South Carolina jurors on Wednesday watched the last video that Paul Murdaugh made before he was killed—a crucial piece of information that prosecutors say destroys his father’s alibi for the slaying.
Disgraced lawyer Alex Murdaugh has claimed he was nowhere near the dog kennels where Paul and his mother Maggie were slain at the time of the June 7, 2021, crime. But prosecutors say Alex’s voice is on the video.
In the video, played in Colleton County Court on Wednesday and obtained by The Daily Beast, three voices can be heard inside the dog kennels of the Murdaugh family estate.
Paul Murdaugh, 22, is heard speaking to his friend’s brown Labrador and trying to grab what he believed to be his injured tail.
“Hey, he’s gotta bird his mouth,” a voice, a female voice that prosecutors say belongs to Maggie Murdaugh, 52, is heard saying in the 50-second video, allegedly while she spoke to her husband.
The video ended at 8:45 p.m. About five minutes later, prosecutors allege, Alex Murdaugh shot Maggie and Paul in the kennels before fleeing the scene. As the video was played in court on Wednesday, Alex Murdaugh was seen crying at the defense table and rocking back and forth.
The video would be the first piece of information to concretely establish that Murdaugh was near the kennels at the time of the double murder. It also establishes a time of death that prosecutors say more than an hour before Alex Murdaugh called 911 to report the crime.
After the slaying, prosecutors allege, Murdaugh took steps to cover his tracks—calling his friends and family repeatedly before visiting his ailing mother. Among the people, he reached out to included his brother, his friends—and his dead wife.
“Call me babe,” Murdaugh allegedly texted his wife at 9:47 p.m. that night.
By that time, according to witnesses who testified throughout the week, Paul and Maggie’s phones had been locked for about an hour and had ceased responding to phone calls and texts.
Rogan Gibson, whose injured dog was staying at the Murdaugh kennels, contacted both Paul and Maggie the night of the murders.
“Yo,” Gibson messaged Paul at 9:58 p.m., before unsuccessfully attempting to call his friend five times about his Labrador.
When he still had not heard back, Gibson texted Paul’s mother for some help.
“Tell Paul to call me,” Gibson wrote in a 9:34 p.m. text. (Gibson began testifying on Wednesday afternoon.)
Alex Murdaugh, 54, is charged with two counts of murder and two counts of possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime. If convicted, he faces 30 years in prison.
Defense lawyers have argued that Murdaugh, who pleaded not guilty, had no motive to murder his “wonderful” wife and child, and that there is no solid evidence tying him to the slayings, and that he has an alibi.
If the voice on the video is Alex Murdaugh’s, the footage would contradict that. It would also poke holes into Murdaugh’s first interviews with police, in which he said he was not at the kennels and had fallen asleep inside the house while his son and wife were with the dogs.
He also claims that around 9 p.m. he left the house to go check on his mother and return almost an hour later to see nobody home. He said that when he went down to the kennels to check on his family, he found Maggie and Paul in pools of blood.
“It’s up to you to decide whether or not he was trying to manufacture an alibi,” state prosecutor Creighton Waters said last week at the start of Murdaugh’s murder trial.