Alex Murdaugh's Surviving Son Buster Is on Witness List for Father's Highly Anticipated Murder Trial (2023)

Alex Murdaugh's surviving son, his brothers, his wife's sister and former law partners are among those who could be called to testify in his upcoming sensational double murder trial.

The now-disbarred South Carolina Lowcountry attorney, 54, is accused of killing his wife, Maggie, 52, and their son Paul, 22, on June 7, 2021, who were shot to death on the grounds of their sprawling hunting lodge.

Alex said he found their bodies in the dark of night, shortly after they were brutally killed and called 911.

Earlier that night, Alex allegedly reached out to Maggie, asking her to meet him at the family's 1,770-acre estate in the small town of Islandton, S.C.

According to a law enforcement source close to the investigation, he allegedly told Maggie his 81-year-old father, Randolph Murdaugh III, was in failing health and that she needed to see him before he died.

Several sources told PEOPLE Maggie and Alex had hit a rough patch in their marriage, and she was staying at the family's beach house on Edisto Island, approximately an hour away from the family's estate.

Alex Murdaugh's Surviving Son Buster Is on Witness List for Father's Highly Anticipated Murder Trial (1)

The law enforcement source previously told PEOPLE that Maggie initially declined to meet Alex at the family home, suggesting instead that they meet at the hospital. She reluctantly agreed to meet at the property, planning to follow Alex to the hospital in her own vehicle.

On her way to the house, Maggie allegedly messaged a friend, saying that something about her husband's behavior felt "fishy," the law enforcement source said. "He's up to something," Maggie allegedly wrote.

Shortly after, she was shot to death, 30 feet away from her son, who had also been killed on the ground near the kennels that housed the dogs Maggie loved so much.

"Behind the black ties and fancy dresses were miserable people," a local who runs in the Murdaughs' social circles told PEOPLE previously.

(Video) Murdaugh Family Murders Shake Up Small Town as High-Profile Trial Approaches

Alex Murdaugh's Surviving Son Buster Is on Witness List for Father's Highly Anticipated Murder Trial (2)

Alex, a scion of a prominent legal family, was charged with their murders in July 2022, after being accused of a host of financial crimes that surfaced after his wife and son were killed.

Investigators were tasked with unraveling the knot of Alex's alleged illegal activity, scandal and bizarre behavior that came to light after the killings.

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Just three months after the murders, Alex was fired from his job at his family's law firm, accused of embezzlement, shot in the head, went to rehab for substance abuse and arrested and accused of hiring a hitman to help him commit suicide so his surviving son could cash in on a $10 million life insurance policy.

He pleaded not guilty to all charges against him. His lawyers did not respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.

Lengthy List of Potential Witnesses

With the trial expected to begin Wednesday, jury selection in the trial that is garnering international attention began Monday.

Since jurors must be impartial and have no ties to the Murdaugh family, Judge Clifton Newman read a list of 250 potential witnesses to them on Monday to identify possible conflicts.

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Among those on the list are Alex's family members including his surviving son, Buster, his brothers, Randy Murdaugh and John Marvin Murdaugh, his sister-in-law, Liz Murdaugh, and members of Maggie's family, including her sister, The State, WCBD and The Greenville News report.

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One unsurprising potential witness is Alex's cousin, Curtis Eddie Smith, who was arrested and charged in Alex's botched attempted suicide. Alex allegedly hired him to shoot him in an attempt to obtain a $10 million life insurance payout for Buster.

Alex's former partners at PMPED, the law firm his family founded a century ago – are also potential witnesses.

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His former partners, who worked with him for years and likely know him well, could testify about the nature of his relationship with his wife and son before their murders, Susan E. Williams, a former assistant state prosecutor and criminal defense attorney, told WJCL.

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"As far as the law partners they have known Mr. Murdaugh for a very long time, perhaps their observations between the members of the Murdaugh family," Williams told WJCL. "As far as his son Paul and Maggie, where there was turmoil in that relationship or not."

One observer told PEOPLE previously that she saw Alex and Maggie at a University of South Carolina baseball game two nights before the murders and that she seemed annoyed with him and barely spoke to him.

During the game, Maggie "seemed aggravated" the source says, while Alex and her oldest son, Buster, "were having a good old time," the witness says.

"She was mad," the witness says.

Alex Murdaugh's Surviving Son Buster Is on Witness List for Father's Highly Anticipated Murder Trial (3)

While Alex and Buster went to the bar at least four times to get drinks, Maggie sat quietly next to a young blonde woman, the witness says.

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Alex brought back peanuts for Maggie "and just tossed them to her," without saying anything, the source says. "It was weird. Something was off."

Some of the alleged victims of Alex's financial crimes are also on the list, including Tony Satterfield, whose mother, Gloria Satterfield worked as the Murdaughs' housekeeper and died after a slip and fall accident at their home.

Alex Murdaugh's Surviving Son Buster Is on Witness List for Father's Highly Anticipated Murder Trial (4)

Alex is accused of bilking them out of the $4.3 million in settlement funds they were supposed to receive after her death.

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The Satterfield family's attorney, Eric Bland, is a potential witness as is attorney Mark Tinsley, who represents the family of Mallory Beach, 19, who was killed in a boating accident when Alex's late son, Paul, was at the wheel.

The Beach family is suing Alex and Buster for wrongful death.

Alex Murdaugh's Surviving Son Buster Is on Witness List for Father's Highly Anticipated Murder Trial (5)

Bland is among those who have speculated that Alex's worsening financial woes drove him to kill his wife and son, he told WJCL.

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"The day that he is accused of murdering his wife and son, it was a culmination of pressures," Bland told WJCL.

Other potential witnesses include members of law enforcement, such as the FBI and SLED, bankers, other lawyers, and a representative from Snapchat.

Paul is believed to have sent a Snapchat video to "several friends" at 7:56 p.m., on the night he and his mother were killed, a prosecutor wrote in new court documents filed Wednesday and obtained by Fox News Digital.

In the court documents, Senior Assistant Deputy Attorney General Creighton Waters described the contents of the video as "critical to the case" and "important to proving the State's case in chief."

Waters and Snapchat did not respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.

Also on the list is blood spatter expert Tom Bevel, who Alex's attorneys are trying to ban from testifying about blood allegedly found on the white t-shirt Alex was wearing the night of the murders, according to court documents.

In April 2022, FITSNews, citing sources familiar with the investigation, published a story stating that a shirt worn by Alex on the night of the killings was found to have high-velocity blood spatter from at least one of the victims, which according to investigative sources, indicated he was close to at least one of the victims during the killings.

Calling this "a lie," Alex's attorneys argued that authorities leaked information to the press "to convince the public that Mr. Murdaugh was guilty of the murders before trial" and that the leaked information was "the purported opinion of Tom Bevel of Bevel, Gardner & Associates Inc. in Oklahoma," the filing says.

Everything to Know About the Murdaugh Family Murders, Including Details of Allegations Against Alex

His lawyers say prosecutors knew on Aug. 10, 2021, that "confirmatory blood test results were definitely negative for human blood in all areas of the shirt where purported spatter is present," according to the filing.

The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division "never told Mr. Bevel the shirt definitively tested negative for human blood before Mr. Bevel produced his report," the filing says.

Bevel's initial report "correctly" said there was no high-velocity blood spatter on the shirt and that spatter was unlikely to be on the shooter at all, the filing says.

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