Murdaugh attorneys asking for ‘blood spatter’ evidence to be banned from trial

Editor’s note: This story was originally posted on Wednesday.

COLLETON COUNTY, S.C. () — Alex Murdaugh’s attorneys are asking not to allow any evidence or testimony about “blood spatter” evidence connected to the murders of Paul and Maggie Murdaugh to be allowed in court.

The defense team filed a motion Wednesday claiming prosecutors and investigators “unable to build a solid case against Mr. Murdaugh to present in court, instead engaged in a campaign of selective and deceptive leaks to news media to convince the public Murdaugh is guilty before he is tried.”

Alex Murdaugh t-shirt pre testing (from Defense motion)

Attorneys Dick Harpootlian and Jim Griffin contend in the 96 page motion filed in Colleton County court that an April leak allegedly from a state’s scientific witness about “high-velocity impact spatter” was improperly shared with news website FITSNews.

That witness, Tom Bevel, a retired Oklahoma City Police officer, claimed the white t-shirt Alex Murdaugh was wearing on June 7, 2021, the night Maggie and Paul Murdaugh were shot and killed, had more than 100 “high-velocity blood spatter, most likely resulting from shooting Paul.”

But defense attorneys say the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division’s (SLED) blood testing results were “negative for human blood in the areas of the shirt where Mr. Bevel opines blood spatter is present.”

The motion continues to claim SLED experts damaged or destroyed “in bad faith” the t-shirt that Alex was wearing that night during their search and examination for blood evidence from the victims and murder scene. That could be evidence that is key to Alex’s case and could prove his innocence.

Defense attorneys say SLED used chemicals and cut up the shirt in search of DNA or other evidence multiple times. Eventually, it was determined by experts the shirt had “turned completely blue, all stains were blue, fuzzy, diffuse and bled out. their features lost forever.”

Alex Murdaugh t-shirt post testing (from Defense Motion)

Thus claiming the shirt was “destroyed” and unable for anyone else to do subsequent tests, including microscopic examination.

The defense team is asking for all the communications, including draft reports and presentations between the State and Mr. Bevel.

It also wants an evidentiary hearing on the testing and chemical destruction of Mr. Murdaugh’s shirt and “at the minimum, it (the court) should prohibit the State from offering risible testimony about blood spatter patterns on Mr. Murdaugh’s bloodless shirt at trial.”

The South Carolina Attorney General’s Office, which is prosecuting the case, says it will respond to the motion next week.

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