Alex Murdaugh’s attorney draws gun on the DA

Photo: Jeff Blake/AP/Shutterstock

As the double murder trial of prominent South Carolina attorney Alex Murdaugh continues to grab the true crime spotlight, his trial attorney Dick Harpootlian apparently can’t help but draw some of the attention in his own way. His debauchery thus far has included asking a journalist if she is the “other sexual ego” of her blog’s founder, and feigning surprise at a seven-figure bail — “It’s not often that a black judge sets bail like that.” Adding to that list was his apparent joke Tuesday afternoon involving a gun.

Murdaugh is accused of fatally shooting his wife and son in 2021 following a series of alleged financial crimes and suspected deaths surrounding the prominent family. Harpootlian explained that his client could not have killed his wife with an AR-15 style rifle because Murdaugh, at six feet tall, would have had to crouch in an “unrealistic shooting position” for the trajectory to match her gunshot wounds. Gun in hand, Harpootlian briefly pointed it at the prosecutors and said, “Tempting.” The prankster made Alan Wilson, the South Carolina Attorney General, who was sitting at the prosecutor’s table, smile.

Alex Murdaugh: Shall we get rid of Mike
Dick Harpootlian: #MurdaughTrial #AlexMurdaugh

— SuHe (@SuIsHeChu) February 21, 2023

Harpootlian, a Democratic senator who once suggested that death row inmates in South Carolina should have the option of a firing squad, has reportedly pulled a gun on more than one occasion in unusual circumstances in this case. When reporter Vicky Ward was in his office in 2021, she asked him about Murdaugh’s botched plan to hire a cousin to kill him after the deaths of his wife and son: How could the shooter miss him when they were only feet apart were? Ward claims Harpootlian pulled a pistol from his desk drawer as if to say, “If it’s that easy, try it.”

READ :  Maine courts faced several crises in 2022

While making his idiosyncratic and vaguely threatening points, Harpootlian executes a more traditional defense. Prosecutors dropped their case last week after calling more than 60 witnesses, and the defense called in Murdaugh’s surviving son, Buster, to describe his father’s sadness in the hours after the deaths of his wife and younger son. “He was heartbroken,” said Buster Murdaugh. “I walked in the door and saw him, hugged him.”

Sign up for the Intelligencer newsletter

Daily news about politics, business and technology shaping our world.

Vox Media, LLC Terms and Privacy Notice