Looking back at Alex Murdaugh’s testimony

Published: Feb. 27, 2023 at 4:56 PM EST|Updated: Feb. 28, 2023 at 2:39 PM EST
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COLLETON COUNTY, S.C. (WTOC) - Alex Murdaugh’s testimony to end last week’s court hearings will loom large when this jury sits down to decide his fate.

Prosecutors hammered the defendant over his financial wrong-doings, self-admitted lies, and inconsistencies in his alibi.

Cross examination began Thursday afternoon with a tense exchange, between Murdaugh and Waters.

Waters stressed that Murdaugh betrayed people who trusted him.

“Every single one of these, you had to sit down and look somebody in the eye and convince them you were on their side. Correct?” Waters said.

“I mean, every time?” Murdaugh said.

“Answer my question, yes or no, and then you can explain,” Water said.

“No sir, that may or may not be true. And Mr. Waters, just to try to get through this quicker,” Murdaugh said.

“I know you want to get through this quicker, but we’re not! So, answer the question please,” Waters said.

“What I admit is that I misled them, I did wrong, and I stole their money,” Murdaugh said.

Cross-examination continued through the day Friday.

At one point, Waters brought-up the deadly 20-19 boat wreck involving Paul Murdaugh.

Paul was charged after investigators say he drunkenly crashed his father’s boat killing 19-year-old Mallory Beach.

Alex said he believes the boat wreck is the reason Maggie and Paul were killed but he also said he did not think Beach’s family or anyone *directly involved in the wreck would have killed Paul and Maggie.

Waters then pressed Alex on who he thought did it..

“Alright, so we have random vigilantes, because of the boat wreck,” Waters said.

“I don’t know if it’s random vigilantes.” Murdaugh said.

“Well, you say it’s not anyone involved in the wreck, or their families. So, you’re saying it’s someone off of social media. And, you don’t have any evidence of that, do you? You just believe that, and you’re telling the jury that as you try to explain the lie that you just told for the first time last night. Isn’t that right?” Waters said.

“No sir, that’s not right,” Murdaugh said.

Right off the bat, in dramatic fashion, defense attorney Jim Griffin asked Murdaugh the question on everyone’s mind.

“Mr. Murdaugh did you take this gun, or any gun like it, and blow your son’s brains out on June 7th, or any day, or any time,” Griffin said.

“No, I did not,” Murdaugh said.

“Did you shoot a 300 blackout into her head, causing her death?” Griffin said.

“Mr. Griffin, I did not shoot my wife or my son any time, ever,” Murdaugh said.

Without question, a big moment in this trial.

But Griffin’s questions right after that may prove more significant.

Murdaugh had previously told investigators he was not at the family’s kennels the night of the murders. But listen to this.

“Griffin: Mr. Murdaugh, is that you on the kennel video at 8:44 p.m. on June the 7th, the night Maggie and Paul were murdered?” Griffin said.

“It is,” Murdaugh said.

In a surprising twist Murdaugh admitted several times he’d LIED to investigators about where he was the night of the murders.

“I did lie to them,” Murdaugh said.

“Did you lie to agent Owen, and agent Croft, on the follow-up interview on June 10th, that the last time you saw Maggie and Paul was at dinner?” Griffin said.

“I did lie to them,” Murdaugh said.

Murdaugh testified that his addiction to opioids caused him to have paranoid thoughts and lie.

Thoughts, he says he couldn’t control after seeing his wife and son’s bodies.

“All those things coupled together after finding them, coupled with my distrust for SLED, caused me to have paranoid thoughts,” Murdaugh said.

Murdaugh went on to apologize to his family, and to the people he let down by lying to investigators.

And he again got emotional, while adding this.

“Most of all, I’m sorry to Mags and Paw-Paw... I would never intentionally do anything to hurt either one of them,” Murdaugh said.