Alex Murdaugh’s lawyers want state’s evidence turned over in murder case

Alex Murdaugh’s attorneys representing the disabarred lawyer in a murder case are alleging that the South Carolina Attorney General’s Office has withheld discovery.

Murdaugh’s defense attorney Dick Harpootlian will hold a press conference Wednesday morning to discuss his “recent motion asking a court to order the State of South Carolina to comply with their obligations under court rules and case law to furnish discovery material,” according to a brief press release issued by Harpootlian late Tuesday.

Rules of South Carolina trial procedure require prosecutors to turn over state’s evidence within 30 days after a defendant is indicted, said Jack Swerling, a veteran Columbia defense attorney.

Murdaugh, a disbarred attorney, was indicted five weeks ago — on July 14 — for the June 2021 murders of his wife Maggie, 52, and son Paul, 22, at their Colleton County hunting lodge estate of Moselle.

Indictments in the case accuse Murdaugh of killing Maggie with a rifle and Paul with a shotgun. The indictments gave no motive. The lack of detailed information underscores the puzzling unknowns that have been part of the case since the killings.

Murdaugh’s trial on murder charges, which could begin as early as January, is expected to be one of the widely-watched trials in the state and nation in recent years.

However, the longer that defense attorneys have to wait for evidence to be turned over, the less time they have to prepare for a January trial date.

The disbarred attorney also is charged in more than a dozen indictments with an array of financial theft crimes that allege he stole some $8.4 million from friends, associates, fellow lawyers and clients and laundered the stolen money through various bank accounts. He also is alleged to have used his stolen cash to set up a drug pipeline to buy drugs through intermediaries.

This story will be updated.