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Judge continues deliberations on evidence of possible motive in Murdaugh trial

Prosecution focuses on motive in Murdaugh trial

Just hours before the June 2021 murder of Murdaugh's wife Maggie and their son Paul, Murdaugh was questioned by a colleague about nearly $800,000 that he was supposed to have handed over from the settlement of a case, according to testimony from Jeanne Seckinger, the chief financial officer for Park Law Group, Murdaugh's former firm. Seckinger said they suspected Murdaugh kept the money. 

"I told him I had reason to believe that he had received the funds himself and that I needed proof that he had not," Seckinger said, later adding that they "made him resign." 

But the jury did not hear that revelation — at least not yet. It was the judge who listened before deciding whether to allow the confrontation about the missing money be part of the prosecution's case. He plans to continue these hearings without the jury as the legal teams await his final ruling on financial evidence as a whole.

In opening statements, prosecutors argued Murdaugh killed his wife and son to distract from or mask a "storm" of alleged financial crimes that were about to be revealed. Defense argued Alex had no motive to kill his family and are trying to prevent any of the financial information being presented to the jury. 

Earlier this week, in front of the jury, a family friend, Rogan Gibson, identified Murdaugh's voice in a video recorded by his son Paul, minutes before he and his mother were killed.

"Do you recognize Paul's voice?" a prosecutor asked. 

"Yes sir," Gibson responded. 

"Do you recognize Maggie's voice?" the prosecutor asked. 

"Yes sir," Gibson said. 

"Do you recognize Alex's voice?" the prosecutor asked. 

"Yes sir," Gibson said. 

"One-hundred percent?" the prosecutor asked. 

"Yes sir," Gibson responded. 

This contradicts Murdaugh's earlier claims to law enforcement he was nowhere near the kennels that night. 

The defense asked Gibson if he could think of any reason why Murdaugh would brutally murder his wife and son, to which he replied no. But then prosecutors asked Gibson if he was aware of any problems in Murdaugh's finances, to which he also replied no. 

The jury returns midday Friday as prosecutors continue their case. 

  • South Carolina
  • Alex Murdaugh
  • Trial

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