Alex Murdaugh’s Defense Attorney and His Former Law Partner Spar in Tense Murder Trial Testimony

A testy exchange between a defense attorney and Alex Murdaugh’s former law partner came early in Tuesday’s testimony in Murdaugh’s double murder trial when Dick Harpootlian appeared to imply that Ronnie Crosby was providing negative testimony against Murdaugh because of the millions he defrauded the firm and its clients.

Harpootlian pushed Crosby to say how much money Crosby “had to pay out of pocket” to repay the money Murdaugh stole, and Crosby took “high offense.”

“I couldn’t tell you exactly how much has been paid back as we sit here today, but yes,” Crosby said. “And if you’re implying that I would come in here and somehow shade truth in any way because of that, that’s — I would take high offense with that, Mr. Harpootlian.”

Harpootlian didn’t let up, however, shouting at Crosby that he wasn’t “concerned about your high offense” and asking if Crosby was angry that Murdaugh stole millions from the firm. Crosby’s voice rose as he replied.

“I have had anger with him. Extreme anger, Mr. Harpootlian, because of what he did to my law firm, my partners, my clients, his clients, our clients, what he did to his family, what he did to so many people,” answered.

“Yes, I experienced a lot of anger, but you can’t walk around with anger. You have to find a way to deal with it and move forward, and I have done that. And if you suggest — you’re dead wrong if you think I’ve come in here and told this jury something because of money when we’re talking about two people who were brutally murdered, then you’re headed in the wrong direction.”

Crosby declined to say whether he believed Murdaugh had killed his wife and son, saying he had “no opinion,” and repeated that he had been “very, very angry” because of Murdaugh’s callous deceipt, but that he had “gotten away from that.”

With Crosby’s voice rising, Harpootlian pointed out that he “saw some anger there,” prompting Crosby to say that the defense attorney was “trying to push a question and don’t want to accept my answer, which is what it is.” And that prompted Harpootlian to mock him.

“That you’re zen? That you’re nirvanaed? You’re whatever?” he said

After prosecutor Creighton Waters’ objection, Crosby responded.

“Mr. Harpootlian, I came to the scene of these murders to support my partner,” he said. “I was there. I saw things that haven’t even been talked about in this courtroom. I was there. I loved Paul very much. I thought I knew who Alex was. I did not — and it’s hard to — you might not understand, but it’s just — it’s hard to walk around with — with anger and hard to even walk around with it when it’s with somebody you didn’t know and didn’t understand. So you might not be that way, but I’ve got to function. I’ve got a family. I’ve got to move on with my life.”

Crosby had been recalled to the stand as one of the prosecution’s rebuttal witnesses after the defense rested its case on Monday. The prosecution says it has about seven witnesses to call, and Judge Clifton Newman has agreed to schedule a visit to the crime scene for the jury.

Crosby also said he didn’t know about Murdaugh’s drug problems and later told Harpootlian that he hadn’t forgiven his former partner.

“I said I have no feelings,” he said. “I said I had to work on that, Mr. Harpootlian. When you go through what we’ve gone through — not only losing people we loved in a double homicide, seeing the aftermath and then learning that someone you worked with for more than 20 years had been stealing throughout a period of time and deceiving us — there’s a lot of emotion there. And yes, it was bad in the fall of 2021 and I have found a way to have no feelings. It’s not forgiveness. It’s just I don’t have any feelings.”

Alex Murdaugh’s trial for the murders of his wife Maggie and son Paul could go to the jury later this week.

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[Featured image: Ronnie Crosby testifies Tuesday in Alec Murdaugh’s murder trial/Twitter screen grab]