Alex Murdaugh sobs as prosecution plays chilling video from murder scene

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A close friend of the Murdaughs today told the jury he is 100% positive that Alex, Paul and Maggie's voices were in a cell phone video taken at the crime scene minutes before the murders.

Rogan Gibson, who described the Murdaughs as his 'second family', listened to a video taken by Paul at 8.44pm at the dog kennels where the 22-year-old was shot dead with his mother Maggie shortly after 8.49pm on June 7, 2021.

Gibson told jurors he was positive he could hear Paul, Maggie and Alex in the footage. Paul had promised to send Gibson the video of his dog who he was looking after - but it was never sent despite the pair talking on the phone moments before.

Prosecutors say Paul couldn't send the video as promised because Murdaugh had shot him dead with a shotgun before turning a rifle on his mother. 

Gibson's testimony contradicts Murdaugh's claim that the last time he saw Maggie, 52, and Paul alive was when they were having supper at the house on the estate in Islandton, South Carolina. The disgraced attorney, 54, told cops he only saw them at the kennels when he arrived back from his mother's home to find them dead. 

Scroll down for LIVE video. 

Murdaugh wept at the defense table as the video was played to the court Wednesday. Paul's voice can be heard speaking to the dog as he tries to film its tail, the prosecution says that a woman speaking in the background is Maggie, and the third male voice heard is Murdaugh


Alex Murdaugh, 54, is accused of shooting his wife, Maggie, 52, and younger son Paul, 22, at the family's hunting estate in Islandton, South Carolina, on the night of June 7, 2021. 

Here are the key events in the timeline laid out by prosecutors:

At 7.56pm, Paul sent a Snapchat video to friends showing the 22-year-old riding around the estate with his father.

At 8.15pm, Murdaugh's wife Maggie arrived home and the trio ate dinner together. Autopsies showed similar stomach contents in Maggie and Paul.

About 8.30pm, Paul's phone starts moving towards the kennels. 

Then at 8.44pm, a second video taken by Paul at the kennels - soon to become a murder scene - allegedly proves that Maggie, Paul and Alex were together.

At 8.49pm the prosecution say Paul's phone locked and went silent forever, never to send another text or make another call.

Between 9pm and 9.30pm, Paul and Maggie were killed - according to the coroner.

At 9.06pm, Murdaugh's car is fired up.

The alleged killer said he went to go visit his mother, who is in the late stages of Alzheimer's disease, in Almeda - around a 15-minute drive. 

At 10.07pm, Murdaugh called 911 claiming he had arrived home a to find his wife and son shot dead.

Gibson told the court that he learned of the murders early the following morning. He drove down to Moselle, as the Murdaugh's estate is known, to pick up his dog and then met with detectives.

They asked to see his phone and he described having a phone conversation with Paul about a problem with his dog's tail the night before at 8.40pm.

Gibson told the cops he was '99% sure' that he could hear Murdaugh's voice in the background during that call.

Gibson told jurors he met police again in November 22 and they showed him the video Paul took of his dogs at the kennels.

Prosecutor Creighton Waters asked: 'Did you recognize the voices of your second family?'

Gibson said: 'I did.' 

Waters asked Gibson if he ever spoke to Murdaugh about hearing his voice in the video.

'No sir,' he told the court.

Waters followed up: 'Not a subject you wanted to talk about?'

Gibson replied: 'That is correct.'

The young man said he spent a lot of time at Moselle after the killings and recalled telling Maggie's mother, Kennedy Branstetter - who Gibson affectionately knows as Grandma.

'I told her I heard Mr Alec,' he said.

Waters asked: 'Did [Murdaugh] stand up and say, no I wasn't there?'

Gibson replied: 'He did not.' 

Earlier, Maggie's iPhone records showed how her husband of 28 years made a series of calls and texts to her in the frantic minutes after her death.

Murdaugh called Maggie three times between 9.04pm and 9.06pm, and then twice more at 9.45pm and 10.03pm. Prosecutors suggest the calls were an effort 'to manufacture an alibi.'

Paul's phone locked at 8.49pm and 35 seconds and Maggie's locked at 8.49pm and 31 seconds. Neither victim read another text or picked up another call ever again. 

