Alex Murdaugh’s defense team is scheduled to relax Monday after the discredited attorney testified at his double murder trial in Walterboro, South Carolina, for two days last week.
According to defense lawyer Dick Harpootlian, they had four additional witnesses, including a crime-scene expert, and hoped to officially complete their case by early afternoon.
Assistant Attorney General Creighton Waters said that one or two short rebuttal witnesses were likely. Closing arguments might go place as soon as Wednesday.
Monday marks the sixth week of the live-streamed trial that has drawn out the dramatic demise of the powerful scion of what was long viewed as an impenetrable legal family in the Lowcountry of South Carolina.
Murdaugh testified in his own defense Thursday, denying fatally shooting Paul, 22, with a shotgun and Maggie, 52, with a rifle near the dog kennels at the family’s hunting home in Islandton.
“Are you a family annihilator, Mr. Murdaugh?” Waters inquired about cross-examination.
“No way, I’d ever injure Maggie. I would never do anything to harm Paul “he told the Colleton County jurors.
Waters characterized Murdaugh as a pill-addled serial liar on the edge of a severe financial reckoning during the nine-hour interrogation, which concluded Friday afternoon.
Authorities claim Murdaugh murdered his wife and kid to divert attention away from his theft of roughly $9 million from his law company and customers to fund a luxurious lifestyle.
The disbarred attorney, 54, who cried repeatedly throughout his testimony, confessed publicly for the first time that he had lied to authorities, friends, and family about traveling to the dog kennels the night of the killings.
He said his two-decade-long opioid addiction made him paranoid and skeptical of investigators – but he gladly sat for three separate interviews.
Murdaugh finally revealed his true identity when cellphone footage seized from Paul’s phone in 2022 showed him at the murder site minutes before the deadly gunshots.
Murdaugh and his wife were heard conversing in the background of the video, which was taken around 8:45 p.m. Prosecutors claim he killed his wife and kid about 8:49 p.m. when the victims’ phones locked for the last time.
“You, as you have done so many times in your life, had to back up and invent a new tale to fit with the facts?” Waters inquired.
“No, sir,” Murdaugh said. Waters repeatedly punctured Murdaugh’s shifting story of the night of the murder.
Murdaugh blamed the killings on a tragic boat catastrophe in 2019. Paul drunkenly smashed his father’s boat into a bridge, killing Mallory Beach, wounding four others, and initiating a wrongful death case that sent the Murdaugh family into an inconceivable spiral of ruin.
“I can tell you that at the time, and as I sit here now, I think that boat crash is what killed PawPaw and Maggie,” he sobbed. “I’m positive.”
Murdaugh said that once Paul was charged with a crime in connection with the collision, he was attacked in the press and received threats on social media.
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“I think then, and I believe now, that the wrong person, the wrong person saw and read it,” he said, adding that none of the boat passengers or their families are to blame.
Murdaugh’s “random vigilantes” hypothesis was criticized by Waters. These suspects, according to Waters, were aware that Paul and Maggie would be alone at the kennels at that time and had access to the family’s firearms and ammo.