Murdaugh jurors say he shouldn’t have testified, tears not believable

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Alex Murdaugh undermined his defense when he took the witness stand before he was convicted of murdering his wife and son, three jurors said Monday.

The jurors, appearing on NBC’s “Today” show for their first public interview about the high-profile trial, said that the disgraced South Carolina attorney’s testimony convinced the jurors that he was responsible for fatally shooting his wife, Maggie, and younger son, Paul, at the family’s estate — and that his tears weren’t believable. The jury took only three hours to find Murdaugh guilty on Thursday, and jurors have since come forward, sharing more about the critical piece of evidence that convinced them of his guilt: A video investigators found on Paul’s phone with Alex Murdaugh’s voice in the background in the kennels, where Maggie and Paul died. When Murdaugh took the stand, the voice from the video was familiar, the jurors said.

“I couldn’t believe that he was taking the stand,” juror Gwen Generette said, adding, “I realized it was him in the kennel video. That just kind of sealed the deal.”

Will Alex Murdaugh appeal? 5 questions on what’s next after the trial.

Murdaugh had previously said he was never at the kennels, but he revised his story after the video’s discovery. The jury found Murdaugh guilty for the June 7, 2021, slayings, and a judge sentenced him to two consecutive life terms in prison.

The case prompted docuseries on Netflix and HBO Max, wall-to-wall courtroom coverage and national interest in the rise and fall of a legal dynasty in South Carolina. The fascination grew as the trial continued for more than six weeks, marked by emotional scenes in the courtroom when family and friends testified about Murdaugh before his tearful cross-examination.

Generette added that she did not believe Murdaugh was really crying when he shed tears over the deaths of his 52-year-old wife and 22-year-old son.

“He turned it on and off,” she said. “Yeah, it wasn’t genuine.”

All three jurors said Murdaugh should not have taken the witness strand.

Murdaugh attorney Dick Harpootlian previously told The Washington Post that his client wanted to testify from the beginning, a decision the defense team wasn’t certain about until prosecutors brought the financial fraud allegations into the trial.

“It had to happen,” Harpootlian said. “He had to tell his side.”

The jurors said their visit to Moselle, the rural, 1,772-acre hunting estate in Islandton, S.C., where the Murdaugh family lived, was helpful to better understand the crime scene.

The jurors also spoke about what they suspected of Murdaugh’s motive. Prosecutors have said Murdaugh killed his wife and son to gain sympathy after he had stolen from his law firm and clients for years and his lies were unraveling.

“I don’t know if we’ll ever know,” juror Amie Williams told NBC’s Savannah Guthrie and Craig Melvin. “I think it may have been a combination of things. Not just the financial, but everything was weighing heavy on him, I believe.”

The Alex Murdaugh murder trial, explained

For years, Murdaugh had sought to conceal his secret life of stealing money and using opioids. But prosecutors said that, in a “perfect storm,” Murdaugh was unable to hide his financial exploits when his law firm’s financial chief inquired about a missing check and his financial records were requested in a lawsuit over his son’s involvement in a drunken boat crash.

The jurors also recounted their quick decision to find Murdaugh guilty. Juror James McDowell said the jurors kept notes of lingering questions throughout the trial, speeding up their deliberations.

After the killings of his wife and son, Murdaugh reported he had been shot in the head on the side of a road. He later admitted to framing his own death so that his surviving son, Buster, could collect insurance money.

Another juror, Craig Moyer, who spoke with “Good Morning America” on Friday, said the group needed just 45 minutes to reach a unanimous verdict.

“The evidence was clear,” he said.



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