WALTERBORO, SC (WSPA) – Jurors in the Alex Murdaugh double murder trial are hearing about his financial situation around the time of the killings.
Most of Tuesday’s testimony surrounded what colleagues at his former law firm had discovered.
The former South Carolina attorney is accused of shooting and killing his wife Maggie and son Paul in June 2021.
Prosecutors claim Murdaugh committed the murders to stop his financial scheme from coming to light.
Judge Clifton Newman ruled the jury could listen to testimony related to the alleged financial crimes. The state said this evidence is being used to prove a motive.
The CFO of Murdaugh’s former law firm testified for hours Tuesday. Jeanne Seckinger detailed how she, and others, uncovered how Murdaugh was supposedly stealing money from the firm and clients.
Seckinger testified Murdaugh was funneling money from legal settlements into an account for a fake business he made. That business had a similar name to a company the law firm was originally sending the money to.
She testified she asked Murdaugh about $792,000 in missing fees on the day of the killings. During that conversation, Murdaugh found out his father’s health had taken a turn for the worse. Seckinger testified their conversation about the money stopped after that.
Lead prosecutor Creighton Waters asked, “After the murders happened was anyone at all concerned about getting proof of the missing fees at that point in time?” Seckinger said they were more worried about Murdaugh’s well-being.
Murdaugh’s defense team pointed out the firm didn’t receive any complaints from clients about missing money until after the murders. Attorney Jim Griffin said, “It seems to me on June 7th you didn’t observe some pressure cooker going off within the firm about how Murdaugh was handling his business?”
According to Seckinger, they determined that Murdaugh took millions of dollars that were meant for clients. Murdaugh was forced to resign from the law firm in September 2021 after they got a full scope of these alleged misdeeds.
Tuesday afternoon, SLED agent Megan Fletcher testified she found a large amount of gunshot residue inside a blue rain jacket found at the home of Murdaugh’s parents.
Fletcher said the particles she found were consistent with someone wearing the jacket inside out while firing a gun or by wrapping up a recently fired weapon in the jacket.
Murdaugh’s attorneys had asked for the rain jacket evidence to be tossed out because prosecutors didn’t do a good job tying the evidence to Murdaugh.
The item was entered into evidence after the caregiver for Murdaugh’s mother testified she saw Murdaugh with a ‘blue something’ like a tarp. While executing a search warrant at the house months after the murders, a blue tarp and a large blue rain jacket were found.
Murdaugh’s defense team is expected to cross-examine Fletcher Wednesday morning.