COLLETON COUNTY, S.C. (WCBD) – Embattled former attorney Alex Murdaugh is set to stand trial in less than a week for the brutal murders of his wife and youngest son. With the trial looming, Murdaugh’s lawyers have doubled down on their effort to exclude what they claim is fabricated evidence regarding the shirt Murdaugh was wearing the night of the murders.
Previous motions claimed that the expert — Tom Bevel — obtained by the state to analyze the shirt changed his conclusion after what Murdaugh’s team described as pressure from the state. They also claimed that the state destroyed the shirt — whether intentionally or through negligence — leaving defense unable to conduct their own tests.
The defense asked Judge Clifton Newman to order all communications and relevant documents regarding the blood spatter — including original files of images used by Bevel — be turned over to the defense team. Judge Newman issued the order, but the defense team claimed that they still have not received all of the materials.
Due to the what the defense deemed the unreliable nature of the evidence and the unwillingness to provide court-ordered information, Murdaugh’s team argued the blood spatter evidence and Bevel’s testimony should be omitted in court.
“No South Carolina prosecutor has ever before attempted to introduce inculpatory expert testimony from an out-of-state expert who — in open defiance of a court order — refused to produce the materials he relied upon in forming his opinion,” defense argued.
The defense also said that Bevel’s testimony would not be of value to the jury.
“It is very difficult to see how Mr. Bevel’s ‘expert’ opinions could possibly assist the jury. The basic facts are undisputed,” they said.
In addition to omitting the evidence and testimony, Murdaugh’s lawyers argue that he should be compensated for the “substantial costs” imposed on him by “the State’s misadventure with Mr. Bevel.” The motion “requests that after trial, the Court award [Murdaugh] costs and reasonable attorney’s fees incurred in motion practice regarding Mr. Bevel.”
Editor’s note: This story is breaking and may be updated.