Rogan Gibson testified he heard Alex, Paul and Maggie at the kennels at 8.44pm on the night of the killings. That contradicts Murdaugh's claim he was never at the kennels until after the pair were killed

Murdaugh cries as the footage Paul took of the dog was played - the last moments he shared with his son and wife before they were killed

Murdaugh with his wife Maggie and sons Paul (right) and Buster. Buster was staying with his girlfriend near Charlotte when his mother and brother were killed

However, after Maggie's phone locked, it recorded steps during the time prosecutors say she was dead.

Jurors heard that the iPhone's sensors proved the device was picked up by somebody at 9.06pm. Just two seconds later the device received a call from Murdaugh.

But the defense later attacked the theory that Murdaugh was holding his wife's phone at the murder scene. 

Defense attorney Phillip Barber said that the steps recorded on Alex's phone did not match up, as would be expected if they were both being held by the defendant.

Lt. Dove agreed with Barber, saying: 'I would expect to see steps on both phones, yes sir.' 

The prosecution had Dove confirm that between 8.09pm and 9.02pm, Murdaugh's phone stopped recording steps. Prior to this, the device had recorded regular movement.

Prosecutor John Conrad paused testimony to note this hour-long break. The state alleges Murdaugh killed his wife and son at 8.50pm.

Maggie's cell data 

At 8.49pm, Maggie received a text from Alex's sister as part of a group chat about the family patriarch Randolph III's failing health. This was the final message marked as 'read' on Maggie's iPhone. 

A text at 9.08pm from Alex to Maggie was never read. At 9.47pm Alex texted her, saying: 'Call me babe.'

Buster Murdaugh, left, and his girlfriend Brooklynn White watch a video clip from Buster's brother Paul's phone in the double murder trial

Alex Murdaugh covers his face during his double murder trial at the Colleton County Courthouse in Walterboro on Wednesday

After Maggie's iPhone locked and went silent forever, sensors on the phone picked up movement. It recorded 59 steps from 8.53pm to 8.55pm.

Lt Dove, who assessed the cell phone, told jurors Tuesday how the phone orientation changed at 8.53pm, waking the screen and activating its camera for Face ID.

Dove told jurors that, based on this evidence, it appeared that someone who was not Maggie picked up the phone. The camera activated and scanned their face, but the phone did not unlock.

Maggie's phone orientation shifted again to portrait at 9.06pm, indicating that it was held in someone's hand.

Two seconds later, the phone gets an incoming call from Murdaugh.

MURDAUGH'S LAST TEXT AND CALLS TO HIS WIFE: At 9.47pm Alex Murdaugh texted Maggie, saying: 'Call me babe.' The prosecution say she had been dead almost an hour by this point. The phone also shows Maggie's missed calls, including five from Alex on the night of the murders

PAUL'S FRIEND ROGAN GIBSON'S LAST TEXTS TO MAGGIE AND PAUL: Gibson texted Paul about his dog, who was being cared for at the Murdaugh kennels, at 8.49pm, following a conversation they had on the phone. That message went unanswered. Gibson then sent a text to Maggie at 9.34pm, saying: 'Tell Paul to call me'

Maggie's phone was discovered on a roadside about a quarter mile from the crime scene the following afternoon. 

The defense suggested to Dove that the orientation change logged at 9.06pm could indicate the phone being tossed out of a window of a getaway car.

Murdaugh's steps recorded by his phone on murder night

6:42:12 p.m-6:43:55 p.m. - 57 steps

6:52:27-7:02:05 p.m. - 283 steps

7:03:55-7:11:29 p.m. - 165 steps

7:15:35-7:21:52 p.m. - 200 steps

7:28:35-7:37:11 p.m. - 47 steps

7:41:23-7:48:41 p.m. - 29 steps

7:55:32-8:05:07 p.m. - 270 steps

8:05:35-8:09:52 p.m. - 74 steps


9:02:18-9:06:47 p.m. - 283 steps 

The defense theory is that Paul and Maggie were killed in revenge for the fatal boating accident in which the 22-year-old youngest Murdaugh son was driving under the influence. The crash killed 19-year-old Mallory Beach.

Barber floated the idea that the killer or killers had thrown Maggie's phone out of their vehicle after becoming freaked out when Alex made the call.

