WALTERBORO, SC (WSPA) – After three days of jury selection, prosecutors and attorneys for Alex Murdaugh begin to make their case in a Colleton County courtroom.

Murdaugh is accused of killing his wife Maggie and son Paul in June 2021.

During opening statements, we learned more about their deaths. Lead prosecutor Creighton Waters with the South Carolina Attorney General’s Office said Paul was killed first and then Maggie.

According to Waters, a 12-gauge shotgun was used to kill Paul and an ‘AR-style’ rifle to kill Maggie. He said the evidence shows they were shot at close range and neither had any defensive wounds.

Jurors will be shown crime scene photos and will hear from experts. “It will be gruesome. There’s no other way around it,” Water said.

He told the jury that key evidence they’ll present throughout the trial includes data from Murdaugh’s cell phone. It will show Murdaugh was in the same area as Maggie and Paul before their cell phones ‘go silent forever and ever’ Waters told jurors.

He said gunshot residue and other evidence they’ll present over the next few weeks tie Murdaugh to the crimes.

“This has been a long, exhaustive investigation. It’s going to be a fairly long trial because it’s complicated. It’s a journey. There are a lot of factors in this case,” Waters said.

Murdaugh’s attorney Dick Harpootlian painted a different picture. He said the state’s case is based on theories.

At one point during his opening statements, Harpootlian described the murders as ‘horrendous’ and ‘butcherings’.

He asked Alex to stand up and told jurors it was not believable that Murdaugh would kill his son Paul, the ‘apple of his eye’. A Snapchat video taken before the killings that will be shown in court will back that up.

According to Harpootlian, there is no forensic evidence, like fingerprints or blood, tying his client to the crimes. He said investigators made up their mind that night Murdaugh was the killer.

“The next morning two people were found butchered in Colleton County on Moselle Road. The police announce, ‘Don’t worry. There’s no danger to you all. There’s no one out there who will pose a danger to you.’ They decided that night, he (Alex) did it. Without forensics, cellphones, without any of that. They’ve been pounding that square peg in the round hole since June 2021.”

In this trial, Murdaugh is facing four charges, two counts of murder and two counts of possessing a firearm during the commission of a violent crime. If found guilty he could face up to life in prison.

Witnesses will take the stand starting Thursday morning. The jury is expected to be shown body camera video from law enforcement officers who responded to the family property the night of the murders.