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Video Captured On Paul Murdaugh's Phone Before His Death Calls Alex Murdaugh's Alibi Into Question
Paul appeared to be trying to get images of a dog’s tail in the video as two other voices are heard in the background, just minutes before prosecutors believe Paul and his mom, Maggie, were killed.
Jurors were shown a video captured on Paul Murdaugh’s phone the night he died that draws Alex Murdaugh’s alibi into question.
Prosecutors believe the video, which is just under a minute long, places Alex at the murder scene just minutes before his wife Maggie, 52, and son Paul’s, 22, phones locked and were never used again — even though Alex insisted to investigators that he had been at the main house taking a nap at the time.
Lt. David Britton Dove, a supervisor in the computer crimes center at the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED), testified Wednesday that he discovered a video on Paul’s phone that was taken near the property’s dog kennels at 8:44 p.m. on June 7, 2021, according to CNN.
RELATED: Investigator Testifies That Alex Murdaugh Uttered 'I Did Him So Bad' After Seeing Crime Scene Photos Of His Slain Son
Prosecutors believe Maggie and her youngest son Paul were fatally shot just minutes later around 8:50 p.m.
In the video, as Paul appears to be trying to get images of a dog’s tail, two other voices can be heard in the background discussing whether another dog had a chicken or guinea in its mouth.
“You can tell that they’re different voices,” Dove testified.
While Dove didn’t specify who he believed the voices belonged to, two of Paul’s close friends took the stand Wednesday to testify that they were “100 percent” sure one of the voices belonged to Alex Murdaugh, who openly cried in court as the video was played.
Paul’s friend Rogan Gibson told jurors that the Murdaughs were like a second family to him. He testified that he last spoke to his friend that night at 8:40 p.m.
Paul called him after being concerned about Gibson’s dog Cash, who was staying at the dog kennels that night. He believed something might be wrong with Cash’s tail and the two tried to do a video call but the reception was too poor, Gibson testified.
Paul told Gibson he’d take a video of the dog and send it to him instead, but Gibson said the video was never sent.
Gibson said he texted Paul at 8:49 p.m. to ask whether Paul could get a good picture of the tail, but he never got a response, NBC News reports.
He repeatedly called and texted Paul over the next hour and a half, but never got a response, according to The Post and Courier.
Prosecutors now believe the video plays a critical role in the case against Alex — a claim they stressed during opening statements last week.
“[Murdaugh] told anyone who would listen he was never there,” state prosecutor Creighton Waters told the jurors, according to CNN. “The evidence will show that he was there. He was at the murder scene with the two victims.”
Gibson testified that he was sure one of the voices heard in the video captured by Paul just before his death was Alex Murdaugh.
Will Loving, another friend of Paul’s, also testified he was “100 percent” sure Alex’s voice had been in the video.
The jurors were also shown a Snapchat video Paul took that night around 7 p.m., WCSC reports.
During cross examination, Gibson described Alex and Paul as having a great relationship and said Alex had been “real distraught” in the days after the double homicide.
“Can you think of any circumstance that you can envision, knowing them as you do, where Alex would brutally murder Paul and Maggie?” defense attorney Jim Griffin asked, according to CNN.
“Not that I can think of,” Gibson responded.
Griffin also honed in on the seeming lack of security on the property. According to Gibson, guns were often left lying around unprotected, and buildings and vehicles on the property were left unlocked.
Alex told investigators on the night of the murders he had dinner with his wife and son before taking a brief nap, insisting that he had never been out to the dog kennels that night. When he woke up, he said he went to visit his ailing mother before returning home around 10 p.m. and discovering the bodies.
Dove testified on Tuesday that Maggie received two text messages shortly before her death, one at 8:31 p.m. and one at 8:49 p.m., as part of a group chat about Murdaugh’s father, who was in poor health at the time.
Her phone locked seconds later, CNN reports. The phone’s orientation changed from portrait to landscape at 8:54 p.m.
Dove testified that the change could mean that her phone had been moved and the camera tried unsuccessfully to find her face to unlock it.
Prosecutors believe that after killing his wife and son, Alex repeatedly called and texted his wife and others in an attempt to manufacture an alibi on his way to visit his mother.
The first text to his wife was sent at 9:08 p.m.
“Going to check on M. Be right back,” he wrote, according to The Daily Beast.
He also called her repeatedly before sending a final text message at 9:47 p.m. writing “Call me, babe.”
Alex — who has pleaded not guilty to two counts of murder and two counts of possession of a weapon — called 911 at 10:06 p.m. to report that he had found the bodies after returning home.
If convicted of the murders, Alex could be facing 30 years to life in prison.
The former South Carolina attorney is also facing around 100 other criminal charges connected to an alleged scheme to steal millions from his former law firm, clients and the family of his dead housekeeper, along with allegations of money laundering and tax evasion.
Prosecutors contend that Alex orchestrated the murders in an attempt to garner sympathy before his alleged financial crimes were revealed, claims that the defense have called "ludicrous."
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