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Live: Alex Murdaugh trial continues into day five

WALTERBORO, S.C. (NewsNation) — South Carolina attorney Alex Murdaugh’s double murder trial will continue Tuesday after an emotional day in the courtroom on Monday.

Defense attorneys questioned the way state agents collected and analyzed evidence in the shooting deaths of Murdaugh’s wife and son.

Murdaugh, 54, is standing trial on two counts of murder in the shootings of his wife and son at their Colleton County home and hunting lodge on June 7, 2021. His wife, Maggie, 52, was shot several times with a rifle; their son Paul, 22, was shot twice with a shotgun near kennels on the property. Murdaugh faces 30 years to life in prison if convicted.

Over the first four days of testimony, prosecutors have mostly called officers and crime scene technicians to present evidence to the jury that investigators will likely later explain in more detail. They described their case as a puzzle in last week’s opening statement.

NewsNation will stream the trial. You can watch it on this page when it begins at 9:30 a.m. ET.

Jurors watched video of investigators searching the hunting lodge where they believe Murdaugh killed his wife and son.

The video — dated June 8, 2021, a day after Paul and Maggie Murdaugh were killed — showed a large gun rack with several long guns stored inside, as investigators searched the home.

In an interview played Monday, Murdaugh spoke to the state agent at his brother’s house for about an hour three days after the killings. Murdaugh’s lawyer was close by.

Prosecutors paused the video several times to give State Law Enforcement Division Senior Special Agent Jeff Croft a chance to emphasize some of Murdaugh’s comments. At one point, Murdaugh said his wife was home hours before the killings when he and his son returned from riding around the property. Later in the interview, Murdaugh could be heard saying “It’s just so bad,” before the unclear comment that Croft said sounded like Murdaugh was implying he had killed his son.

In court, Murdaugh appeared to shake his head no when Croft said what he heard.

Murdaugh also broke into sobs on the 2021 recording after mentioning a small disagreement he had with his wife over visiting her family.

“She was a wonderful girl and a wonderful wife. And she was a great mother,” Murdaugh said.

Murdaugh continued to rock and dab his eyes during more graphic testimony, including when Harpootlian showed a photo of his wife’s body to ask Worley if there could have been a shoeprint on his wife’s calf that was not formally documented as the scene was examined.

However, Murdaugh’s displays of emotion at his double murder trial have drawn scrutiny.

“If you think Alex Murdaugh did it, then everything he does is all part of the massive game that he’s playing,” Matt Harris, co-host of the “Influence: The Murdaugh Family Murders” podcast, said Monday night during an appearance on NewsNation’s “Rush Hour.” “If you think he’s innocent, then you think these are legitimate, regular tears.”

Murdaugh has pleaded not guilty to the murders and, if convicted, faces life in prison. The trial is expected to last another two weeks.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

  • Defense attorney Jim Griffin listens in the double murder trial of Alex Murdaugh at the Colleton County Courthouse in Walterboro, S.C., Monday, Jan. 30, 2023. (Andrew J. Whitaker/The Post And Courier via AP, Pool)
  • Judge Clifton Newman speaks to the jury before Alex Murdaugh’s trial for murder resumes at the Colleton County Courthouse on Monday, January 30, 2023. (Joshua Boucher/The State via AP, Pool)
  • Creighton Waters, a prosecutor for the S.C. Attorney General’s office hands off a photograph to defense attorney Jim Griffin, Alex Murdaugh and Dick Harpootlian in the double murder trial of Alex Murdaugh at the Colleton County Courthouse in Walterboro, S.C., Monday, Jan. 30, 2023. (Andrew J. Whitaker/The Post And Courier via AP, Pool)
  • Alex Murdaugh and defense attorney Dick Harpootlian listen in the double murder trial of Alex Murdaugh at the Colleton County Courthouse in Walterboro, S.C., Monday, Jan. 30, 2023. (Andrew J. Whitaker/The Post And Courier via AP, Pool)
  • From left, defense attorney Jim Griffin, Alex Murdaugh and defense attorney Dick Harpootlian in the double murder trial of Alex Murdaugh at the Colleton County Courthouse in Walterboro, S.C., Monday, Jan. 30, 2023. (Andrew J. Whitaker/The Post And Courier via AP, Pool)
  • Prosecutor Creighton Waters asks witness Jeff Croft, a SLED senior special agent, questions about weapons and ammunition collected from Alex Murdaugh’s home during Murdaugh’s trial for murder at the Colleton County Courthouse on Monday, Jan. 30, 2023. (Joshua Boucher/The State via AP, Pool)
  • Prosecutor Creighton Waters asks witness Jeff Croft, a SLED senior special agent, questions about weapons and ammunition collected from Alex Murdaugh’s home during Murdaugh’s trial for murder at the Colleton County Courthouse on Monday, Jan. 30, 2023. ( Joshua Boucher/The State via AP, Pool)
  • Creighton Waters, a prosecutor for the S.C. Attorney General’s office points at Alex Murdaugh in the double murder trial of Alex Murdaugh at the Colleton County Courthouse in Walterboro, S.C., Monday, Jan. 30, 2023. (Andrew J. Whitaker/The Post And Courier via AP, Pool)
  • Alex Murdaugh cries while a witness is on the stand in the double murder trial of Murdaugh at the Colleton County Courthouse in Walterboro, S.C., Monday, Jan. 30, 2023. (Andrew J. Whitaker/The Post And Courier via AP, Pool)
  • Prosecutor Creighton Waters prepares evidence with witness SLED senior special agent Jeff Croft before Alex Murdaugh’s trial for murder resumes at the Colleton County Courthouse on Monday, Jan. 30, 2023. (Joshua Boucher/The State via AP, Pool)
  • Defense attorney Dick Harpootlian carries off a large photograph to be seen by the jury in the double murder trial of Alex Murdaugh at the Colleton County Courthouse in Walterboro, S.C., Monday, Jan. 30, 2023. (Andrew J. Whitaker/The Post And Courier via AP, Pool)
  • Defense attorney Jim Griffin, Alex Murdaugh and Dick Harpootlian listen to Creighton Waters in the double murder trial of Alex Murdaugh at the Colleton County Courthouse in Walterboro, S.C., Monday, Jan. 30, 2023. (Andrew J. Whitaker/The Post And Courier via AP, Pool)
  • John Marvin Murdaugh and Buster Murdaugh talk in the double murder trial of Alex Murdaugh at the Colleton County Courthouse in Walterboro, S.C., Monday, Jan. 30, 2023. (Andrew J. Whitaker/The Post And Courier via AP, Pool)
  • Melinda Worley, SLED foot and tire tread expert, points to section of a crime scene diagram to defense attorney Dick Harpootlian during Alex Murdaugh’s trial for murder at the Colleton County Courthouse on Monday, Jan. 30, 2023. Monday, Jan. 30, 2023. (Joshua Boucher/The State via AP, Pool)
  • South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson sits with the prosecuting during Alex Murdaugh’s trial for murder at the Colleton County Courthouse on Monday, Jan. 30, 2023. (Joshua Boucher/The State via AP, Pool)