Alex Murdaugh, a disgraced former South Carolina lawyer accused of killing his son and wife, returned to the witness stand on Friday to face additional cross-examination from the prosecution.
In connection with the June 2021 slayings of Margaret “Maggie” Murdaugh and her 22-year-old son Paul at the family’s Islandton, South Carolina, plantation, Murdaugh has entered a not-guilty plea to two counts of murder and two weapons charges.
Here’s what happened in court:
Lies to investigators: Murdaugh was questioned by prosecutor Creighton Waters about why he misled police about where he was on the night of the murders. He had earlier claimed he was not at the scene of the killings, but on Thursday, he openly acknowledged he was at the kennels that night.
He said various factors contributed to his “paranoid thinking,” which led to his decision to lie to police, including his “distrust of SLED” (South Carolina Law Enforcement Division), questions about his relationship with his wife and son, and “the fact that I have a pocket full of pills in my pocket,” he said. The prosecution played clips of the police interview.
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Alibi: When questioned about the string of phone conversations, some of which were to Maggie Murdaugh after she and her son were killed, Murdaugh denied that he was attempting to fabricate an alibi. When he departed to go to his mother’s house, Waters questioned him about what he was doing for around four minutes.
“It’s an absolute fact that I’m not manufacturing an alibi, as you say,” Murdaugh said, categorizing the calls as “very normal.”
Connection to boat crash: Waters questioned Murdaugh regarding the possibility that a “random vigilante” was responsible for the deaths of his wife and kid. Murdaugh stated during his testimony that he thought Paul Murdaugh’s involvement in a tragic boat accident was the cause of the killings.
He said that while he didn’t think anyone connected to the 2019 boat crash had anything to do with the killings, he did think someone who had heard about what had transpired might have been responsible.
Pill addiction: In the months preceding the deaths of his wife and kid, Murdaugh said that he occasionally consumed more than 2,000 milligrams of oxycodone each day.
Murdaugh said that he would consume “maybe 1,000 milligrams or 1,200 milligrams on a day I didn’t take as much or didn’t have as much, up to, I mean — there were days, many days, a lot of days, most days were more than that, and many days would be… more than 2,000 milligrams a day.”
Even for the most severe acute or chronic pain, it is practically unheard of for a doctor to recommend to a patient more than 100 mg of oxycodone each day. On Monday, the trial will get back up at 9:30 a.m.
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