Breaking News from two major homicide stories.
The Murdaugh Family Chronicles
This guy is a one-man crime wave.
Alex Murdaugh, currently incarcerated for the murder of his wife and son, has just been indicted again — for defrauding the family of his dead housekeeper.
Murdaugh’s housekeeper, you’ll recall, died after reportedly falling down some steps on the Murdaugh family’s front porch. There have been questions about the murky circumstances of the death ever since. Alex has now admitted it did not happen as reported.
The initial story never made sense — and there are suspicions that Alex may well have been involved in the incident.
This one will be tough to solve as a murder, however — the only witnesses reported to be present for the “accident”? The two family members murdered by Alex.
Which sounds like motive to me.
Also from Murdaugh-land comes the news that a grand jury has been empaneled in the 2015 death of Stephen Smith, who was found dead on an abandoned highway in a case that was originally ruled an accident.
The circumstances around Smith’s death have also been murky from the start. The wounds and crime scene were not consistent with a hit-and-run, and the investigation suffered numerous bureaucratic snafus.
Rumors following the death pointed to a relationship of some sort between Murdaugh scion Buster Murdaugh and Smith, who was openly gay. (To date, no evidence of any such relationship has surfaced, nor of any wrongdoing by Buster).
In your narrator’s opinion, the empaneling of the grand jury points to a murder arrest at some point over the summer (there are reportedly at least “five to six individuals” with information material to the case — they will be pulled in to testify).
Having followed this case pretty closely, I believe there are likely two persons-of-interest on the prosecution’s radar.
I also think the prosecution will need to flip someone to make this case stick.
(That said, one is forced to ask: Why did it take the Alex Murdaugh double-homicide to get movement on these two cold cases? The rumors of the Murdaugh family influence down in Colleton County look pretty accurate at this point).
Is he kidding?
Word comes now that Bryan Kohlberger, the accused Idaho quadruple murderer, will challenge the indictment in his case.
As a quick primer: The standard for an indictment is “probable cause” — that is, the accused “probably” did it. It is not “beyond a reasonable doubt,” as it is at trial.
Essentially, the grand jury is just a safeguard in the legal system to ensure the police had that same probable cause when they made their arrest — and that the case can go forward.
Folks, there was MORE than enough evidence for this arrest to have occurred. WAY more.
At this point, this is just grandstanding by Kohlberger and his defense team, as they throw up every roadblock they can on a death penalty case.
The tell is in his lawyer’s statement. She says — somewhat defensively — that, “Mr. Kohberger has the right and intends to contest the indictment.”
Sure, he “has the right.”
And the judge has the right to quash this nonsense and get on with it already.
Thanks for reading The Ops Desk!