“I did him so bad.”
That’s the testimony of a South Carolina investigator on Monday that Alex Murdo he had said between sobs during a taped interview three days after Murdo’s wife and son were killed.
But to others inside and outside the courtroom, it sounded like Murdaugh said, “They did it so bad,” on audio of a police interview played at the disgraced lawyer’s double-murder trial after he was asked about a photo of his son’s body .
Court ended Monday before the defense could cross-examine the agent.
Earlier in the day, defense attorneys continued to question the way state authorities gathered and analyzed evidence in the murders of Murdo’s wife and son.
Murdo, 54, faces trial on two counts of murder in the shooting of his wife and son at their home and hunting lodge in Colleton County on June 7, 2021. His wife, Maggie, 52, was shot multiple times with a shotgun; their son Paul, 22, was shot twice with a shotgun near kennels on the property. Murdo faces 30 years to life in prison if convicted.
In the interview released Monday, Murdo spoke with the state agent at his brother’s house for about an hour three days after the murders. Murdo’s lawyer was nearby.
Prosecutors paused the video several times to give Senior Special Agent Jeff Croft of the state Department of Law Enforcement a chance to highlight some of Murdo’s comments. At one point, Murdo said his wife was home hours before the murders when he and his son returned from a ride around the property. Later in the interview, Murdo could be heard saying “It’s so bad,” before the vague comment Croft made sounded like Murdo was implying that he killed his son.
In court, Murdo appeared to shake his head no when Croft said what he heard.
Murdoch also broke down in tears on the 2021 recording after mentioning a minor disagreement he had with his wife over visiting her family.
“She was a wonderful girl and a wonderful wife. And she was a great mother,” Murdo said.
Monday began with the cross-examination of another state agent, who testified at length about evidence gathered from Murdough’s home and property.
Like the previous days of testimony, officers and crime scene technicians presented evidence to the jury that investigators will likely explain later. Prosecutors described their case as a puzzle in opening statements last week.
While questioning witnesses, however, the defenders have asked questions that suggest the metaphorical pieces of the puzzle are either unclear or prosecutors aren’t putting them all on the table.
State Department of Law Enforcement Special Agent Melinda Worley testified Friday for photographs of the bodies, bullet and DNA samples from the crime scene, as well as clothing and nail clippings from the autopsies.
During cross-examination Monday, defense attorney Dick Harpoutlian delved into several items, including fingerprint identification, one of Worley’s specialties. She told him that one of the bloody footprints near where Murdo’s son was shot came from a deputy.
“Is this the scene preservation your standards require?” Harpoutlian asked.
“Not exactly, no,” Worley replied.
Harpootlian also had Worley come off the stand and work on a rough chart of the angles of the shots fired at Paul and Maggie Murdo, pointing out a significant discrepancy between the directions from which the shots came at each victim.
Worley said this can happen when the shooter is moving.
“One explanation would be movement. One explanation would be two shooters,” Harputlian said.
Alex Murdo continued to shake and dab at his eyes during more graphic testimony, including when Harputlian showed a photo of his wife’s body to ask Worley if there might have been a shoe print on his wife’s calf that wasn’t officially documented, while the crime scene was examined.
Worley said she couldn’t be sure.
Croft was one of the lead agents investigating the double murders and also testified about guns, ammunition and shell casings collected from Murdo’s home after the murders, showing at least four different rifles and shotguns to jurors and testifying that the Murdos kept weapons loaded in their armory.
In his interview, Murdo told Croft that his son was unfocused and would stay with family and friends across the state, leaving his belongings instead of bringing them home.
“He did this with clothes, he did this with guns, he did this with my boats,” Murdo said.
Prosecutors said in their opening statements that the guns that killed Paul and Maggie Murdo have not been found, but markings on shell casings found around the home that may have been used for target practice match shell casings found at the scene.
Alex Murdo also faces about 100 charges related to money laundering allegationssteal millions from customers and the family law firmtax evasion and tries to get a man to fatally shoot him so his surviving son can collect a $10 million insurance policy. He was being held without bond on those charges before being charged with murder.
After the murders, Murdo’s life goes into an incredibly rapid collapse. His family dominated the court system in neighboring Hampton County for generations, both as prosecutors and private attorneys, known for obtaining life-changing settlements in accident and negligence cases.