurors that while he was a man who'd been caught in lies about stealing money and his whereabouts on the night of the killing, he was not lying when he said he did not shoot and kill his family. Murdaugh said he lied about going to the dog kennels minutes before his family were killed because he had paranoia about law enforcement. 

He also admitted to a oxycodone pill addiction that led him to spend millions on the drugs and consume a staggering 60 pills a day. 

Lead prosecutor Creighton Waters, however, blistered Murdaugh with question after question about his shifting stories, event accusing Murdaugh of changing his version of events to fit evidence presented during the trial. 

Waters ended his cross-examination by rattling off the names of about four dozen people — starting with Maggie and Paul Murdaugh and running through his family, friends, law partners, clients and police. He asked Alex Murdaugh if he lied to them and Murdaugh agreed on most.

The prosecutor then showed body camera video of the first officer to respond to the shooting. With the bodies of his wife and son visible, Murdaugh said he hadn’t seen them for 45 minutes before he left his home. That too, Murdaugh admitted on the stand, was a lie. 

If convicted Murdaugh could face a maximum penalty of life in prison. 

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