(NewsNation) — As Alex Murdaugh’s double murder trial is set to begin, his defense team insists he is innocent.
Jonna Spilbor, criminal defense attorney and legal analyst, discussed the possible finger-pointing strategy Murdaugh’s defense team will likely take to prove his innocence.
“His defense attorneys have pretty much signaled that they are going to point the finger of the culprit being not Alex Murdaugh, but instead his cousin Eddie, as he’s known in South Carolina,” Spilbor said. “The same person who Alex Murdaugh hired to fake his own murder.”
Curtis “Cousin Eddie” Smith was arrested in connection with an insurance fraud scheme involving Murdaugh.
A few months after the deaths of Maggie and Paul Murdaugh, Alex Murdaugh was shot in the head while changing a tire on his vehicle.
The wound was superficial and Curtis Smith was arrested. Investigators said Alex Murdaugh provided Curtis Smith with the gun used and hired Curtis Smith to kill him, in an attempt to ensure his son would receive insurance benefits after his death.
“I really think the defense is going to be pointing the finger at this third-party culpability,” Spilbor said. “It’s going to make for an interesting defense.”
Spilbor also discussed a possible blood spatter on the shirt that Murdaugh was wearing the night his son and wife were murdered and why it is critically important to both sides of the legal argument.
“It’s very big, because on the one hand, the defense is claiming, ‘hey, wait a minute, this shirt is now gone, we did not have an opportunity to forensically test that shirt ourselves,’ which Alex Murdaugh should have had the right to do,” Spilbor said. “So we can’t just go by what the prosecution wants to claim could have put Alex Murdaugh at the scene of the crime.”
Spilbor also said the blood spatter is a critical piece of evidence and “because it was destroyed or disappeared or never was properly tested. That’s going to be big for the defense, in this case.”