Alex Murdaugh’s surviving son Buster testified for the defense at his father’s trial on Tuesday, trying to poke holes in the prosecution’s argument that Alex murdered his wife, Maggie, and youngest son Paul in 2021.
On the stand, Buster explained away certain points made by the prosecution in attempts to make Alex look guilty. For example, the prosecution suggested Alex parked behind his mother’s home on the night of the murders to get rid of evidence, such as the two guns used to kill his family. Buster, on the other hand, said his family regularly parked behind his grandparents’ house and that it was not out of the ordinary to do so, the Associated Press reported.
The prosecution also argued that Alex left his phone behind at the family’s Colleton County home in South Carolina so that it wouldn’t show he was at the scene of the crime when his family was murdered. But Buster testified that cell service at the home was spotty and that his father would sometimes misplace his phone.
Buster also testified that his father “was destroyed” after Maggie and Paul were murdered.
“He was heartbroken. I walked through the door, I saw him and I gave him a hug,” Buster said on the stand, according to the AP.
Buster also disputed testimony from the family’s housekeeper, who said it seemed odd that she found a damp towel and Alex’s clothes outside the shower the morning after the killings. Buster said his father frequently took showers during the hot summers.
He further testified that the gun on the property had the “safety on” and that he never loaded any shotguns with one shell of larger buckshot and a second shell of smaller birdshot, which investigators said is the combination that killed his brother Paul.
The prosecution rested its case last week, and now the defense is making its case that Alex did not murder his wife and son.
The prosecution previously detailed how, months after Maggie and Paul were murdered, Alex allegedly hired a family acquaintance to kill him so that Buster could collect insurance money.
On September 4, 2021, Murdaugh told police that he had stopped to fix a flat tire on an isolated rural road when a man approached to help, only to shoot him in the head when he turned his back.
“A real nice guy — acted like it,” Murdaugh told paramedics after the shooting while they were treating him for a gunshot wound, Buzzfeed News reported. “I turned my head and, I mean, boom.”
But just days after Murdaugh’s roadside shooting, the truth came out.
Murdaugh admitted that he hired a man, Curtis “Eddie” Smith, to kill him so that Murdaugh’s surviving son, Buster, could collect an insurance payout.
“I was in a very bad place,” Murdaugh said in a phone interview with investigators and played for jurors. “I thought it would be better for me not to be here anymore. I thought it would make it easier on my family for me to be dead.”