Attorney: Alex Murdaugh’s defense team trying to shift blame

Southeast

(NewsNation) — Prosecutors revealed this week that prominent South Carolina attorney Alex Murdaugh, who is charged with killing his wife and son last year, waited over an hour to call 911 after he allegedly shot them to death.

It’s the latest development in a long and sordid legal case that also involves Curtis Eddie Smith, an associate who is accused of attempting to kill Murdaugh in an insurance fraud scheme. Aimee Zmroczek, Smith’s lawyer, says the defense team is trying to shift blame away from Murdaugh.

Murdaugh’s attorneys in a filing last week sought to enter Smith as a suspect, pointing to a polygraph examination he allegedly failed during an interview with state law enforcement officials.

Zmroczek said it’s merely an attempt to cast doubt on the credibility of her client, whom the state plans to call as a witness.

“This polygraph has nothing to do with anything, and it’s inadmissible evidence,” Zmroczek said Friday on “CUOMO.” “It’s a way to try to taint the jury’s perception of who my client is.”

Smith is accused of working with Murdaugh in a botched suicide-for-hire plot to collect $10 million in life insurance money for Murdaugh’s eldest son, Buster. Alex Murdaugh survived the shooting, which Zmroczek said her client did not do, though she conceded he was there when it happened.

Prosecutors have also charged Smith with laundering money for Murdaugh to the tune of $2.4 million.

The details about the timeline came during a court hearing Thursday in which prosecutors revealed more information about the June 7, 2021, killings of Paul and Maggie Murdaugh. The pair were found dead on their estate with multiple gunshot wounds in what police have described as “execution-style” killings.

In a dispute over compelling the elder Murdaugh to produce an alibi for the night of the murders, prosecutors said he was at the estate between 8:44 p.m. and 9:06 p.m., an hour before he made a 911 call to report he found the two bodies, WCCB reported. The judge ruled Murdaugh must provide an alibi.

Thursday’s court hearing also revolved around other evidentiary disputes in the case. Defense attorneys claimed Smith’s DNA that was collected in January has never been compared with DNA found on Paul and Maggie, The State newspaper reported.

Investigators also only found three particles of gunshot residue on Murdaugh’s clothing, and one particle on his hands. Defense attorneys argued that if he had killed his wife and son, Murdaugh would have had more gunshot residue on him, The State reported.

Murdaugh has pleaded not guilty and his trial is scheduled to begin in January.

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