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Phone location data is center stage at Murdaugh trial

February 23, 2023  - By
Alex Murdaugh (Image: Pool reporter photo from trial)

Alex Murdaugh (Image: Pool reporter photo from trial)

Cellphone and vehicle location data is at center stage as former South Carolina attorney, Alex Murdaugh, takes the stand in the trial for the murder of his wife, Maggie Murdaugh, and son, Paul Murdaugh. Troves of data including call logs, text messages, steps recorded, app information, coordinates determined by GPS and more from Alex, Paul and Maggie, are being retrieved for the ongoing trial.

Records retrieved from Murdaugh’s cellphone show that after the murders occurred, he proceeded to Google an area restaurant, check group messages, and made other calls that night, which he testified were accidental, according to CNN reports. Vehicle location data was also pulled and presented at trial to identify a timeline of events for the court, according to reports from AP.

Location data retrieved from Murdaugh’s cellphone on the night of the double murders is not the only time this type of data comes into play for the Murdaugh family.

In February 2019, Paul Murdaugh and his friends were involved in a boating accident, which killed one of the boaters, Mallory Beach. In the new Netflix documentary regarding the Murdaugh family, Murdaugh Murders: A Southern Scandal, a relative of one of the boaters mentions in Episode 2 that Beach always wore an Apple Watch, and asked why investigators failed to look into location data to find her sooner.

About the Author: Maddie Saines

Maddie has a B.A. in Journalism and Promotional Communication from Cleveland State University and has years of marketing and journalistic experience under her belt. She joins the editorial staff at GPS World and team at North Coast Media after working in professional sports for over six years.

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