Pressed about various phone calls he made after his wife and son were killed, Alex Murdaugh said "it's an absolute fact" that he was not trying to manufacture an alibi.
Prosecutor Creighton Waters asked Murdaugh, who is testifying in his own defense, about what he was doing during a period of about four minutes before he left to go to his mom's house.
“It's an absolute fact that I'm not manufacturing an alibi, as you say," Murdaugh said, and categorized the calls as "very normal." Several of the calls were to his wife, Maggie, who had been killed near the dog kennels.
Asked why he didn't go down to the kennels to check why Maggie wasn't answering, Murdaugh said, "There was no reason to."
“It wasn’t important to do that,” he said, because the calls were to let them know he was leaving but he would be back.
"I never manufactured any alibi in any way shape or form because I did not, and would not, hurt my wife and my child," he said. "So I know for a fact that I never, ever, ever created an alibi."
12:13 p.m. ET, February 24, 2023
Murdaugh testifies on the 4th anniversary of boat crash involving his son
From CNN’s Dianne Gallagher
Alex Murdaugh took the stand in his own defense for the second day on Friday — the fourth anniversary of the boat crash involving his son Paul that killed Mallory Beach.
Mallory Beach, 19, was thrown from the boat in the February 24, 2019, crash. Her body was found about a week later, on March 3, 2019.
At the time of his 2021 murder, Paul was awaiting trial on felony charges that he was drunk while driving the boat during the deadly crash. He had pleaded not guilty to the charges. The charges were dropped after Paul was killed.
In court, state prosecutors have said they believe Murdaugh murdered his wife and son to distract from decades of alleged financial crimes being discovered, the scope of which could have been revealed at a hearing schedule for the boat crash civil lawsuit the same week Maggie and Paul were killed.
12:09 p.m. ET, February 24, 2023
Murdaugh: I sometimes took more than 2,000 milligrams of oxycodone a day
From CNN’s Alta Spells
During cross-examination Friday, Alex Murdaugh said he sometimes took more than 2,000 milligrams of oxycodone per day in the months leading up to the deaths of his wife, Maggie, and son Paul.
Murdaugh testified that most of what he was purchasing was “30-milligram pills instant-release oxycodone, probably mixed in with some OxyContin, which is made of oxycodone — it’s just time release.”
According to Murdaugh, he would take “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.”
“You’re taking 60 (pills) a day or something like that?” state prosecutor Creighton Waters asked Murdaugh about the time between January and June 2021.
“There were days where I took more than that … there were days that I took less than that,” Murdaugh said, as he began to explain how he built up a tolerance to pain pills over the years. He said opioids gave him energy and, “whatever I was doing, it made it more interesting.”
“It got to the point where I was taking so much just to not backslide or go into withdrawals or have all those symptoms … It evolved over time,” he added.
It is virtually unheard of for a doctor to prescribe a patient more than 100 milligrams of oxycodone a day for even the most severe acute or chronic pain.
12:54 p.m. ET, February 24, 2023
Murdaugh says dogs did not act unusually at kennel before wife and son were killed
The prosecution questioned Alex Murdaugh about the time he spent at the family's dog kennels on the evening his wife Maggie and son Paul were killed.
Murdaugh said his wife was "very concerned" about Paul.
But then he said, "I believe that at that time, we may have talked about Paul Paul, but I'm not certain."
He told prosecutor Creighton Waters that the family's dogs weren't acting like someone different was around or hiding in the woods.
"There was nobody else around for them to sense," Murdaugh said.
Waters then asked him about taking a chicken out of family dog Bubba's mouth and how long it took him to leave the area to go back home.
"Did I get on the golf cart and leave that second? Probably not. But did I get on the golf cart and leave very quickly after that? I did," Murdaugh said, adding he likely said something to Maggie, but did not recall exactly what it concerned.
"I think that you testified yesterday, 'I got out of there,'" Waters said, which Murdaugh affirmed.
Waters asked him why he left quickly, and Murdaugh said, "because it was chaotic, it was hot, and I was getting ready to do exactly what I didn't want to do," which was to work more in the kennels.
Murdaugh said he didn't hear anything out of the ordinary on his way back to his house.
He then laid down on the couch at home and possibly dozed off, Murdaugh said.
11:42 a.m. ET, February 24, 2023
Court resumes and the cross-examination of Alex Murdaugh continues
Court has resumed following a short break in the trial of former South Carolina attorney Alex Murdaugh.
Prosecutors are continuing to question Murdaugh, who is charged in the June 2021 killings of his wife and son.
11:23 a.m. ET, February 24, 2023
Court is in a short recess
Court is taking a 15-minute break in the trial of former South Carolina attorney Alex Murdaugh.
