WARNING, GRAPHIC CONTENT:
Alex Murdaugh is accused of blasting his 22-year-old son Paul Murdaugh twice with a shotgun at the family’s sprawling South Carolina estate, leaving horrific wounds that were described in graphic detail this week by a state forensic expert in a new court filing.
The second bullet entered Paul Murdaugh’s left shoulder traveling into his neck and brain, wrote state forensic expert Dr. Kenneth Kinsey in an affidavit. “Brain was completely detached from head,” which would have caused immediate death, Kinsey said the report.
Paul Murdaugh was first shot in the chest as he stood in the feed room connected to the property’s dog kennels, an outbuilding on the family’s property in Moselle, South Carolina. His mother, Maggie Murdaugh, was shot five times -including to the back of the head – with a semiautomatic rifle and died about 30 yards from her son.
Alex Murdaugh, the scion of a once-powerful legal dynasty, is slated to go to trial January 23 for the double slaying of his wife 52-year-old wife and younger son June 7, 2021.
The expert’s description was consistent with a December report from FitsNews.
“His head exploded like a watermelon,” one source who viewed the crime scene photos told the news site of Paul Murdaugh’s injuries. “I mean, you can see his face, but the rest of it – his head – it’s just gone. Totally empty.”
Kinsey’s affidavit was included in a motion filed Tuesday by Alex Murdaugh’s lawyers asking Judge Clifton Newman to exclude a blood spatter expert from testifying for the state at his upcoming trial.
The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) enlisted Oklahoma-based forensics expert Tom Bevel to analyze a white T-shirt Alex Murdaugh was wearing the night of the murders.
Defense attorneys, Jim Griffin and Dick Harpootlian, argued in a previous motion that any blood on the shirt was transferred when Murdaugh found the bodies and “frantically checked them for signs of life.”
READ THE MOTION BELOW. APP USERS: CLICK HERE.
But Bevel concluded that the T-shirt is “stained with high-velocity blood spatter resulting from shooting Maggie and Paul” – after his initial report found that the stains were “consistent with transfers and not back spatter from a bullet wound.”
Murdaugh’s attorneys accused SLED of “badgering” Bevel into changing his report.
The T-shirt was later destroyed “for purposes of forensics testing by the unnecessary application of an oxidizing chemical stain,” the filing says.
Bevel’s initial report only came to light when prosecutors with the South Carolina Attorney General’s Office accidentally turned over a copy to Murdaugh’s defense team, according to the motion.
The white T-shirt is a critical piece of evidence for state prosecutors, who have suggested in court papers that the family patriarch shot his wife and son over fear that his decades-long corruption schemes would be exposed.
In the affidavit, Kinsey says he cannot render an opinion on whether the stains on Murdaugh’s T-shirt are consistent with back spatter.