WALTERBORO, S.C. (WCBD) – Family members, law enforcement, former acquaintances, and a man charged in a botched attempted suicide plot are among a long list of witnesses that could be called to testify during the Alex Murdaugh murder trial.
Murdaugh is accused of killing his wife Margaret and youngest son Paul at their Colleton County property in June 2021. While Murdaugh has long maintained his innocence, their deaths sparked an unraveling of Murdaugh’s decades-long web of crimes.
Judge Clifton Newman rattled off a list of prospective witnesses during day one of jury selection to ensure potential jurors could remain impartial or weed out those who may find conflict during the weeks-long murder trial.
Family of both Alex and Margaret will likely be called, including their oldest son Buster, who has not been seen at any prior court hearings involving his father.
Curtis Eddie Smith, who is accused of helping Alex Murdaugh in a botched attempted suicide plot, was also named as a potential witness in the trial.
Judge Newman may also allow a blood spatter expert to testify about the crime scene – someone who Murdaugh’s legal team has long pushed to have his evidence thrown out over claims a piece of evidence – a shirt allegedly with blood spatter – was fabricated.
A number of law enforcement personnel – including first responders, FBI, and SLED – were named as potential witnesses, along with doctors, former work associates, and prior victims of Alex Murdaugh and his family were listed.
State prosecutors last week called representatives from Snapchat and Google to appear as material witnesses in the murder trial saying the companies provided evidence pertinent to the case against Murdaugh.
Prospective witnesses (not an extensive list):
- Members or representatives from the following agencies: Colleton County Sheriff’s Office, Colleton County Dispatch, Colleton County Fire Rescue, SLED, US Secret Service, Charleston County Sheriff’s Office, Hampton County Sheriff’s Office, Hampton County EMS, South Carolina Highway Patrol, SCAG Office, Savannah Memorial Hospital representatives/doctors.
- Blood spatter expert contracted by the state Tom Bevel, former SLED officer now with Orangeburg County Sheriff’s Office Kenneth Kinsey (a forensic expert who analyzed the crime scene). (Read about the fight to exclude what the defense claims is fabricated evidence.)
- Members of the Laffitte family, owners of Palmetto State Bank: Russel Laffitte (who was convicted on several financial crimes connected to Murdaugh), Charles Laffitte II, Charles Laffitte III, Norris Laffitte, Henry Laffitte, Rebecca Laffitte, Elizabeth Laffitte Malinowski. Former Palmetto State Bank VP Chad Westendorf.
- Attorneys involved in other cases against Murdaugh: Mark Tinsley (boat crash) and Eric Bland (Satterfield, victims of financial crimes).
- Members of Murdaugh’s former law firm PMPED: Ronnie Crosby and John Parker.
- Curtis Eddie Smith, who Murdaugh allegedly hired to shoot him in a botched suicide attempt to secure a life insurance payout for his only living son, Buster.
- Other alleged victims of Murdaugh: Morgan Doughty, Michael Tony Satterfield, Arthur Badger, Pamela Pinckney, and Natarsha Thomas.
- Members of Murdaugh’s family: Randy Murdaugh, Buster Murdaugh, John Marvin Murdaugh, and Liz Murdaugh.
- Members of the Branstetter and Proctor families (Margaret’s side).