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Alex Murdaugh finally talks about the day his family died during cross-examination on day 22 of double murder trial


Jurors returned to the Colleton County Courthouse on Friday morning as Alex Murdaugh took the stand for a second day of cross-examination during his trial on charges for the double murder of his wife and son at the family’s hunting lodge in June 2021.

The 54-year-old disgraced legal scion – disbarred soon after murder allegations and various alleged financial improprieties came to light – is accused of shooting and killing his wife, Margaret “Maggie” Murdaugh, 52, and their youngest son Paul Murdaugh, 22.

On Thursday, lead prosecutor Creighton Waters spent considerable time and energy seeking to establish that Alex Murdaugh came from a “prominent” legal family in the Lowcountry region and that he was a “successful” lawyer. These suggestions produced a palpable amount of pushback from the defendant over the choice of words used to describe his esteem in the community and how well he plied his trade.

“I’m not sure about your adjective,” the defendant said at one point, while admitting he did make millions of dollars winning and settling cases, and “was the president of the trial lawyer’s association.”

“By those criteria I was successful, certainly, but I don’t feel successful sitting here today,” Murdaugh mused before the jury.

Late in the afternoon, the state honed in on the defendant’s use of a deputy solicitor’s badge, eventually coaxing Alex Murdaugh into admitting he sometimes, but not always, used it to his benefit.

Waters asked why he kept his badge – the result of his volunteer position with the district prosecutor’s office where his father, grandfather, and great-grandfather served in elected positions – in a prominent place in his automobile and if it was to obtain better treatment if and when he was pulled over by the police.

“Better treatment if I got pulled over?” Alex Murdaugh repeated the question. “That’s probably a fair statement. If I got pulled over and somebody in law enforcement saw that – yeah, I’d say that’s true.”

SEE ALSO: ‘That was a lie’: Alex Murdaugh notches significant victory with testimony about state’s failed ‘blood spatter’ claims

Eventually, though decidedly slowly, Waters got to a discrete point: the drunken boat wreck that took the life of 19-year-old Mallory Beach. Paul Murdaugh was piloting the boat that night.

When he arrived at the hospital after the crash, his solicitor’s badge was prominently “hanging out of” his pocket, Waters said. In response to questions, the defendant said he did not believe he took his badge with him that night – but that claim was later belied by an image of Alex Murdaugh with the badge taken at the hospital.

“A badge has a warming effect on other law enforcement,” Murdaugh said.

SEE ALSO: Prosecutor ignores murder allegations during Alex Murdaugh cross examination

The defense hopes to call two more expert witnesses by Friday afternoon.

On Friday morning, Waters stuck to the financial crimes of the defendant.

Just before 11:00 a.m. EST, the prosecutor finally got to the day of the brutal murders at Moselle.

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