The gruesome injuries of a 22-year-old who was allegedly shot twice by his father at their family’s sprawling South Carolina estate have been set out in graphic detail, new court documents reveal.

Alex Murdaugh, the heir of a once-powerful legal dynasty, is accused of shooting his youngest son Paul and wife Maggie and is due to go on trial next week.

State forensic expert Dr Kenneth Kinsey described Paul’s horrific wounds following the second shot in an affidavit which he said entered the left shoulder into his neck and brain – leaving his ‘brain was completely detached from head.’

The 22-year-old was first struck in the chest as he stood in the feed room connected to the Moselle properties dog kennels, while his mother was shot five times, including in the back of the head, with a semiautomatic rifle – the pair dying just 30 yards from one another.

Paul Murdaugh

The gruesome injuries of 22-year-old Paul Murdaugh (right), who was allegedly shot twice by his father Alex Murdaugh (left) at their family’s sprawling South Carolina estate, have been set out in graphic detail, new court documents reveal

Murdaugh (pictured center), the heir of a once-powerful legal dynasty, is accused of shooting his youngest son Paul (left) and wife Maggie (right) and is due to go on trial Jan 23

Murdaugh (pictured center), the heir of a once-powerful legal dynasty, is accused of shooting his youngest son Paul (left) and wife Maggie (right) and is due to go on trial Jan 23 

Kinsey’s description was consistent with a December report from FitsNews in which the outlet said Paul’s head ‘exploded like a watermelon.’

‘I mean, you can see his face, but the rest of it, his head, it’s just gone. Totally empty,’ one source who viewed the crime scene photos told the news site.

The affidavit was included in a motion filed Tuesday by Murdaugh’s lawyers asking Judge Clifton Newman to exclude a blood spatter expert from testifying for the state in the upcoming trial.

The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) enlisted Oklahoma-based forensics expert Tom Bevel to analyze a white T-shirt Murdaugh had been 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.’

A crime scene photo showing what appears to be blood droplets on the floor, a mannequin and an evidence marker in the feed room where Paul was fatally shot

A crime scene photo showing what appears to be blood droplets on the floor, a mannequin and an evidence marker in the feed room where Paul was fatally shot

The court filing also had a close up of the blood spatter where Paul was shot twice - once in the chest and a second time which entered his left shoulder into his neck and brain

The court filing also had a close up of the blood spatter where Paul was shot twice – once in the chest and a second time which entered his left shoulder into his neck and brain

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 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 court filing states.

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 after fearing his decades-long corruption schemes would be exposed.

In the affidavit, Kinsey said he cannot make judgement on whether the stains on Murdaugh’s T-shirt are consistent with back spatter.

The disbarred attorney, who made the 911 call to police at the time of the July 2021 murders, is scheduled to stand trial on Monday Jan 23 for the double slaying.

Murdaugh was indicted by a grand jury in July 2022 and the trial in Colleton County is scheduled to begin with jury selection which officials say could last through to February 10.       

Several views of the crime scene where Paul had been shot were in the court filing

Several views of the crime scene where Paul had been shot were in the court filing 

The 22-year-old was shot in the feed room connected to the Moselle properties dog kennels, while his mother was shot five times, including in the back of the head, with a semiautomatic rifle – the pair dying just 30 yards from one another

The 22-year-old was shot in the feed room connected to the Moselle properties dog kennels, while his mother was shot five times, including in the back of the head, with a semiautomatic rifle – the pair dying just 30 yards from one another

The Murdaugh family was one of the most prominent in South Carolina’s Lowcountry, along the state’s coastline. 

They have also been linked to a series of mysterious deaths including the death of a 19-year-old openly gay nursing student Stephen Smith. 

Smith ‘was linked with [Richard] ‘Buster’ [Murdaugh],’ the eldest son in the family, who is also under investigation, DailyMail.com has previously reported.

In addition, the family’s housekeeper Gloria Satterfield died outside of the Murdaugh’s estate in 2018 after she had apparently tripped on some steps. 

Murdaugh is accused of not giving Satterfield’s sons the $4 million that was later paid out in life insurance.

Earlier this month, the family of Mallory Beach reached a tentative settlement with Buster in a $50million lawsuit, after the young woman was killed during a fatal late night boat ride, driven by Buster’s younger brother and murder victim Paul.

Beach, 19, was thrown from the boat when it crashed into Archers Creek Bridge, in Beaufort South Carolina, in 2019. Her body was found five days later. There were six people on board the vessel at the time of the crash. 

