Murdaugh defense claims state’s motive theory is ‘absurd’
COLLETON COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - Alex Murdaugh’s defense team is petitioning the court to exclude the mountains of evidence related to the former lawyer’s alleged financial misdeeds, new court documents show.
In response to the defense’s motion for a “bill of particulars”, the state filed a 23-page court document to outline its theory on motive and moved to submit the millions of pages of documents related to the financial crimes Murdaugh is also facing as evidence.
Prosecutors allege that the murders of Maggie and Paul Murdaugh resulted from his desire to distract from the financial misconduct coming to light.
In a new filing on Monday, the defense team called this motive “illogical and implausible” and claims the state has presented no evidence that establishes a clear connection between the crimes.
“[It] is nothing more than a transparent effort to improperly persuade the jury that Murdaugh is a person of such bad character that he can commit the most heinous crimes imaginable,” the document reads.
They argue the inclusion of these documents would unfairly prejudice and possibly confuse the jury, and therefore is not admissible.
They have also asked for evidence related to Murdaugh’s failed suicide-for-hire plot to be thrown out, claiming that the Attorney General’s office has contradicted itself.
The filing says that in the state’s motive theory it argues the incident was also a ploy for sympathy like the murders and he never intended to die.
But the state has already charged him in that incident for insurance fraud, where he would have to die for the money to be distributed to his surviving son, Buster.
The court document also includes an excerpt from the recent trial against Russell Laffitte, former C.E.O. of Palmetto State Bank and an alleged co-conspirator of Murdaugh.
In it, Charles Laffitte, the younger brother of Russell, testified on the stand that he was working with Maggie Murdaugh to help her secure a loan for $750k on the family’s Edisto beach house around the time of her death.
The defense argues this shows Maggie was not posing a threat to expose Murdaugh’s finances and says the rumors regarding her consulting a divorce attorney and a forensic accountant are false.
Murdaugh’s Lawyers also write that he had no life insurance on either victim.
Murdaugh now faces 99 charges related to financial crimes, including most recently tax evasion as well as breach of trust, computer crimes, money laundering and forgery.
His murder trial is scheduled to begin in five weeks, on Monday, Jan. 23.
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