Paul's cell data

Paul's phone was found lying on top of his back after Murdaugh told cops he placed it there after it fell out of his son's pocket while he was checking his body.

The 22-year-old's call logs showed he rang his friend Rogan Gibson from the kennels at 8.44pm. The pair were discussing Gibson's dog, which Paul was looking after.

This is the Labrador which Paul was trying to film in the video, which the prosecution says proves Alex was at the murder scene. 

Five minutes later, at 8.49pm, Gibson messaged Paul: 'See if you can get a good picture of it. Marion wants to send it to a girl we know that's a vet. Get him to sit and stay. He shouldn't move around too much.' 

That message went unanswered.

Dove told jurors that the last text Paul read was at 8.48pm. This is also the same time as the last text Paul ever sent, a movie recommendation for a girl he was chatting to. He suggested A Star Is Born.

Gibson tried calling Paul five times between 9.10pm and 10.08pm.

At 9.34pm, Gibson sent a message to Paul's mother Maggie, saying: 'Tell Paul to call me.' But she didn't respond. 

He sent a final follow-up text to Paul at 9.58pm, which simply said: 'Yo.'

Paul's phone logged regular steps throughout the evening, but after 283 steps between 8.32pm and 8.42pm, his phone recorded no more movement. A few steps here and there are not necessarily recorded by an iPhone.

Murdaugh arrives at court Wednesday on day eight of his blockbuster trial at the Colleton County Courthouse in South Carolina

Buster and John Marvin arrive at court Wednesday

Murdaugh's narrative 

Murdaugh claims that the last time he saw his wife and son was when they had supper together around 8.15pm. 

He said he fell asleep in front of the TV while Maggie and Paul went down to the kennels.

The alleged killer said he tried calling Maggie before going to visit his mother, who is in the late stages of Alzheimer's disease. Call logs show Murdaugh tried ringing Maggie three times between 9.04pm and 9.06pm. She did not pick up.

He fired up his Chevrolet Suburban at 9.06pm and he texted Maggie that he would be right back and was going to check on his mother, who lives around 15 minutes away.

Murdaugh called his wife twice more - apparently on his way back home - at 9.45pm and 10.03pm. She did not answer.

Waters told jurors last week, it is 'up to you to decide whether he's trying to create an alibi.'

Murdaugh claims that when he arrived back at the house, he found Maggie and Paul lying dead at the kennels. He called 911 at 10.07pm.

Alex and Maggie's marriage announcement was published in the August 15, 1993 edition of The State Sunday 

 Maggie and Paul Murdaugh as a young couple (left) and Maggie with her sons Paul and Buster and her mother Kennedy Branstetter 

Murdaugh out hunting with Paul (right) in images uploaded to Maggie's Facebook page

However, the prosecution allege that Murdaugh was with Maggie and Paul at the kennels.

Citing the video, Waters told jurors last week: 'The evidence will show that he was there. He was at the murder scene with the two victims.

'More than that, just over three minutes later, 8.49pm and one second, Paul's phone locks forever. Never reads another text, he never sends another text, he doesn't answer calls.

'Three minutes after that video has the defendant at the murder scene with the two victims, Paul's cell phone goes silent forever.' 

The coroner estimates that Paul and Maggie died between 9pm and 9.30pm.

Murdaugh weeps inside a detective's car during his second police interview on June 10 - three days after the killing

Overhead view of the hangar and kennels at Moselle where Maggie and Paul were shot dead

Murdaugh claimed he had been visiting his elderly mother who suffers from Alzheimer's and arrived home to find Maggie and Paul dead near the estate's dog kennels

The trial is taking place at the Colleton County Courthouse in Walterboro, a sleepy, rural town 50 miles west of Charleston in a low-lying region of South Carolina over which the Murdaugh family has wielded immense judicial and political power.

Indeed, in the courtroom where Murdaugh faces judgment, a portrait of his late grandfather - legendary longtime 14th Circuit Solicitor Buster Murdaugh Jr. - had hung on the wall before it was removed ahead of the trial.

Prosecutors have said Murdaugh killed his wife and child to generate sympathy and distract from his financial crimes, an alleged motive that Murdaugh's lawyers have argued doesn't make sense.

But he has adamantly insisted from the moment he found the bodies of his wife and youngest son shot multiple times that he was not the killer. 

