Alex Murdaugh defence witness suggests Maggie was killed by 5’2” shooter – not her 6’4” husband

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A defence witness in Alex Murdaugh’s high-profile double-murder trial has suggested that Maggie was gunned down by a 5’2” shooter – and not her 6’4” husband.

Mike Sutton, a forensic engineer who specialises in external ballistics, took the witness stand on Tuesday as the defence fights back against the trove of circumstantial evidence laid out by the prosecution over the past four weeks.

Based on the projection of one of the bullets at the crime scene, Mr Sutton told the court that he believes the assailant who shot Maggie with an AR-15-style rifle had to be 5’2” to 5’4”.

Mr Murdaugh is 6’4” tall.

Based on Mr Murdaugh’s height, Mr Sutton testified that the disgraced attorney could not have fired one of the shots that killed his wife.

“In my opinion, it’s very unlikely that he fired that shot,” he testified.

“You would have to be bending over and have your shooting hand down at or below your kneecap. It just makes it very unlikely that a tall person made that shot.”

Jurors were shown 3D animations of the area around the dog kennels on the Moselle estate where Mr Murdaugh’s wife Maggie and son Paul were shot dead on 7 June 2021.

In the animation, Maggie’s body is seen covered by a sheet close to a hangar and an ATV.

Mr Sutton said that the angles of bullets can be used to determine where the shooter was standing at the time the gun was fired and the height of the firearm – and in turn the person holding it.

The witness worked back from bullet holes in the quail pen and the dog house near Maggie’s body – saying that it was the same person who fired that shot and fired shots at Maggie.

He also testified that Paul’s killer must have fired the shotgun from their hip.

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