Reporters gather at the Colleton County Courthouse during Alex Murdaugh's trial, which began Monday

The officer who was first to arrive on the scene of the 2021 murder of Alex Murdaugh’s wife and son testified Thursday that Murdaugh was upset but did not see any visible tears on his face. 

“Responders at the scene testified Murdaugh appeared distraught and nervous, though he wasn’t crying. Some said they didn’t view that as suspicious, as people process shock and grief differently,” according to The Post and Courier.

Evidence from officers’ body cameras also revealed that Murdaugh had discussed a possible motive for the death of his wife and son related to a 2019 boating accident — something prosecutors believe will help prove their theory that the slayings were an elaborate ruse Murdaugh concocted to portray himself as the victim of tragedy.

But in the cross-examination, Murdaugh defense attorney Dick Harpootlian focused on first responders’ handling of the crime scene, noting that officers had possibly made many mistakes throughout the night, such as walking around the crime scene and not marking shell casings. Harpootlian also defended Murdaugh’s actions that evening, saying he was processing grief and worried about the well-being of his family. 

More developments are to come as more witnesses take the stand on day five of the trial. 

In other headlines:

Summey gives what’s believed to be last State of the City address. North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey gave what many believe to be his last State of the City address, touting the city’s recent accomplishments, growth and redevelopment of the old naval base. Sources close to city hall have said Summey may not run for reelection, according to The Post and Courier.

Program to refund unused time on parking meters in downtown Charleston. The Smartcard parking program allows Charleston drivers to save money by being refunded for unused time at a parking meter. The card works like a gift card, and can be purchased for a one-time fee of $5 at the City of Charleston’s parking division.

Tow trucks to enforce new King Street park restrictions. The City of Charleston is now sending in tow trucks to enforce its late-night weekend parking restrictions. Cars parked in the 70 spaces on King between Spring and Calhoun will be towed by Jennings Towing beginning Feb. 9.

SCDOT breaks down cost of I-526 expansion. The South Carolina Department of Transportation said phase one of the project is supposed to cost a baseline of $1 billion to $1.5 billion, but does not include potential risks and inflation, which could drive that cost up.

S.C. abortion ban gets first hearing of the session. A House subcommittee on Thursday approved the first abortion ban proposal to get a public hearing in the state this year. A new bill was proposed to ban abortion at conception with exceptions for rape, incest fatal fetal anomaly and the mother’s life and health. The bill must pass the House Judiciary Committee before it can reach the House floor for a vote.

Charleston RiverDogs announce 2023 coaching staff. The Charleston RiverDogs named new and familiar faces among its coaching staff ahead of the 2023 season, slated to start April 6 at Myrtle Beach.

College of Charleston’s basketball success is good for the school. The College of Charleston’s basketball team has seen huge successes on the court, which has shown to add great value to the school. The school’s athletic department is having a record-breaking financial year as well, generating more revenue and taking in more donations than ever before.

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

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