It is believed Paul was drunk at the time, with Buster accused of lending his younger brother his ID to illegally buy alcohol before the crash, according to one local news outlet. 

Murdaugh allegedly told law enforcement he knew why his wife and son were slaughtered and informed the first officers on the scene that the grisly murders were tied to the boat crash in which Mallory Beach (pictured) died

Murdaugh allegedly told law enforcement he knew why his wife and son were slaughtered and informed the first officers on the scene that the grisly murders were tied to the boat crash in which Mallory Beach (pictured) died 

Renee Beach, Mallory Beach's mother, along with co-receivers Alex Murdaugh and John Murdaugh, would receive a $275,000 settlement from the sale of the family's home thought to be worth nearly $4million

Renee Beach, Mallory Beach’s mother, along with co-receivers Alex Murdaugh and John Murdaugh, would receive a $275,000 settlement from the sale of the family’s home thought to be worth nearly $4million

In legal documents seen by DailyMail.com, Murdaugh was ‘highly intoxicated,’ ‘drunk’ and ‘belligerent,’ on the February night two years ago when he sped his boat into a piling on Archer’s Creek. 

A piece in the New Yorker mentions Paul’s friends as referring to his aggressive drunken alter-ego ‘Timmy.’ Another person who was on the boat on that fateful night testified: ‘When they can tell he’s drunk, somebody will say, ‘All right. Here comes Timmy. We got to go.’

The article goes on to accuse Murdaugh and his late father, Randolph Murdaugh III, of putting pressure on those who were present on the boat not co-operate with investigators in the hospital in the immediate aftermath of the crash. 

One of the passenger’s who had driven the boat earlier in the night, Connor Cook, testified in a deposition later that Murdaugh had told him ‘everything was going to be all right. I just needed to keep my mouth shut and tell them I didn’t know who was driving,’ according to the New Yorker.

At the time of his death in June 2021, Paul was facing charges including boating under the influence resulting in death. 

Four years before the crash, Smith, 19, was found dead in the middle of a country road 15 miles from the Murdaugh family’s Islandton hunting lodge on July 8, 2015.

Smith’s death was ruled a hit-and-run, but his mother Sandy has maintained that her son, who was gay, was the victim of a hate crime and the murder was covered up.

The Murdaugh family, were one of the most prominent family's in South Carolina's Lowcountry, along the state's coastline. They've also been linked to a series of mysterious deaths including the death of a 19-year-old openly gay nursing student Stephen Smith

The Murdaugh family, were one of the most prominent family’s in South Carolina’s Lowcountry, along the state’s coastline. They’ve also been linked to a series of mysterious deaths including the death of a 19-year-old openly gay nursing student Stephen Smith

Smith 'was linked with [Richard] 'Buster' [Murdaugh],' the eldest son in the family, who is also under investigation, DailyMail.com has previously reported

Smith ‘was linked with [Richard] ‘Buster’ [Murdaugh],’ the eldest son in the family, who is also under investigation, DailyMail.com has previously reported

In June 2021, initial investigators, who found no evidence of any vehicle accident, were convinced the victim had a gunshot wound above his right eye and received tips questioning if Smith had a relationship with Paul’s older brother, Buster. 

The original incident report written by South Carolina Highway Patrol investigators on the scene and contained in the Multi-Disciplinary Accident Investigation (MAIT) case file states: ‘The victim was found in the middle of Sandy Run Road deceased from some sort of blunt force trauma to the head. Responded to the scene. I saw no vehicle debris, skid marks, or injuries consistent with someone being struck by a vehicle.’

‘The shoes were loosely tied, and both were still on. After consulting with MAIT we see no evidence to suggest the victim was struck by a vehicle.’

 

A second incident report signed by two deputies from Hampton County Sheriff’s office who responded to the first reports of a body stated: ‘I spotted a person laying in the middle of Sandy Run…The person was a white young male with a severe head wound.’

It continues: ‘After inspecting the body, it appears the victim had been shot.’

A third narrative written by a MAIT officer who is not named and was called at 5.35am on the morning of July 8, 2015, states that after initially being advised of a ‘possible Hit & Run fatality’ he arrived on the scene to be told by Hampton County Coroner Ernie Washington that it was a homicide.

The report reads: ‘He pointed out the wound to be a gunshot wound and showed me the entry point. Assistant Coroner Kelly Greene then began to show me photographs they took, again pointing to the entry point to the head and also a defensive wound to the hand.’

‘I asked for clarity if they were sure, it was a homicide, and their response was yes.’

