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Alex Murdaugh took the stand on Thursday in his own defense, and immediately admitted to lying for years about his whereabouts on the day his wife, Maggie, and son, Paul, were murdered.
Murdaugh is currently on trial for their murders.
The prosecution had already argued that Murdaugh had lied about not going to the dog kennels on the day that his wife and son were murdered. Prosecutor Creighton Waters previously pointed to cell phone evidence taken from Paul’s phone less than five minutes before he was killed. Paul had filmed one of the dogs to send to a friend, and prosecutors allege Murdaugh’s voice can be heard in the background of the recording. Murdaugh has said he wasn’t at the kennels that night. Prosecutors allege that Murdaugh murdered his wife and son around 8:49 p.m., just a few minutes after the video was taken.
On Thursday, when Murdaugh took the stand, his defense attorneys asked him if he had lied to police about his whereabouts on the night his family was murdered, and Murdaugh admitted to lying.
“I lied about being down there, and I’m so sorry that I did,” Murdaugh said, according to People Magazine.
Murdaugh maintained that he did not murder his wife and son, whom he referred to by nicknames “Mags” and “Paul Paul.” The disgraced South Carolina attorney claimed during his testimony that his alleged drug addiction made him “paranoid,” which caused him to lie.
“As my addiction evolved over time I would get in these situations or circumstances where I would get paranoid,” Murdaugh testified. “I’m sorry I lied.”
Murdaugh also testified that his son Paul was receiving threats over his involvement in a 2019 boat crash that killed 19-year-old Mallory Beach. Paul was indicted on one count of boating under the influence causing death and two counts of causing significant bodily injury.
“Paul got the most vile threats — the stuff that was on social media — you couldn’t believe it,” Murdaugh testified, according to People. “You couldn’t believe it. It was so over the top, truthfully we didn’t think anything about it, it was so crazy. People talking about what he was going to get … We disregarded it. It was so over the top.”
Earlier this week, the defense called Murdaugh’s surviving son, Buster, to the stand to poke holes in the prosecution’s case.
On the stand, Buster explained away certain points made by the prosecution. For example, the prosecution suggested Alex parked behind his mother’s home on the night of the murders to get rid of evidence, such as the two guns used to kill his family. Buster, on the other hand, said his family regularly parked behind his grandparents’ house and that it was not out of the ordinary to do so, the Associated Press reported.
The prosecution also argued that Alex left his phone behind at the family’s Colleton County home in South Carolina so that it wouldn’t show he was at the scene of the crime when his family was murdered. But Buster testified that cell service at the home was spotty and that his father would sometimes misplace his phone.
Buster also testified that his father “was destroyed” after Maggie and Paul were murdered.
“He was heartbroken. I walked through the door, I saw him and I gave him a hug,” Buster said on the stand, according to the AP.