Alex Murdaugh today took the stand to testify in his own defense, marking an extraordinary twist in his double-murder trial. He denied ‘blowing his son’s brains out’ and executing his wife, but he did acknowledge to detectives that he lied about being at the murder scene the night of the deaths.
The Disbarred lawyer, 54, blamed his opioid addiction for inducing paranoia, which he could ‘usually reason’ his way out of except that night, when ‘I wasn’t thinking well.’
“I want to testify,” Mr. Murdaugh said Thursday as Circuit Court Judge Clifton Newman advised Mr. Murdaugh of his rights.
Alex Murdaugh is accused of murdering and shooting his wife, Maggie Murdaugh, and son Paul at the family hunting estate, Moselle, on a wet July night in 2021.
Mr. Murdaugh has been imprisoned for more than a year on a total of 99 charges, largely for allegedly defrauding his personal-injury clients out of $8.8 million over a decade, but also for suspected drug trafficking, money laundering, and insurance fraud.
Mr. Murdaugh has pled not guilty to the murder allegations as well as the majority of the other accusations leveled against him.
Mr. Murdaugh’s attorney, Jim Griffin, asked him after he took the stand whether he shot his son, Paul.
“Did you take this gun or any gun like it and blow your son’s brains out on June 7—or any day, or any time?” Mr. Griffin asked.
“No, I did not,” Mr. Murdaugh said.
Mr. Griffin then questioned Mr. Murdaugh if he killed his wife, Maggie, by shooting a bullet “into her brain, causing her death?”
“I never shot my wife or my son,” Mr. Murdaugh answered. Ever.”
‘I don’t believe I was capable of reason, and I lied about being down there, and I am so sorry that I did,’ Murdaugh said, explaining why he lied to officers. I apologize to my son Buster, Grandpa, Papa T (Maggie’s father), and, most importantly, Mags and PauPau.’
‘I would never intentionally do anything to hurt either of them. Ever. Ever,’ he sobbed. ‘I didn’t shoot my wife or son, ever.’
The jury has already heard hours of statements from Mr. Murdaugh in the form of four recorded interviews played over the course of the trial.