Lawyer ‘may have used rifle he bought for his son to kill his wife’

A firearms expert spoke to jurors during Alex Murdaugh’s double-murder trial (Picture: South Carolina Attorney General’s Office/AP/Facebook)

A disgraced lawyer may have killed his wife using a rifle he bought for his son, whom he is also accused of shooting dead.

During Alex Murdaugh’s double murder trial, a firearms expert told jurors that markings on ammunition used to kill his wife Maggie were the same as shells found in a hunting lodge.

The .300 Blackout casings found close to Maggie’s body came from the same weapon as shells that were found outside the home, at a shooting range and a field, Paul Greer, an expert from the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, said on Friday.

Greer said that the shells found near Maggie and at the Murdaugh family’s South Carolina estate had been ‘loaded into, extracted and ejected from the same firearm at some previous time’.

Maggie was shot five times with an assault rifle with .300 Blackout. Alex’s younger son, Paul, was found shot twice with a shotgun. Neither weapon used in the murders has been identified.

Alex has pleaded not guilty to two counts of murder and two counts of possessing a weapon during the commission of a violent crime.

His defense attorney, Jim Griffin, argued it was not possible to know if the casings were discharged from the same firearm without having recovered the weapon.

Griffin asked Greer if every Blackout rifle leaves a signature tool mark on the shell casing it sheds.

‘It’s hard to say,’ replied Greer.

Alex purchased two .300 Blackout rifles as Christmas presents for Paul and his older son Buster in 2016, jurors were told earlier this week. Paul apparently lost his firearm and was given a replacement in April 2018, that was also a .300 Blackout.

During opening statements a week and a half ago, Alex sobbed as prosecutors claimed a ‘family weapon’ was used to kill Maggie, and he has appeared emotional throughout the trial.

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