Disbarred South Carolina lawyer Richard “Alex” Murdaugh returned to the stand Friday to proceed cross-examination within the double homicide trial over the demise of his spouse and son.
Murdaugh, 54, on Thursday admitted to mendacity to investigators however repeatedly denied killing 52-year-old Maggie Murdaugh and 22-year-old Paul Murdaugh on June 7, 2021.
Murdaugh broke down a number of occasions whereas being questioned by his protection lawyer Jim Griffin about discovering their our bodies at the household’s property in Colleton County. He additionally admitted to stealing cash from shoppers to fund his drug dependancy and asking a good friend to shoot him within the aftermath of their deaths.
Lead prosecutor Creighton Waters pressed Murdaugh about his monetary misconduct and a 2019 boat crash involving Paul, however didn’t ask in regards to the killings throughout a generally combative cross-examination Thursday. Prosecutors allege Murdaugh killed his spouse and son to achieve sympathy and purchase time to cowl up his monetary crimes that have been about to be found.
Waters informed Decide Clifton Newman he expects his questioning to final a number of extra hours and protection attorneys might name at the least two extra witnesses after Murdaugh’s testimony is completed.
Prosecution questions Murdaugh about day of the killings
Murdaugh mentioned Thursday was the primary time he admitted to mendacity to investigators in regards to the final time he noticed his spouse and son. Murdaugh added he didn’t have the chance to take action earlier than as a result of the prosecution wouldn’t reply to his invites to speak. He insisted that, apart from mendacity about when he final noticed his spouse and son, he was “cooperative in each facet of this investigation.”
“The second that you just’re confronted with info you may’t deny you instantly provide you with a brand new lie, isn’t that right?” Waters requested.
“We’ve established that I’ve lied many occasions,” Murdaugh replied. “I’d disagree with that proposition that you just’re placing out.”
Waters questioned Murdaugh about what he did on the kennels and how lengthy he remained there earlier than returning to the primary home, usually referring to it as Murdaugh’s “new story.”
Prosecution resumes cross examination on monetary crimes, drug dependancy
Waters questioned Murdaugh on Friday about his monetary misconduct and opioid dependancy.
Murdaugh mentioned as his revenue diminished within the years earlier than his household was killed, he borrowed vital quantities of cash from the financial institution, a legislation associate and his father, then used stolen cash to pay it again. He didn’t dispute Waters assertion that he stole $3.7 million in 2019.
“I’d agree in 2019 I stole more cash than every other 12 months,” Murdaugh mentioned.
When requested about his drug use, Murdaugh mentioned as his dependancy developed he generally took greater than 60 tablets every day and had tried to detox “dozens” of occasions, generally with Maggie’s assist. He mentioned his spouse and son had seen him experiencing withdrawals and located his tablets a number of occasions.
“They’d been watching you want a hawk for years, is that right?” Waters requested.
“About my capsule dependancy, sure that’s right,” Murdaugh replied.
Murdaugh admits to mendacity, stealing; denies killing his household
Murdaugh admitted his voice may very well be heard on a cellphone video taken on the kennels the place Maggie and Paul have been killed and that he repeatedly lied to South Carolina Regulation Enforcement Division investigators about that final time he noticed them that night time, however denied killing them.
“I did not shoot my spouse or my son anytime, ever,” he mentioned
After spending time with the household’s canines within the kennels, Murdaugh mentioned he went to go to his ailing mom. Murdaugh cried as he described returning dwelling to seek out their our bodies. He testified that he tried to “have a tendency” to his spouse and son whereas calling 911 and grabbing a gun. Witnesses who noticed Murdaugh within the minutes and hours after the taking pictures mentioned they didn’t see any blood on him.
Murdaugh admitted to stealing cash from his shoppers, however when requested by Griffin about a confrontation with the previous CFO of his legislation agency about his theft the day of the murders, he mentioned “it wasn’t a really large concern.” Murdaugh mentioned a part of the explanation for his monetary misconduct was as a result of he was “spending a lot cash on tablets.”
He mentioned his dependancy to opioids started after a knee damage and a collection of surgical procedures. He was planning to enter detox in September 2021 mentioned he requested a good friend, Curtis Edward Smith, to shoot him “so I would be gone.”
Police mentioned Murdaugh organized the taking pictures, which he survived, so his son Buster would get a multimillion greenback life insurance coverage cost. Murdaugh was later charged with insurance coverage fraud, conspiracy to commit insurance coverage fraud, and submitting a false police report in reference to the taking pictures.
Prosecution begins tense cross-examination
Lead prosecutor Creighton Waters questioned Murdaugh about his household’s authorized legacy in South Carolina, his success as a lawyer and his relationship with legislation enforcement. Waters requested Murdaugh about a number of shoppers he stole cash from, and Murdaugh insisted what did was unsuitable however sometimes appeared to develop annoyed with Waters’ questions.
“You’ve charged me with murdering my spouse and my son and I’ve sat right here all these weeks listening to all this monetary stuff that I did unsuitable that I’m embarrassed by,” he mentioned. “I can’t particularly bear in mind sitting down, the main points you are asking me for.”
Contributing: Anna Kaufman, USA TODAY; Michael Dewitt, Jr., Greenville Information
This text initially appeared on USA TODAY: Alex Murdaugh trial dwell updates: Murdaugh to proceed testifying
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