The only person to see Alex Murdaugh the nigh his wife and son were murdered testified about his behavior that night, and about an incriminating piece of evidence he placed inside his mother’s home afterward.
Mushelle “Shelly” Smith, the home health aide for Murdaugh’s mother, testified Monday that Murdaugh unexpectedly showed up at the house on the evening of June 7, 2021, while Smith was sitting with his mother, who has Alzheimer’s.
Smith said she remembered it was after 9 p.m. on June 7, 2021 — unusually late she thought for Murdaugh to show up at the house. She noted he also made a point to call the house phone to say that he had arrived, even though he was right outside his parents’ Varnville home.
Murdaugh was “fidgety” as he sat with his mother, who was already in bed and likely unaware of her son’s presence, Smith testified. After about 20 minutes, Murdaugh left. He told police he returned home to find his wife Maggie and son Paul shot to death at their Colleton County home.
Smith also noted that Murdaugh was wearing shorts and a white T-shirt, the clothes he was wearing when he spoke to investigators later that night. A Snapchat video shot by Paul earlier in the day showed Murdaugh wearing other clothes.
Murdaugh’s father Randolph Murdaugh died a few days later. The day of the funeral, Smith recalls Murdaugh visited his mother’s house again.
“And what did he tell you?” prosecutor John Meadors asked.
Smith took a brief pause and began tearing up before answering.
“That he was at the house,” Smith finally said, referring to his mother’s house.
“And what was he telling you about he was at the house the night of the murders?” Meadors pressed on.
“That he was there 30 or 40 minutes,” Smith responded, still emotional.
Three days after the funeral, Smith remembers Murdaugh coming to the home again, this time around 6:30 a.m. carrying “a blue tarp something” bundled up in his arms. The prosecution contends this is a raincoat they recovered from the home which investigators determined had gun residue on it.
“And it did not look like a shovel handle or a gun or anything?” Griffin asked. Smith said “no.”
Defense attorney Jim Griffin noted that Smith described the item carried by Murdaugh as a tarp “like would cover a car,” something she reiterated on the stand and did not say it was a rain jacket.
Griffin also noted Smith said it took her about five minutes to let Murdaugh into the house the night he came to visit, which may have added to the amount of time he spent on the property.
Griffin also cited an interview Smith gave an investigator on June 17, 2021, when Smith said it was not unusual for him to visit his mother in the evening during her shift.
This is a developing story. It will be updated