WALTERBORO, SOUTH CAROLINA: A South Carolina Division of Law Enforcement detective who worked on the Alex Murdaugh case has explained a key mystery in the disgraced attorney’s double murder trial . Detective Laura Rutland of the Colleton County Sheriff’s Office was among more than 70 witnesses who testified in the gripping six-week trial.
Rutland was reportedly chosen to work the case because she was one of a handful of law enforcement officers in the area who had no connection to the influential legal family. Earlier in March, jury members deliberated for just three hours before convicting Murdaugh of the murders of his wife, Maggie, and son, Paul in June 2021. The patriarch was sentenced to two prison terms at life without the possibility of parole and has already appealed his sentence.
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Rutland disclosed a detail that raised eyebrows during his cross-examination by the defense, but ultimately disappeared from the proceedings after he was unable to provide an explanation, according to Fox News. The veteran sleuth described the grisly scene at the Murdaughs’ hunting estate in Moselle a week after the lawyer’s conviction, explaining why strands of hair were found in Maggie’s hands. “I just wanted to clarify that when she suffered her injuries and the bullet came out the back of her head, it created a large hole, which displaced that part of her skull, including her scalp and her hair,” Rutland told the outlet. , adding: “So all around his body there were little tufts of the back of his hair in the grass around his body. Some had fallen near his hands and arms. And when we took off his body, some of the hair that was on his fingers, it was just a few strands that went with it.
How Alex Murdaugh killed his wife and son
Murdaugh shot his son Paul twice with a 12-gauge shotgun as he stood in the kennel’s feed room, prosecutors said. The lawyer then grabbed a .300 Blackout semi-automatic rifle and opened fire on Maggie as he tried to flee her husband. Maggie, who came running after hearing the gunshots that killed Paul, was reportedly shot five times, including two in the head, after falling to her knees.
Rutland also noted how suspiciously clean Murdaugh’s clothes were when law enforcement arrived on the scene, particularly after he claimed he tried to turn Paul’s body over to check his pulse. “In addition to the biological material around his body, there was also a lot of water,” the detective told Fox News, adding, “And [the jury was] able to see that on Sergeant Green’s body camera. It was so strange that even Alex’s shoes were as clean as they were, including the soles of the shoes. Anyone walking around Paul’s body would have had this watery, bloody mixture on their shoes.
“Trying to Make Herself Cry”
Rutland, who was reportedly one of the first to respond to the crime scene, reviewed a video of her interview with Murdaugh and concluded that it looked like he was “trying to…make himself cry” while offering his account of what happened at the kennels that evening. She also recounted her behavior at trial and on the witness stand. “I’ve seen it in person and now I’ve seen it in all the interviews, how he can turn it on and off,” Rutland told Fox News, referring to Murdaugh’s in-room antics. audience.
Following his conviction, the detective is convinced that Murdaugh’s tears in court indicated that he was reliving his horrific crimes.