Disgraced former South Carolina attorney Alex Murdaugh, who is on trial for murder in the deaths of his wife and son, was back on the stand Friday for more cross-examination from the prosecution.
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.
Here's what happened in court:
Lies to investigators: Prosecutor Creighton Waters continued to press Murdaugh about why he lied to police about where he was on the night of the murders. He first publicly confirmed he was at the kennels that night on Thursday after previously saying he was not at the scene of the killings.
He said various factors contributed to his "paranoid thinking" which led to his decision to lie to police, including his "distrust of SLED," (South Carolina Law Enforcement Division), questions about his relationship with his wife and son, and "the fact that I have a pocket full of pills in my pocket," he said. The prosecution played clips of the police interview.
Alibi: Murdaugh denied that he was trying to manufacture an alibi when asked about the series of phone calls, some of them to Maggie Murdaugh, after she and her son were killed. Waters was asking about what he was doing for 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."
Connection to boat crash: Waters questioned Murdaugh about the idea a "random vigilante" could be involved in the murder of his wife and son. Murdaugh testified that he believed a fatal boat wreck that Paul Murdaugh was involved in was the reason for the killings. He then clarified that he did not believe anyone involved in the 2019 boat wreck had anything to do with the murders — but suspected it was someone who had heard about what happened.
Pill addiction: 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 and son.
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.” 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.
The trial will resume at 9:30 a.m. on Monday.