Buster Murdaugh has been booted to the back of court after reportedly putting his middle finger up at a witness in his father’s double murder trial.
The 26-year-old law graduate is said to have kicked over a water bottle in anger when security asked him to move out of the front row behind his father.
Alex’s sister Lynn was also allegedly seen passing a note to his lawyer and the pair have been warned they will be banned from the trial if there are further breaches.
The alleged killer’s brothers Randy and John Marvin have not been issued with any warning.
Buster’s alleged obscene gesture may have even been caught on camera, with the legal heir seen biting on his middle finger while Mark Tinsley, the attorney for Mallory Beach’s family, was giving evidence on Monday.
Buster’s alleged obscene gesture may have even been caught on camera, with the legal heir seen biting on his middle finger while Mark Tinsley, the attorney for Mallory Beach’s family, was giving evidence on Monday
Buster Murdaugh is seen on Thursday sitting a few rows further back than usual after he was reportedly warned over allegedly making an obscene gesture at a witness earlier in the week
Tinsley told the court that Alex tried to ‘intimidate and bully’ him because he was suing him over his son Paul’s drunken boat crash that left 19-year-old Mallory dead in February, 2019.
Buster has been attending the trial every day, usually accompanied by his girlfriend Brooklynn White.
Alex’s sister Lynn and brothers Randy and John Marvin have also attended most days.
The family have sat directly behind the defense table where Murdaugh is seated, appearing to show support for the alleged murderer.
Murdaugh, 54, is accused of shooting dead his wife Maggie, 52, and younger son Paul, 22, at the family’s sprawling hunting estate in Islandton, South Carolina, on June 7, 2021.
Buster was staying near Charlotte with his girlfriend at the time of the murders.
Despite telling DailyMail.com in November that he does not want to see it written anywhere that he is supporting his father, he has dutifully sat behind him throughout the trial.
After proceedings on Monday he was seen making a salute gesture to Alex as the pair made eye contact and exchanged a few brief words before the legal scion was taken back to the Colleton County jail for the night.
Buster is scheduled as a defense witness along with his uncles Randy and John Marvin and aunt Lynn.
The prosecution is still laying out its case in the trial that began three weeks ago.
Buster Murdaugh and Brooklynn White are asked to stand so witness Chris Wilson can see them during Alex Murdaugh’s trial for murder at the Colleton County Courthouse on Thursday
Buster Murdaugh and his girlfriend, Brooklynn White, and John Marvin Murdaugh, Alex Murdaugh’s brother, arrive at Colleton County Courthouse on Thursday
On Monday, Tinsley gave evidence in the absence of the jury about how Murdaugh claimed he was broke while he was pursuing him for money for Beach’s family over the boat wreck.
A hearing for disclosure on Murdaugh’s finances was due three days after Maggie and Paul were killed. But as a result of their deaths it never took place.
The prosecution argued that Tinsley’s evidence was essential to proving how Murdaugh’s financial crimes had come to a head like ‘a gathering storm.’
The judge granted the prosecution motion to allow Tinsley to give evidence before jurors. He started giving that evidence on Thursday afternoon.
In his earlier testimony, during which Buster is alleged to have made the obscene gesture, Tinsley told how Murdaugh had tried to ‘intimidate’ him into dropping the lawsuit.
He said he met the alleged killed at fundraising event for either state senator Dick Harpootlian or US senator Lindsey Graham in 2019. Harpootlian is also Murdaugh’s defense attorney in the murder trial.
‘He comes over and he gets up close in my face and he says, “Hey bo, what’s this I’m hearing about what you’re saying, I thought we were friends”‘, Tinsley told the court.
Tinsley said he interpreted this as an attempt to ‘intimidate me and bully me into backing off.’
Tinsley told the court that Alex tried to ‘intimidate and bully’ him because he was suing him over his son Paul’s drunken boat crash that left 19-year-old Mallory Beach (pictured) dead
Beach family attorney Mark Tinsley (left) recalled being confronted by Murdaugh (right) who tried to ‘intimidate’ him at a fundraising event attended by trial lawyers – either for state senator Dick Harpootlian or US senator Lindsey Graham in 2019. Harpootlian is also Murdaugh’s defense attorney in the murder trial
Then in November 2020, Tinsley was told that Murdaugh was broke. The attorney said he knew Murdaugh’s firm made substantial money and that his family had generational wealth.
‘There wasn’t any way that he could be broke, he’s actively settling cases, big cases,’ he said.
Asked about the sum he was seeking, Tinsley said it became a matter of professional integrity for him to try and get as much money for the Beach family as possible.
He said the evidence against Murdaugh was damning, that he had been negligent in allowing his underage son to drive his boat under the influence of alcohol. He told the court Paul had bought booze using his elder brother Buster’s ID.
If he simply took the insurance money without pursuing Murdaugh personally it would appear that ‘there was a fix on.’
Alex Murdaugh with his wife Maggie, eldest son Buster, right, and younger son Paul, left
‘I think for a long time Alex thought there was a fix on,’ Tinsley added.
The attorney said it was met with ‘shock [in the legal community] that I was going to find Murdaugh personally responsible.’
He filed a motion to compel Murdaugh’s lawyers to provide evidence to support his claim he was broke.
Tinsley said he was initially ‘stone-walled’ and then Murdaugh’s lawyers filed an objection to his motion.
A hearing to compel Murdaugh to disclose his finances was scheduled for June 10 – three days before Maggie and Paul were shot dead.
As a result, the hearing was postponed and never rescheduled.
Tinsley said: ‘Pretty quickly, I recognized that the case against Alex, if he were in fact the victim of some vigilante, would be over.’