According to surprising Tuesday testimony in the double murder trial of disbarred lawyer Alex Murdaugh, an expert witness said investigators know what the murder weapon was — a .300 Blackout semi-automatic rifle “that had been used before at the Murdaughs’ spacious hunting estate in Colleton County.” But they don’t know where it is.

Tests on shell casings found near the body of Maggie Murdaugh showed they had been ejected from the same gun as older casings recovered elsewhere on the family estate. But the gun, which was purchased by the suspect, “can no longer be accounted for,” state grand jury chief prosecutor Creighton Waters said in court.

Meanwhile Tuesday after a jury pool was finalized, Circuit Judge Clifton Newman said in the second day of the trial that he will wait until evidence about blood spatter and other crimes comes up to decide whether jurors will hear the evidence. Meanwhile, the process to pick a jury continues today.

In a related case, a wrongful death suit brought four years ago after a boating accident involving a now-dead son in the double murder was settled.

In other headlines:

The distorted reality of Southern Charm and Southern Hospitality. A snarky look at two Charleston-based reality shows that distort what the Holy City really is. A fun read.

Residential fires displace hundreds annually in S.C. In the tri-county area around Charleston, more than 800 people a year have been displaced due to residential fires. A look at fire safety prevention.

S.C. House moves forward on bill about teaching race in schools. A bill that would limit certain teachings on race in public schools is moving through the S.C. House of Representatives. Meanwhile, a Hopkins lawmaker says he will file a  bill against teaching about slave owners as a response.

Charleston Co. School Board tables prayer at meeting. The board has postponed adopting a policy of allowing prayer before board meetings.

Benefitfocus sold for $570 million. The Daniel Island software firm, after years of losses, has been sold to Voya Financial. It’s one of the state’s few publicly traded companies.

Black funeral home on peninsula is up for sale. Fielding Home for Funerals, one of Charleston’s last mortuaries serving Black families, has been put up for sale.

North Charleston sees cut in violent crime. Violent crime reportedly has dropped 12%.

  • To get dozens of South Carolina news stories every business day, contact the folks at SC Clips.

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