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Horror injuries of Alex Murdaugh’s son revealed

New details have been revealed regarding the fatal injuries sustained by Paul Murdaugh, the murdered son of disgraced South Carolina lawyer Alex Murdaugh.

Mr Murdaugh’s trial starts on Monday, after he was charged with two murders, that of his wife Maggie and his 22-year-old son, allegations he has rejected.

The accused lawyer’s legal team included graphic details from a crime scene in a legal filing as they attempted to get some evidence disqualified from the trial before it begins, the New York Post reported.

The filing included images from the dog kennels where Mr Murdaugh claims to have found his wife and son shot to death on 7 June 2021.

The 52-year-old Ms Murdaugh was found face down, shot five times using a rifle, a forensics report by Chief Kenneth Kinsey, an expert at the Orangeburg County Sheriff’s Office, stated. He said that three of the shots were likely to have taken place while she was still standing.

Two of the shots fired were supposedly instantly fatal as they struck her brain. She was initially hit in the chest and then in the back of the head.

One of the shots seemed to have been fired as she was “holding herself up on her knees and … her right hand with her shoulders and head down,” the report stated.

Paul Murdaugh was also discovered face down shot twice with a shotgun, not the firearm used to kill his mother, the report said.

Maggie and Paul Murdaugh were killed at their Islandton estate. Authorities believe Paul was the intended target (Handout)
Maggie and Paul Murdaugh were killed at their Islandton estate. Authorities believe Paul was the intended target (Handout)

Initially shot in the chest “from several feet away,” he was still standing and moving towards a door when he was shot in the neck and shoulder. That shot blew his brain out.

“Brain was severed and exited through the anatomical right side of (his) head. … Brain was completely detached from (his) head,” Chief Kinsey wrote.

The forensic report said that since Ms Murdaugh and Paul Murdaugh both died instantly, there was “no heartbeat (pumping blood)” and therefore “no expectorated blood”.

“The fatal shot to Paul’s shoulder, face, and head would likely produce enough back spatter, and would be within range to contaminate the shooter,” Chief Kinsey said.

While the mother’s wound was “sufficient to produce back spatter,” it was unlikely that it would contaminate the shooter, he added.

Mr Murdaugh’s attorneys shared this evidence in an attempt to block testimony regarding apparent spatter found on a t-shirt Mr Murdaugh wore that night from being used in the trial.

The legal team argued that the expert had changed his opinion as well as his findings, adding that Mr Murdaugh has admitted to being the person who found Paul Murdaugh and Ms Murdaugh at the crime scene.

The filing argues that the prosecutors “immediately decided Alex was guilty, before anyone collected, investigated, or reviewed any evidence”.

Mr Murdaugh’s attorneys claimed that the prosecution has been “unable to build a solid case” and that they “instead engaged in a campaign of selective and deceptive leaks”, with the blood spatter on the shirt being “perhaps the most extraordinary”.

“The only possible motive for this leak was to convince the public that Murdaugh was guilty of the murders before trial, even before he was formally charged,” the attorneys wrote in the pre-trial filing.

“This leak was an extrajudicial statement made on behalf of the state with the deliberate intention to prejudice the present judicial proceedings,” they argued. “It was also a lie.”

Prosecutors have alleged that Mr Murdaugh killed his wife and son to cover up financial crimes netting him $9m. He has pleaded not guilty and rejected all claims of wrongdoing.