How Alex Murdaugh’s son helped solve his murder and convict his father


For a year and a half, Alex Murdaugh denied being anywhere near the spot where his wife, Maggie, and 22-year-old son, Paul, were brutally killed.

But it was one of his victims – his son – who would provide key evidence after his death that legal experts say exposed his father’s web of lies and ultimately led to his conviction for the double murder.

“It’s ironic, ultimately, that it was the victim, Paul Murdaugh, who solved his murder,” Dave Aronberg, the attorney for Palm Beach County, Florida, told CNN Thursday night.

Murdaugh, a now-disgraced former South Carolina attorney, was found guilty Thursday of fatally shooting his wife and son and, a day later, was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. He maintained his innocence.

The key evidence came from a video, which Paul recorded moments before he was shot and killed. It appeared to point to one of the family’s dogs near their kennels on their property. He also captured the voice of Alex Murdaugh in the background – and placed him at the scene of the crime.

The video, which Murdaugh didn’t know existed before the trial, marked the collapse of his alibi and left him no choice but to take the stand and explain why he repeatedly lied to authorities about his whereabouts, they said legal experts at CNN.

Murdaugh, while denying killing his wife and son, testified that he lied about his whereabouts because of paranoid thoughts stemming from his addiction to opioid painkillers, as well as his distrust of investigators. While on the stand, he also admitted to more lies, admitting in court that he had stolen millions from his law firm and clients over nearly two decades.

He told jurors that despite his repeated misrepresentations in the past, he was honest about one thing: he did not kill his family.

But the jury didn’t believe him.

And in a case with little to no direct evidence linking Murdaugh to the scene, South Carolina’s attorney general credited the video clip for the jury’s swift conviction.

“This was a circumstantial evidence case, but what people need to understand is that circumstantial evidence is just as strong as direct evidence,” South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson, who was part of the prosecution team. “I think the kennel video hung him up.”

“The jury saw how he was trying to manipulate them, saw how he was lying and they read that and they heard the kennel video and they made the right decision.”

Craig Moyer, one of the jurors who helped convict Murdaugh, told ABC News in his first public interview that it took less than an hour for the panel to reach a unanimous decision.

The video is what convinced him.

“I could hear his voice clearly,” Moyer told ABC. “And everyone else could too.”

Moyer said he was surprised Murdo admitted to lying about the video, but, he added, he didn’t believe the defendant was being truthful about what happened on the night of June 7, 2021.

Murdaugh was “a good liar,” Moyer said, “but not good enough.”

“When he took the stand – meaning Alex Murdaugh – it was his chance to make his case. It was a very tough sell, though,” said criminal defense attorney and CNN legal analyst Joey Jackson. “As long as you deny, deny, deny being in the kennels, you took the position because it turned out you were there. The cellphone data puts you there, the car data puts you there, in addition to the fact that your own voice put you there, thanks to what your son recorded.”

“I think based on what the jury said, they were clearly of the view that … (Alex Murdaugh) continued to lie, the evidence was clear and that he was guilty,” Jackson added.

jury found him guilty of murdering his wife, Maggie, and son, Paul. The jury reached the verdict after deliberating for only 45 minutes. See what one juror said to Good Morning America. ” data-duration=”01:20″ data-source-html=” – Source:
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juror Murdaugh

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The video was recorded by Paul at 8:44 p.m. on the night of the murders, according to testimony during the trial.

Colleton County Coroner Richard Harvey testified that he estimated Maggie and Paul’s time of death to be around 9 p.m. – though he said it’s possible the couple could have been shot anytime between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m

After admitting to lying to authorities about where he was that night, Murdaugh said he briefly went to the kennels and left at about 8:47 p.m.

He later visited his mother and found the bodies of Maggie and Paul when he returned home, Murdo testified.

Murdaugh told the court that as his long-term addiction progressed, it often caused him to go into “paranoid thinking”. Those paranoid thoughts were sparked the night of the murders, he said, when investigators examined his hands for gunshot residue and asked him about his relationship with his wife and son. Murdaugh claimed that was why he lied.

“All of those things, combined after I found them, combined with my distrust of (South Carolina law enforcement) made me have paranoid thoughts,” he testified. “I wasn’t thinking clearly. I don’t think I was capable of logic. And I lied about being there and I’m very sorry for doing that.”

“Once I lied, I told my family, I had to keep lying,” he told the court.

Former prosecutor Sarah Ford told CNN that Murdaugh “really had no choice but to take the stand and clarify” the kennel video.

“And the jury didn’t buy that clarification. He was lying long before he walked into that courtroom, long before he took the stand and the jury believed he was lying to them on that stand,” Ford said.

Following his sentence, Murdaugh was released to the South Carolina Department of Correctional Resources.

Booking photo of Alex Murdaugh.

He was processed Friday night at a reception and evaluation center in Columbia, the department said in a news release. As part of that process, his head was shaved, a standard procedure for inmates being processed in the system, department spokeswoman Chrysti Shain said.

Murdaugh will then undergo a medical examination and a mental health and education evaluation, the release added.

Over the next month and a half, department officials will consider the results of his tests and evaluations, as well as his crime and sentence to decide which maximum security prison he will be sent to, the department said.

Correction: An earlier version of this story misstated which video captured Alex Murdaugh’s voice. It was a video shot on Paul Murdaugh’s phone in the family’s dog kennels.

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