Meanwhile, the Murdaugh family’s housekeeper, Satterfield, 57, died mysteriously in 2018 after a ‘fall’ at Murdaugh’s home in South Carolina. She had worked for his prestigious legal dynasty family for 20 years.

Smith's death was ruled a hit-and-run, but his mother Sandy (pictured left)  has maintained that her son, who was gay, was the victim of a hate crime and the murder was covered up

 Smith’s death was ruled a hit-and-run, but his mother Sandy (pictured left)  has maintained that her son, who was gay, was the victim of a hate crime and the murder was covered up

After her death, Murdaugh promised her adult sons, Tony Satterfield and Brian Harriott, that he would ‘look after them’ financially. He had them file a wrongful death lawsuit against him with the goal of having his insurance company pay out a settlement, but he never gave the men the money, it is alleged. 

In an interview with NBC’s Dateline in October 2021, Gloria’s brother, Eric Harriott Jr., said: ‘It ain’t about the money. It’s like she was a nobody, as much as she’s done for him.’ 

Gloria’s sister, Ginger Harriott Hadwin, added: ‘Did he have that going through his mind that day when we buried Gloria, and thinking, ‘oh, how much money am I gonna get? How can I get this?” 

DailyMail.com earlier reported that Murdaugh told law enforcement he knew why his wife and son were slaughtered and informed the first officers on the scene that the grisly murders were tied to the boat crash in which Mallory Beach was killed. 

Alex made a frantic 911 call shortly after 10pm on the night of June 7, 2021 in which he claimed to have found Maggie, 52, and Paul, 22, ‘badly shot,’ near dog kennels at the family’s rural hunting estate of Moselle, in Islandton, South Carolina. 

According to the state, the murders of Maggie and Paul were not revenge killings.

Instead, they now allege, the ‘only person with a true motive to kill his wife and son,’ was Murdaugh himself.

In the document filed in Colleton County Court prosecutors write that the ‘clouds of Alex’s past misdeeds’ were gathering into ‘a perfect storm that was going to expose the real Alex Murdaugh’, who is, they say, ‘an allegedly crooked lawyer and drug user who borrowed and stole wherever he could to stay afloat and one step ahead of detection.’

According to the state, the murders of Maggie and Paul were not revenge killings. Instead, they now allege, the 'only person with a true motive to kill his wife and son,' was Murdaugh (pictured here in Aug 2022) himself

According to the state, the murders of Maggie and Paul were not revenge killings. Instead, they now allege, the ‘only person with a true motive to kill his wife and son,’ was Murdaugh (pictured here in Aug 2022) himself

Gloria Satterfield died in the home of legal heir Murdaugh  in February 2018 after working for the family for 20 years. He told her sons that she died of a fall

Now, Satterfield's family say they still don't know if that's what really happened to the 57-year-old (pictured)

Gloria Satterfield died in the home of legal heir Murdaugh (left) in February 2018 after working for the family for 20 years. He told her sons that she died of a fall. Now, they say they still don’t know if that’s what really happened

They claim he was facing imminent ‘legal, financial and personal ruin.’

In November, the father-of-two and his cousin, Eddie, were arrested on attempted insurance fraud charges after Murdaugh alleged he had been shot in the head.

The original story indicated that Murdaugh convinced his cousin to shoot him dead so that his surviving son, Buster, could collect insurance money. Eddie is quoted in the New Yorker story as saying: ‘If I’d shot him, he’d be dead.’

It later emerged that authorities believed that Murdaugh and his cousin were involved in an elaborate money laundering and drug dealing ring that spread across South Carolina. 

The insurance fraud angle of the story fizzled out with authorities now believing that Murdaugh planned to take a gunshot wound in order to convince prosecutors there was a vigilante vendetta against the family.   

The proceeds of both Paul and Maggie’s estates would first go to Murdaugh, according to reporting from January 2022. It was not immediately clear if that is still the case.

Murdaugh would be entitled to the valuable properties owned by his slain wife Maggie. Her estate includes a vacation home on Edisto Beach, as well as 1,700 acres of property in Colleton and Hampton counties.

These include the family’s river-side home in Colleton County’s Moselle community.

A judge essentially froze Murdaugh’s bank accounts in 2021. Since then, his brother John Marvin Murdaugh has been petitioning the courts to lift ‘lis pendens’ on Maggie’s properties, allowing for them to be sold.

Fox News Digital reported in January that Renee Beach, Mallory Beach’s mother, along with co-receivers Alex Murdaugh and John Murdaugh, would receive a $275,000 settlement from the sale of the family’s home thought to be worth nearly $4million.

Buster will receive $530,000 from his mother’s estate.



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