Accused murderer Alex Murdaugh searched online for a popular South Carolina restaurant soon after saying he found the bullet-ridden bodies of his wife and son, according to a timeline given in his trial.
The disgraced 54-year-old legal scion’s phone records show that he “searched ‘Whaley’s Edisto’ in Safari browser” at 10:40 p.m. — while he was still at the blood-soaked crime scene, and just 15 minutes after the first cop arrived.
That officer has testified that Murdaugh appeared “upset” but did not shed any “visible tears.”
The search came in a detailed timeline showing Murdaugh’s movements from phone and GPS data on June 7, 2021, the day his wife Maggie, 52, and their son Paul, 22, were gunned down at their holiday home.
The restaurant he searched is one of the oldest in Edisto — where the Murdaughs’ main house was — and has a menu item called “Maggie’s favorite burger.”
It is not clear if there is a connection to the Murdaughs, who for generations had been one of the area’s most prominent — and powerful — families.
The timeline suggests the search came just over half an hour after Murdaugh’s car was shown arriving at the dog kennels where his wife and son were slaughtered. Paul was killed at close range with two shotgun blasts and Maggie was shot four or five times with a rifle.
Murdaugh called 911 just 17 seconds after his car arrived there — yet told the dispatcher he’d already checked the bodies and even tried to turn over the bodies. There was “blood everywhere … I see brain,” he said in the call.
The timeline earlier put Murdaugh still at the home in Colleton County until 9:07 p.m. that night — more than 15 minutes after investigators believe his wife and son were likely murdered.
Murdaugh claimed to investigators that he’d been away for hours visiting his ailing parents.
Before leaving the house, Murdaugh’s phone caught him rushing around, recording about 70 steps per minute, far hastier than he’d been throughout the rest of the day.
“He was a busy guy right then, was he?” Prosecutor Creighton Waters asked State Law Enforcement Division agent Peter Rudofski in Colleton County Court.
“It appears,” the agent replied.
When Murdaugh drove away — texting his dead wife that he’d “b rite back” — he raced through country roads at more than 74 mph, well over 55 mph speed limit.
His journey took him past the spot where his wife’s phone was found the day after her murder.
When he reached his mother’s nearby home, he parked near outbuildings in woodland away from the main house, the records show. Prosecutors have claimed he stashed key evidence there after the murder.
During his visit with his mom — who was already in the advanced stages of dementia — Murdaugh appears to have spent much of th time making calls and sending messages.
He then drove even faster back to his house — hitting up to 80 mph — where he eventually said he found his wife and son’s bodies.
After completing his 911 call, he raced back to the main house, returning minutes later. He told the first officer on scene that he’d gone to collect a gun because of the brutal nature of the crime scene.
When officers showed up, Murdaugh was wearing a spotless white T-shirt, despite claiming to have checked the bodies.
He’d earlier been seen wearing khakis and a shirt in a Snapchat clip filmed by his son earlier in the day.
“This is a long story. My son was in a boat wreck months back — he’s been getting threats,” Murdaugh said.
“I know that’s what it is.”
In cross-examination, defense attorney Phillip Barber ripped the accuracy of the data, while stressing that it did not accurately show that Murdaugh was walking faster than usual after the expected crime time.
The defense also claimed that the speeds he drove were not unexpected given that he was traveling country roads he knew well.
Barber also played a 20-second timer on his phone to show how long it was from when Murdaugh arrived at the crime scene to when he called 911, noting how the SUV’s headlights likely illuminated the bodies before Murdaugh even stopped the vehicle.
They have also said that the timeline shows he would not have been able to clean himself off and change clothes and dispose of evidence.
Murdaugh’s legal team maintains that prosecutors incorrectly locked in on Murdaugh’s guilt from the start and have spent all that time trying to jam bits of evidence that can be explained away or leave an incomplete picture of the story.
“There’s no direct evidence. There’s no eyewitnesses. There’s nothing on camera. There’s no fingerprints. There’s no forensics tying him to the crime. None,” defense lawyer Dick Harpootlian said.
Murdaugh faces 30 years to life in prison if he is convicted of the murders. He has pleaded not guilty.
He also faces about 100 charges related to other crimes, including alleged money-laundering, stealing millions of dollars from clients and his family law firm, tax evasion and even trying to get a man to fatally shoot him so his surviving son could collect a $10 million life-insurance policy.
Murdaugh was being held in jail without bail on those counts before he was charged with the murders.
With Post wires
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