Alex Murdaugh trial: Buster Murdaugh says dad was ‘destroyed’ by killings

COLLETON COUNTY, S.C. — The son of Alex Murdaugh, the disgraced South Carolina attorney charged with murdering his wife and another son in June 2021, said Tuesday that his father was “destroyed” by the killings.

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Richard Alexander “Buster” Murdaugh Jr. said his father called to tell him that his mother, 52-year-old Margaret “Maggie” Murdaugh, and his brother, 22-year-old Paul Murdaugh, had been shot. Testifying Tuesday for his father’s defense, Buster Murdaugh said he could not remember what time he got the call.

“I kind of just sat there for a minute and I was in shock,” he said. “But eventually we got our stuff together and drove out to Moselle.”

With his girlfriend, Buster Murdaugh went to his family’s home in Colleton County, Moselle, where his mother and brother were found dead. He said he met his father there.

“He was destroyed. He was heartbroken,” Buster Murdaugh said. He added that his father had a hard time speaking and that he was crying. “I walked in the door and saw him and gave him a hug.”

Authorities said Alex Murdaugh called 911 on June 7, 2021, after he said he found his wife and son dead near dog kennels at Moselle. Maggie had been killed with a rifle and Paul with a shotgun, investigators said.

Buster Murdaugh testified that he was with his father everyday for a long stretch after the killings.

“He was so upset” after the shootings, Buster Murdaugh said. “We were all upset.”

Buster was the third witness to appear on the stand for the defense. Prosecutors earlier called 61 witnesses to testify, The Associated Press reported.

Jurors heard opening statements in the case against Alex Murdaugh, 54, on Jan. 25.

Prosecutors have argued that Alex Murdaugh killed his wife and son for sympathy as he faced a slew of criminal charges and the family’s crumbling finances, the AP and The Post and Courier reported. Defense attorneys argue that the state’s case is circumstantial and lacking in hard evidence connecting Alex Murdaugh to the shootings.

In addition to murder charges, Alex Murdaugh is facing a host of other criminal charges. He has been accused of stealing millions of dollars from his clients and attempting to arrange for someone to kill him to allow Buster to collect a $10 million life insurance policy, among other allegations.

The Murdaugh family has long been influential in southwest South Carolina, where members of the family have served as elected prosecutors for decades. Alex Murdaugh previously served as a part-time prosecutor for the state’s five-county 14th Judicial Court. He also worked for a personal injury attorney at his family’s prominent law firm.