Before Alex Murdaugh testimony starts, judge has key rulings

WALTERBORO, S.C. (AP) — Before testimony begins in South Carolina attorney Alex Murdaugh's murder trial, defense lawyers will ask the judge to make a pair of key rulings this

week that could strike a massive amount of evidence from the case. Prosecutors want to present voluminous evidence of Murdaugh's bad behavior and the numerous other crimes

he is charged with to show he killed his wife and son to buy time to prevent his other wrongdoings from being discovered. Defense attorneys don't want the judge to admit the

evidence, contending prosecutors are trying to smear Murdaugh to bolster a weak case. When Circuit Judge Clifton Newman hears arguments after the jury is seated, Murdaugh’s

lawyers also will try to convince him to refuse to admit evidence that authorities said will show blood from his slain younger son spattered on Murdaugh’s shirt. Defense lawyers

said the shirt was destroyed before they could test it and there is evidence the expert examining the shirt changed his conclusions under pressure from state agents. Jury

selection continues Tuesday as the court tries to get 700 people down to a pool of several dozen potential jurors to select the final panel of 12, plus six

alternates. Murdaugh, 54, faces 30 years to life in prison if convicted of murder in the deaths of Maggie, 52, and their son, Paul, 22. Murdaugh found their bodies outside

their Colleton County home on June 7, 2021. He said he’d been gone for about an hour to visit his ailing father and mother.