Murdaughs bloodied face shown to jury during trial closing

Defense lawyers showed jurors a picture of Alex Murdaugh in the aftermath of a failed assassination attempt he paid his drug dealer to carry out on Thursday — in what seemed like a sympathy play during the bitter end of his murder trial.

The move was part of an argument the defense made in its closing remarks. Murdaugh admittedly hired a hitman to kill him after his wife and son were murdered to make sure his remaining son Buster would receive a massive life insurance payout.

However, it was presented at trial as evidence he is a loving family man who wouldn’t hurt others, his lawyer said. 

Prosecutors have argued Murdaugh, 54, murdered his wife Maggie, 52, and son Paul, 22, in cold blood to distract from his mounting alleged financial crimes. Separate from the murder charges, the disbarred and disgraced South Carolina legal scion is facing a whopping 99 financial charges which will be handled at a separate trial. 

Photo of Murdaugh in which his head is bandaged, blood is running down his forehead, his neck in a brace and his chest is blooded.
The image of Alex Murdaugh shown in court after his failed fake assassination.
Colleton County Court

“Even if the financial day of reckoning was impending, if it was right there, Alex would not have killed people he loved the most in the world. There’s no evidence that he would do that. We do have evidence of what he would do and did do,” defense attorney Jim Griffin said.

Griffin then showed the jurors the gruesome photo from September 2021, in which Murdaugh head is bandaged, blood is running down his forehead, his neck in a brace and his chest is blooded. Police later arrested Curtis Edward Smith, Murdaugh’s former client and his drug dealer, saying the two planned the assassination attempt in a life insurance scam, and Murdaugh came clean about the plot.

“He gets his drug dealer Curtis Eddie Smith to shoot him in the head,” Griffin plainly told the court. “So, He couldn’t go on because it was all gonna come crashing down and he had a big life insurance policy.”

“So when Alex is at financial collapse, he doesn’t go kill somebody else. He tries to end it himself.”

The lawyer called it a “natural response” for Alex to try to take his own life.

“People kill themselves from being exposed. They don’t kill their wife they adore, their son, the apple of his eye, as some people have said,” Griffin continued, calling the prosecution’s argument “outlandish” and “totally illogical.”

Murdaugh being escorted by two cops into court.
Alex Murdaugh arrives for defenses closing arguments at Colleton County Courthouse on Thursday.
Daniel William McKnight for NY Post

Both sides finished their closing arguments Thursday afternoon and Judge Clifton Newman announced a recess for lunch. 

There is no telling how long the Colleton County Court jury will now deliberate, but they have a huge amount of testimony to work through.

More than 75 witnesses were called during a six-week trial, which included a trip to the Murdaugh family property on Wednesday where the murder took place.