BLOG: Day 24: Alex Murdaugh faces 2nd day of cross-examination

Disbarred Lowcountry attorney Alex Murdaugh returned to the stand Friday as prosecutors tried to pick apart his alibi on the night his wife and son were shot.
Published: Feb. 24, 2023 at 3:00 AM EST|Updated: Feb. 25, 2023 at 7:19 AM EST
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WALTERBORO, S.C. (WCSC) - Disbarred Lowcountry attorney Alex Murdaugh will return to the stand Friday morning to face more questions as he stands trial for murder.

Murdaugh spent most of the day Thursday testifying about finding the bodies of his wife, Maggie, 52; and their son, Paul, 22.

Murdaugh tearfully recalled finding the bodies on the night of June 7, 2021. He admitted his voice was heard on video Paul Murdaugh recorded on his phone minutes before the murders happened, acknowledging that he lied to investigators and to his family.

But he insisted he would never have hurt his wife, who he called “Mags” or his son, who he called “PawPaw.”

During cross-examination, prosecutor Creighton Waters grilled Murdaugh on his alleged financial crimes, with Murdaugh repeatedly acknowledging that he took money that did not belong to him and was wrong for having done so. But Murdaugh was unable to provide details about specific conversations dating back years.

READ RECAP: Day 23: ‘I did lie’: Murdaugh admits he was at kennels before murders

When court adjourned Thursday afternoon, defense attorney Dick Harpootlian asked Judge Clifton Newman to interrupt the state’s cross-examination first thing Friday morning in favor of two additional out-of-state experts they had just brought into town.

“They’re not complicated. One is a pathologist whose testimony will last 30, 45 minutes direct, and I don’t believe there’s going to be much cross. And the other is a crime scene analyst testifying not about the whole crime scene, but based on the pathologist’s testimony about what happened in the feed room,” Harpootlian said. “They’re not controversial. They’re not going to opine on who killed who, when and how, just the mechanics of what happened.”

Harpootlian asked if those experts could take the stand first or at least early in the day, explaining that keeping them in town over the weekend would have a big financial impact.

SPECIAL SECTION: The Murdaugh Cases

Prosecutor Creighton Waters objected, saying that while he had tried to be as accommodating as possible to the defense, he did not want his cross-examination interrupted.

“They took a very long time today,” Waters said, speaking of the defense. “And the state’s entitled to the same consideration without interruption.”

Newman agreed with Waters’ concern, saying he would not interrupt the state’s cross-examination.

“I could have sworn this was a murder case,” Harpootlian said. “For two hours now, we haven’t heard the word murder once. I’m not criticizing the strategy. Obviously, denigrating his character, that is what this is about, but really not relevant to the issue of whether—”

Newman cut Harpootlian off at that point.

“Credibility is an issue and as relates to all witnesses in every case,” he said.

Court will reconvene at 9:30 a.m. Friday morning.