Alex Murdaugh testified on Thursday that he lied to investigators about aspects tied to his alibi, but he maintained that he did not kill his wife and son.
While on the stand, Alex admitted that he lied to SLED special agent David Owen and Colleton County police detective Laura Rutland about being at the dog kennels on the night Paul and Maggie were murdered. He attributed the lie to a 20-year opioid addiction which fueled his distrust of law enforcement.
Minutes before the murders, Paul reportedly filmed a video in which his and Maggie’s voices are heard in the background. Several witnesses have testified that a second man’s voice heard in the video is Alex.
Alex stated that he continued to lie after the initial lie about his whereabouts on the night his wife and son were killed.
“As my addiction evolved over time I would get into situations or circumstances where I will get paranoid thinking. It could be anything that triggered it – might be a look somebody gave me, it might be a reaction somebody had to something I did, it might be a policeman following me in a car,” he testified.
#AlexMurdaugh blames his drug addiction as the reason he lied to investigators about his whereabouts the night his wife and son were murdered. pic.twitter.com/oZYoWEx2XA
— Law&Crime Network (@LawCrimeNetwork) February 23, 2023
Prosecutors said cell phone data and forensic evidence tie Alex to Maggie and Paul’s slayings. Meanwhile, Alex’s attorney, Dick Harpootlian, said the cell phone records were incomplete and asserted that Alex would be covered in blood if he killed his wife and son at close range. Harpootlian said no blood was found on Alex’s clothing.
In September 2021, months after Paul and Maggie’s slayings, Alex suffered superficial head wounds when he allegedly had former client Curtis Smith, 61, shoot him in the head so his surviving son, Buster, would receive a $10 million insurance payout.
A day before the shooting, Alex was forced out of his family law firm amid allegations he misappropriated funds.
Two days after the apparent botched suicide, Alex announced he was entering rehabilitation for drugs. Shortly thereafter, he was charged with insurance fraud in connection with the September 2021 suicide-for-hire plot and released on bail.
However, in October 2021, Alex was rearrested upon leaving a rehabilitation center in Florida for allegedly stealing $4.3 million from late housekeeper Gloria Satterfield’s estate. In that case, he was accused of stealing insurance payouts that were intended for Satterfield’s family. Authorities plan to exhume her body amid an ongoing investigation regarding her death.
In addition to the murder charges, Alex faces more than 100 criminal counts related to fraud.
In June 2022, Alex and Smith were indicted for allegedly purchasing and distributing oxycodone in multiple counties. In December 2022, Alex was indicted for tax evasion for allegedly failing to claim the $6 million he allegedly earned through illegal acts between 2011 and 2019.
Alex was charged with Maggie and Paul’s murders days after he was formally disbarred by the South Carolina Supreme Court.
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