Alex Murdaugh faces 30 years to life in prison if he is found guilty

Alex Murdaugh faces 30 years to life in prison if he is found guilty

During the trial of Alex Murdaugh, the State Attorney General of South Carolina, Alan Wilson, dramatically pointed a shotgun at the back of crime-scene expert Kenneth Kinsey’s head. Wilson was dismissing the “preposterous” defence against Murdaugh murdering his wife and son. After checking that the shotgun was unloaded, Wilson used the weapon to reenact how the defence claimed one of two killers stood over Murdaugh’s son, Paul, 22, and shot him in the head. Kinsey demonstrated the defence’s theory of how Paul and his mom, Maggie, 52, were killed in dog kennels at one of their estates in June 2021.

The defence argued that the killer was likely to be no more than 5-foot-4, but Kinsey had “zero confidence” in the theory that the shooter fired upward. The crime scene expert dismissed the defence’s theory as “preposterous,” noting that there were “no defects, no cracks in the cement” and “no high-velocity blood spatter on the floor.” Kinsey also knocked the idea that the gunman had “squeezed up past” Paul “to go inside to shoot him back out,” emphasizing that the pellets found on the scene also failed to suggest it.

Kinsey was the last witness, and closing arguments were set to start on Wednesday after more than a month of testimony. The jurors were scheduled to visit the Murdaugh family estate, known as Moselle, for a “jury view” of the crime scene before returning to the courtroom to hear final remarks from the prosecution and the defence. Judge Clifton Newman expected the jury would return to court for closing arguments around 11 a.m. ET.

Murdaugh, the 54-year-old scion of an influential legal family in an area west of Charleston, admitted lying to investigators and his family about being at the crime scene until moments before his wife and son were murdered. However, he has always denied the killings. He faces 30 years to life in prison if he is found guilty. Even if he is cleared, he is expected to spend decades in prison for other crimes, some of which he again admitted during his own testimony during his double-murder trial. They include stealing millions from clients and his own family law firm and a crazed scheme to have himself killed so that his surviving son, Buster, could collect a $10 million insurance payout. Murdaugh also admitted to a years-long addiction to opioids.

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