Murdaugh took the stand this morning for a second day of testimony in his own defense. Prosecutors have been cross-examining, asking questions about his financial trouble as well as about his activities on the day his wife and son were killed.
Murdaugh has pleaded not guilty to two counts of murder and two weapons charges in the June 2021 killings of Margaret “Maggie” Murdaugh and 22-year-old son Paul Murdaugh at the family’s estate in Islandton, South Carolina.
10:02 a.m. ET, February 24, 2023
Murdaugh faces more questions about stealing money
The cross-examination of Alex Murdaugh kicked off on Friday morning with the former lawyer facing more questions from prosecutor Creighton Waters about him repeatedly stealing money.
"I would agree that in 2019, I stole more money than any other year," Murdaugh said, not disputing Waters about stealing about $3.7 million just in that year.
Waters asked him about his reported income from 2015 to 2019.
"I have never [disputed], since being confronted that day my brother and my partner came to talk to me [on Labor Day weekend 2021], that I have stolen money that did not belong to me, that I misled people to do it — people that I cared about, still care about, a lot of them that I love and still love, and I misled them to do it, and I was wrong. I have never disputed that from day one," Murdaugh said.
He said he borrowed multiple times from his law firm partners.
Prosecutors began asking Murdaugh questions about financial trouble and his theft of clients' money on Thursday.
9:44 a.m. ET, February 24, 2023
Alex Murdaugh takes the stand for a 2nd day of testimony
Court is back in session and disgraced former South Carolina attorney Alex Murdaugh, who is on trial for murder in the deaths of his wife and son, faces more cross-examination today.
Murdaugh has pleaded not guilty to two counts of murder and two weapons charges in the June 2021 killings of Margaret “Maggie” Murdaugh and 22-year-old son Paul Murdaugh at the family’s estate in Islandton, South Carolina
What happened yesterday: During testimony on Thursday, he denied the charges, insisting in response to his lawyer's questions, “I didn’t shoot my wife or my son, anytime, ever.”
Within moments of taking the stand, Murdaugh acknowledged his voice is heard in a video that appeared to be filmed at the dog kennels where the bodies of Margaret “Maggie” Murdaugh and Paul Murdaugh were found, saying he lied about being at the kennels earlier that evening because of “paranoid thinking” stemming from his drug addiction.
9:12 a.m. ET, February 24, 2023
Badges, pills and stealing millions of dollars: Prosecution pressed Alex Murdaugh during cross-examination
The prosecution began its cross-examination of disgraced lawyer Alex Murdaugh on Thursday afternoon, pressing him about his financial trouble, his theft of clients' money and his relationship with law enforcement in the area where he lived.
Murdaugh took the stand in his own self-defense after he pleaded not guilty to the murder of his wife and son.
Use of badges: Prosecutor Creighton Waters presented two badges into evidence, one that was Murdaugh's grandfather's badge after he retired and another that he said he considered to be his badge. Murdaugh testified that he usually keeps it in his car and that while he did not consider himself law enforcement, he carried a badge as a "volunteer assistant solicitor" for two decades.
The prosecutor pressed Murdaugh on how he used the presence of the badge to influence a desired outcome with law enforcement. He presented a photo of Murdaugh with the badge hanging out of his pocket at the hospital on the night of a fatal boat crash involving his son Paul, even when he testified he was not acting in an official capacity.
"I guess I would want... as I said, a badge has a warming effect with other law enforcement," Murdaugh said. "If I was seeking any advantage, as you say, then I guess that would be what it was."
Murdaugh testified that he also installed blue lights installed in the law firm's vehicle that he drove.
The prosecution spent a lot of time going through these allegations because they accuse Murdaugh of killing his wife and son to distract from an array of alleged financial crimes, for which Murdaughseparately faces another 99 charges.
"I admit candidly in all of these cases, Mr. Waters, that I took money that was not mine and I shouldn't have done it. I hate the fact that I did it. I'm embarrassed by it. I'm embarrassed for my son. I'm embarrassed for my family," he said.
Before he took the stand, Judge Clifton Newman denied a defense request tolimit the scope of questioning Murdaugh will face, specifically in regard to alleged financial crimes.
Pill addiction: Muraugh testified that he was addicted to pills for about 20 years. Despite the addiction, he said he was still able to maintain his practice and was "certain none of my partners knew I had an addiction."
Murdaugh testified that his opioid use was "certainly a cause" of his financial problems, but not the only cause. He said that he was using some of the money he stole from clients to buy pills, but not all of it. Some money was being used to fund what the prosecution called a "wealthy lifestyle," a term Murdaugh said he would not take issue with.
The cross-examination is set to resume Friday at 9:30 a.m. ET.
CNN's Dakin Andone, Dianne Gallagher, Randi Kaye and Alta Spells contributed reporting to this post.