When will there be a verdict in the Alex Murdaugh trial?

After five and half weeks of testimony, the jury in the double-murder trial of Alex Murdaugh is expected to begin deliberations, possibly as soon as Wednesday afternoon.

Before they do, the 12 jurors and two alternates are visiting the scene of the crime — the dog kennels and feed room at the Murdaugh family’s 1,700-acre Moselle estate.

It was there that Mr Murdaugh is accused of brutally murdering his wife Maggie, 52, and younger son Paul, 22, were brutally murdered on 7 June 2021.

Paul was shot twice with a shotgun as he stood in the feed room of the kennels, with the second bullet blowing his brain from its skull.

Maggie was shot four to five times with an AR-15-style rifle a few yards from her son, as she backed into an ATV parked under a hangar.

Mr Murdaugh has pleaded not guilty.

Once they have inspected the site, the jurors will be brought back to Colleton County Courthouse in Walterboro.

Judge Clifton Newman is then expected to issue initial instructions to the jury about their deliberations.

Next, the State of South Carolina, led by lead prosecutor Creighton Waters and his team, including the state’s Attorney General Alan Wilson, will present their closing argument outlining why Mr Murdaugh should be found guilty of the murders.

Mr Murdaugh’s defence team, led by attorney Dick Harpootlian, will then outline their grounds why the defendant should be found not guilty based on reasonable doubt that he committed the murders.

Judge Newman has not set any time limit on closing arguments, though they are expected to last approximately two hours each. It is unclear if there will be opportunities for rebuttals.

Further jury instructions are likely to then be issued by Judge Newman before they retire for their deliberations.

As with any trial, there are few clues as to how the jury has absorbed testimony from 61 prosecution witnesses, 14 defence witnesses, and six rebuttal witnesses over almost six weeks.

Reporters in the court have described them as attentive throughout the trial.

A unanimous guilty verdict is required for a murder trial, so only one juror needs to believe that the state has not proven its case beyond a reasonable doubt.