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The daughter of the caregiver who poked holes in Alex Murdaugh’s alibi on the night of the murders has set up a GoFundMe page to ‘reward her mother’s bravery’ – but a legal expert has warned it ‘looks like she’s being paid for her testimony.’

Rachelle Buckner, Shelly Smith’s daughter, has so far raised more than $7,000, including an anonymous donation of $1,000 that was made in the first hour of the page being created on Wednesday. 

Former prosecutor Lori Murray told DailyMail.com ‘it clearly doesn’t look good.’

‘It looks especially suspect because the first donation was made within an hour of the page being set up,’ she added.

However, the attorney does not believe there is anything sinister at work. Murdaugh’s double-murder trial is gripping the public and many people have expressed sympathy for Smith online following her emotional testimony.

‘I just don’t think that’s the case right now, there’s a lot of people feeling sorry for her on social media,’ Murray said.

Mushelle "Shelly" Smith - the caregiver of Murdaugh's elderly mother Elizabeth 'Libby' Alexander Murdaugh - told how she spoke to the alleged killer on the night of the murders

Murdaugh's mother Elizabeth 'Libby' Alexander Murdaugh, who is in the late stages of Alzheimer's

Mushelle ‘Shelly’ Smith (left) – the caregiver of Murdaugh’s elderly mother Elizabeth ‘Libby’ Alexander Murdaugh (right) – told how she spoke to the alleged killer on the night of the murders when he visited his parents house. Prosecutors say this was after he killed Maggie and Paul

Rachelle Buckner, Shelly Smith's daughter, has so far raised more than $7,000, including an anonymous donation of $1,000 that was made in the first hour of the fundraising page being created

Rachelle Buckner, Shelly Smith’s daughter, has so far raised more than $7,000, including an anonymous donation of $1,000 that was made in the first hour of the fundraising page being created

Smith wept on Monday as she told jurors how Murdaugh had visited his mother’s home on the night of the murders for around 20 minutes.

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A few days later he instructed her to tell cops he had been there for 40 minutes.

Smith told jurors this made her so ‘nervous’ she called her police officer brother to tell him about the conversation. 

Prosecutors say Maggie, 52, and Paul, 22, were shot dead shortly after 8.49pm and that Murdaugh drove to his mother’s home at 9.06pm in order to ‘manufacture an alibi.’

Data from his Chevrolet Suburban shows the car was parked for 21 minutes around the time Smith said he came to visit his mother.

Elsewhere, Smith’s evidence appeared more beneficial for Murdaugh’s defense.

She testified she saw Murdaugh holding a blue tarp when he visited the home again a few days after the killings.

Former prosecutor Lori Murray told DailyMail.com 'it clearly doesn't look good'

Former prosecutor Lori Murray told DailyMail.com ‘it clearly doesn’t look good’

The prosecution claim this was a blue rain coat that was covered in gun residue, but under cross-examination, Smith said what she saw was a blue tarp.

Murray said she does not think it would be in either the prosecution or defense’s interests to recall Smith as a witness and the idea that either side would pay her for her contradictory and confusing evidence seems unlikely.

However, Elizabeth Riley, a trial lawyer with 35 years experience, said that if the State finds out about the page they will swiftly move to shut it down. 

‘This is a really bad idea. This witness is now receiving something of value for her testimony. If the prosecutors office knows about this they’ll shut it down. Defense could call the daughter as a witness to establish that Smith is profiting, during the trial, from her testimony,’ Riley tweeted. 

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Miller Shealy, a professor at the Charleston School of Law and a former prosecutor, said he has never seen a fundraiser for a traumatized witness but does not see anything improper as long as people understand what they are donating to.

‘I have never heard of such a thing but I don’t have any reason to believe it is improper,’ Shealy told the Post and Courier.

Murdaugh arrives at the Colleton County Courthouse in Walterboro, South Carolina, on February 9

Murdaugh arrives at the Colleton County Courthouse in Walterboro, South Carolina, on February 9

Buster Murdaugh and his girlfriend, Brooklynn White, and Alex's brother John Marvin Murdaugh (right) and sister Lynn (left) arrive at Colleton County Courthouse Thursday

Buster Murdaugh and his girlfriend, Brooklynn White, and Alex’s brother John Marvin Murdaugh (right) and sister Lynn (left) arrive at Colleton County Courthouse Thursday

Alex Murdaugh with his wife Maggie, eldest son Buster, right, and younger son Paul, left

Alex Murdaugh with his wife Maggie, eldest son Buster, right, and younger son Paul, left

The fundraising page says: ‘As you all know my mother was the caretaker for Alex Murdaugh’s mom. She recently had to testify against him and it had brought much heartache and stress to her …

‘Since knowing she would have to testify she had gone through so much with the what-ifs, should I, and the I HAVE TO! I want to reward her for her bravery and her honesty as it was one of the hardest things she had to do. We want to show her that she is not alone and we stand behind her 100%!’

Buckner said her mother had taken a leave of absence from her job because she worries that the media attention could distract the students at her place of work.

Smith’s daughter has been contacted for comment. 

Murdaugh, 54, is accused of shooting his wife and younger son Paul on the evening of June 7, 2021, at the family’s sprawling hunting lodge in Islandton, South Carolina.

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The prosecution is still laying out its case in the trial that began three weeks ago.

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