Jurors in Alex Murdaugh’s double murder trial visited the family’s sprawling South Carolina hunting estate known as Moselle Wednesday to see where his wife and son took their last breaths in June 2021.
The panel of 12 jurors and two alternates, along with both legal teams, were shuttled in three vans to the remote Islandton property about 30 minutes west of the Colleton County Courthouse.
Judge Clifton Newman followed behind in a pick-up truck driven by law-enforcement.
Jurors have heard extensive testimony about he 1,700-acre estate at 4147 Moselle Rd. that had served as the family’s primary residence since they purchased it in 2013.
Prosecutors have argued that Alex Murdaugh used a shotgun to kill his son, Paul, 22, and a rifle to execute his wife, Maggie, 52, near the property’s dog kennels June 7, 2021, to distract from his alleged theft of nearly $9 million of client money.
The vans pulled into the kennel entrance at 9:41 a.m. as deputies guarded the road. A pool photographer, videographer and reporter documented the tour.
The jurors walked the overgrown path between the kennel area and the shed.
One juror peered into the feed room attached to the end of the kennels, where Paul was fatally shot and found with his brain laying near his feet. Newman, wearing street clothes observed closely.
South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson and defense lawyer Dick Harpootlian were also present.
Some of the Colleton County deputies present are key witnesses in the case, including Detective Laura Rutland, who sat in on Murdaugh’s first interview and Sgt. Daniel Greene, one of the first responders on th scene.
The jurors were taken to the 5,000 square foot main residence to view the exterior of the house – about 1,200 feet from the crime scene as the crow flies.
Their final stop was a wooded area on the other side of Moselle Road, where there is a shooting shed.
After spending a little over an hour on the grounds, the jury and their entourage departed for th courthouse at about 10:55 a.m.
Newman granted the defense team’s request for the field trip over lead prosecutor Creighton Waters objections.
Waters argued that the scene looks significantly different than it did at the time of the slayings, with a line of trees now blocking the view to the main house.
The property, which straddles Hampton and Colleton counties, is under contract for nearly $4 million, property records show. Maggie had owned the estate after Murdaugh sold it to her for $5 in 2016.
The family’s assets were frozen and are overseen by a receivership, which must sign off on the sale.
The land once had an operational airstrip and airplane hangar, which was later used to store equipment.
A real estate listing boasts of the land’s “unusually diverse habitat with varying forest types” and more than two miles of Salkehatchie River frontage.
Several witnesses testified that Paul had a particular affection for the property and loved to fish, hunt and work the land.
“I think the plan was for Paul to take over Moselle one day,” Maggie’s sister, Marian Proctor, testified.