South Carolina’s top prosecutor dramatically pointed a shotgun at the back of a crime scene expert’s head while dismissing a “preposterous” defense against Alex Murdaugh murdering his wife and son.
State Attorney General Alan Wilson grabbed the 12-gauge after calling his final witness ahead of closing arguments due to start Wednesday.
After checking that it was unloaded, Wilson used the weapon to re-enact how the defense claims one of two killers stood over Murdaugh’s son Paul, 22, to blow his brains out.
“You’ve given permission to point this at you, correct?” Wilson asked the expert, Kenneth Kinsey.
Kinsey then stood outside the courtroom door to demonstrate the defense’s theory on how Paul and his mom, Maggie, 52, were killed in dog kennels at one of their estates in June 2021.
“I’m going to point like I’m pointing at you,” Wilson then said, aiming the shotgun just a few inches to the left of his witness.
Kinsey then noted how “the defense agreed that Paul stood there for a moment” after first getting hit in the chest, before stumbling through the doorway.
“The shooter’s coming in the door — he shoots Paul in the back of the head after he passes him,” Kinsey said, seemingly struggling to contain a chuckle at the defense theory as the two men squeezed through the courtroom door.
He then bent over in front of the AG, who dramatically lifted up the 12-gauge to point it down toward his witness’s head, again just a few inches to the side.
The defense believes the killer “then shoots Paul in the back of the head like this,” Wilson told the court, twitching the weapon as if firing as Murdaugh lowered his eyes at the dramatic re-enactment.
The angle, the defense had argued, suggested that the killer was likely 5 feet 4 at most.
Kinsey, however, said he had “zero confidence” in the theory that the shooter fired upward — maintaining it could easily have been someone as tall as the 6-foot-4 Murdaugh.
The disgraced legal scion kept his eyes lowered as Kinsey demonstrated how Paul’s blood and brains were blasted all over the top of the door.
“I think the theory’s preposterous,” Kinsey said of the suggestion that the killer shot down from above.
He noted there were “no defects, no cracks in the cement” and “no high-velocity blood spatter on the floor.”
“You would see a pattern [of spatter and blowback] on the floor just like you see in the photographs of the top of that door. None of that’s there.”
He also knocked the idea that the gunman had “squeezed up past” Paul “to go inside to shoot him back out,” stressing that the pellets found on the scene also failed to suggest it.
Kinsey was the last witness, with closing arguments set to start on Wednesday after more than a month of testimony.
Jurors will first visit the Murdaugh family estate — known as Moselle — for a “jury view” of the crime scene before returning to the courtroom to hear final remarks from the prosecution and the defense.
Judge Clifton Newman said he expected the jury would be back in court for closing arguments around 11 a.m. ET.
Murdaugh, the 54-year-old scion of an influential legal family in an area west of Charleston, dramatically admitted lying to investigators — as well as his own family — about being at the crime scene until moments before his wife and son were murdered.
“I did lie to them,” he said soon after taking the stand.
However, he has always denied the killings. He faces 30 years to life in prison if he is found guilty.
Even if he’s cleared, he is expected to spend decades in prison for those other crimes, some of which he again admitted during his own testimony during his double murder trial.
They include stealing millions from clients and his own family law firm, as well as a crazed scheme to have himself killed so that his surviving son, Buster, could collect a $10 million insurance payout.
Murdaugh also admitted to a years-long addiction to opioids.