WHERE PAUL DIED: Blood spatters on the floor inside the storage room at the kennels where Paul Murdaugh was shot dead. He was killed with a shot to the chest and a second to the head

WHERE MAGGIE DIED: A pool of blood outside the kennels where Maggie Murdaugh was shot dead with two AR bullets to the head 

Alex Murdaugh pictured with his wife Maggie and their two sons Paul (left) and Buster

Following the murder trial, Murdaugh will have to face more than 100 additional criminal charges, ranging from drug trafficking to allegations that he stole nearly $9million from clients and other attorneys. 

Prosecutors say Murdaugh lured his wife and son to their 1,700-acre hunting lodge and shot them dead.

The state also claims that his life was spiraling out of control amid years of opioid addiction and ballooning debts.

Murdaugh pleaded not guilty in June, and the blockbuster trial is expected to include wild allegations of dark family secrets, financial ruin and hedonistic excess.  

In total, over 220 people could testify against Murdaugh in the trial. 



In his second interview with cops on June 10, 2021 - three days after the killings - Murdaugh was asked about the 'traumatic picture' he encountered on finding Maggie and Paul.

Jurors on Monday were played the audio in which Murdaugh can be heard saying: 'It's just so bad, I did him so bad'.

Prosecutor Waters paused the video to ask special agent Jeff Croft to clarify what Murdaugh said. Croft repeated: 'It's just so bad, I did him so bad.'

But Murdaugh shook his head defiantly in court as he reacted to Croft's interpretation of the audio and appeared to tell his lawyers: 'I did not say that.'

However, his legal team did not object and the recording continued to play.

Detectives at the time did not seize on the alleged admission as Murdaugh continued to tell them of Paul: 'He was such a good boy too'. 


Murdaugh told 911 about Paul's boat accident, claiming that his son had 'been threatened for months.'

The first cop to arrive said Murdaugh 'immediately started telling' him about the February 2019 accident that left 19-year-old Mallory Beach dead.

'I know that's what this is,' he said.

At the time of Paul's death, the 22-year-old was facing trial for driving under the influence in the boat crash.

The defense theory is that somebody killed Maggie and Paul Murdaugh as revenge for the accident.

Prosecutors claim Murdaugh deliberately made the comments to divert suspicion away from himself.


The first responders so far have all agreed that Murdaugh was not crying.

Although he appeared and sounded upset, police officers and firemen have stated that there were no tears in the attorney's eyes.

Murdaugh's demeanor will play a central role in the case. Prosecutor Creighton Waters told jurors on the opening day to watch the body-worn footage 'closely.'

'Watch those closely. Watch his expressions. Listen to what he's saying and what he's not saying,' Waters said.

Murdaugh sounded lucid throughout his dealings with officers that night, even greeting one by saying: 'How ya doin?'

The defense has argued that Murdaugh was distraught after the killings and had just hours before been having a 'bonding experience' with his son as captured in a Snapchat video taken by Paul with his father.


Murdaugh had no visible blood on his white t-shirt, first responders have told the court.

Police described seeing pools of blood under the bodies of Maggie and Paul.

His defense attorney, Dick Harpootlian, described to jurors how Paul's head 'literally exploded ... like a watermelon.'

Murdaugh earlier told 911 he had checked his wife and son's pulses - but when cops arrived they saw no blood on him.

Jurors heard Friday from Detective Laura Rutland who said Murdaugh was 'clean' from head to toe. Rutland added that it looked like Murdaugh had changed following the murders, noting that she found it odd the defendant was sweating but his clothes were 'dry.' 

Later, forensic expert Melinda Worley said Murdaugh's white t-shirt and khaki shorts reacted positive to a test for blood.

However, she admitted that the test can also be triggered by bleach and rust.


Horrifying body cam footage of the 'butchered' bodies of Maggie and Paul has been played to jurors.

The 12 men and women have covered their mouths at times while Murdaugh has hunched forward to weep.

Fire chief Barry McRoy told the court that when he arrived Paul's 'brains were down by his ankles' and that he checked neither victim because 'both had injuries that were incompatible with life.'

The defense argue that given the brutality of these execution-style killings, it is simply 'not believable' that Murdaugh - a 'loving' husband and father - could have carried them out.


Harpootlian claimed on Monday that 'one reasonable explanation' for the distance between the shots that killed Paul and Maggie was that there were two shooters.

'There are two people there, there are two guns there, one's a shotgun, one's an AR,' he told the court.

Harpootlian suggested that Paul could have been shot by one perpetrator, while another who was acting as 'the lookout' was surprised by Maggie. 

Worley looked bemused, saying 'I wasn't there,' before agreeing with Harpootlian that his theory could be 'one explanation' - not 'the explanation.'


Murdaugh's defense team have attacked several first responders already over their failure to preserve footprints and tire tracks found at the scene.

Sgt. Daniel Greene even noted there were multiple tire tracks in the wet grass which were incompatible with the number of vehicles at the property.

He said he did not inform SLED (state law enforcement) about the evidence because it was 'not part of my job description'.

Harpootlian tore into Greene for failing to take photographs and put anything on his feet to preserve the blood and brains spattered on the ground.

He later ripped another officer for the same reason, telling him: 'You don't know what you're doing.'

Despite his failure to preserve evidence, Greene told the attorney he was 'not aware' of any evidence being destroyed or contaminated.


In the body-worn footage, Murdaugh is heard telling the first cop on the scene that he head been visiting his mother with late stage Alzheimer's.

He said Maggie and Paul had been at the kennels when he left.

But Waters told jurors that data from 'cell phones are going to show otherwise.'

The prosecution say that the timeline established by phone pings places Murdaugh at the property when his wife and son were killed. 

The prosecutor stressed that phone records will be critical in the case and the jury will hear that the Murdaughs were 'prolific' cell phone users.


Murdaugh's second police interview on June 10, 2021 - three days after the killings - was played to jurors Monday.

In it Murdaugh broke down in sobs as he described Maggie as 'a wonderful girl, wonderful wife, great mother'.

Murdaugh told cops 'she always said it was her job to take care of me and the boys, she did everything, she did absolutely everything.'

He said their relationship was 'as good as it could be' and arguments between the pair were rare - but when they would clash it was over the amount of time they spent with her family.

Murdaugh said he and the boys would rather stay at their home than visit his in-laws.

Asked about times of friction in his relationship with Paul, Murdaugh said that he would sometimes have to discipline his son over 'irresponsibility.'

Paul had a tendency to have his belongings 'strung out' everywhere, including clothes and guns.

'He would leave anything anywhere, and it was not unusual for there to be guns out there,' he said.

Murdaugh said his son would go visit friends without packing because he had clothes left everywhere.


SLED agent Jeff Croft was called to the stand where he held aloft an AR-15-style rifle and two 12-guage shotguns recovered from Murdaugh's formidable collection.

The guns are not alleged to have been used in the killings - no murder weapons have ever been identified - but the types of ammunition discovered with the guns corresponds to the shells and rounds by Paul and Maggie's bodies.

The ammunition contained in the rifle - Sellier & Bellot .300 AAC BLK - was the same type used to kill Maggie, Croft told jurors.

The agent also described finding 12-gauge ammo boxes at the home - among them, Federal and Winchester, the same brands as the two shells found near Paul's body. 

The defense objected to the evidence, arguing that showing the series of weaponry to jurors was prejudicial to their client.

'There's no evidence linking these guns to the crime,' Murdaugh attorney Jim Griffin said.

Prosecutor Creighton Waters argued that they were showing how the search for weapons was conducted and how the weapons were tested thoroughly.

Judge Clifton Newman sided with the state and overruled the objections.


In his opening, Waters said gunshot residue was found on the seatbelt of Murdaugh's car, as well as on a raincoat discovered at his mother's home.

Murdaugh says he arrived home to find his wife and son shot dead after visiting his elderly mother, who is in the late stages of Alzheimer's.

However, Murdaugh was in possession of a shotgun when police arrived - which he said he had grabbed from the house because he feared the killers were still 'out there.'

In earlier court filings, the defense argued the amount of residue found was 'inconsistent' with the prosecution theory that Paul was shot at close range. 

The defense say that the prosecution relies solely on circumstantial evidence. 

In his opening, Harpootlian told jurors: 'There's no direct evidence. There's no eyewitnesses. There's nothing on camera. There's no fingerprints. There's no forensics tying him to the crime. None.' 

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