Jurors Get to See Alex Murdaugh’s Third Police Grilling

South Carolina prosecutors on Wednesday showed jurors Alex Murdaugh’s third police interview, in which the disgraced lawyer is seen aggressively grilling investigators about the status of his wife and son’s murder investigation before being confronted with the wild inconsistencies in his alibi for that night.

In the August 2021 interview, which was released for the first time, Murdaugh was forced again to walk through his version of the night when his wife, Maggie, and his son, Paul, were fatally shot at the family’s hunting estate. Unlike his two prior interviews, however, South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) agents grill Murdaugh about a video that shows him at the dog kennels minutes before the murder, ask about how long he visited his ailing mother, and inquire about the whereabouts of two “family guns” used in the crime.

Throughout, an often-emotional Murdaugh does not seem surprised by the pointed questions—or even that his wife and son had been killed with his family’s own firearms.

“So you believe I’m giving you an inconsistent answer,” Murdaugh said at one point to Special Agent David Owen, the lead investigator in the murder case, when asked about the timing of his 911 call.

“No, I’m just trying to wrap my mind around it,” Owen answers.

In return, Murdaugh is seen quizzing investigators about the status of their investigation, including whether they had concluded who was killed first in the June 7, 2021, murders; if his wife and son had lived after they were initially shot, and whether there was more than one assailant.

“I would like to know exactly what happened,” Murdaugh stresses at one point in the interview.

“Me too,” Owen quickly replies, prompting Murdaugh to start crying.

Crucial evidence against Murdaugh

The interview is a crucial piece of evidence for the prosecution because it shows the first time SLED agents asked Murdaugh direct, confrontational questions two months into the investigation. It was also the last time SLED agents were able to ask Murdaugh questions without the presence of a defense attorney. Just weeks later the 54-year-old was arrested in a botched assisted suicide scheme for a hefty insurance payout.

Prosecutors allege that Murdaugh enlisted the help of a distant county, Curtis Eddie Smith, to fatally shoot him in the head on a Lowcountry backroad so that his only surviving son, Buster, could receive his $10 million insurance payout. Defense attorneys on Wednesday admitted that their client “didn’t intend to still be alive” after the Sept. 4, 2021 plot.

After Judge Clifton Newman secured the defense a critical win by barring evidence about the Labor Day shooting from the murder trial, prosecutors called Owen to the stand to discuss the final interview before Murdaugh’s arrest. The more contentious interview is set to be among the last piece of evidence jurors will hear in the prosecution’s case that Murdaugh fatally shot his wife and son in a deranged attempt to garner public sympathy and squash questions about his years-long scheme of stealing millions from his former law firm and clients.

Murdaugh has pleaded not guilty to two counts of murder and two counts of possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime in connection with the double homicide. His defense lawyers have argued that Murdaugh had no motivation to murder his family and that prosecutors have no concrete evidence tying him to the grisly murders that captured national headlines.

Owen told jurors on Wednesday that his team had prepared to confront Murdaugh with several pieces of evidence they had uncovered during the first time months of the investigation that poked holes in his alibi. Among the inconsistencies: Murdaugh’s work keycard showed he left work later than he originally said; a video Paul Murdaugh sent his friend, Rogan Gibson, minutes before his murder where it is believed Murdaugh can be heard in the background; and that Murdaugh had stayed at this mother’s house for only 20 minutes instead of the 45 minutes he previously claimed.

Is it Murdaugh’s voice on the video?

“I’ve got information that Paul was on the phone and Maggie was heard in the background and you were heard in the background, and that was prior to—,” Owen asked in the video played in court, before Murdaugh cuts him off.

“Rogan Gibson asked me if I was up there. He said he thought it was me,” Murdaugh responded, prompting Owen to ask if he was the voice in the video.

“At 9 o’clock? No sir. Not if my times are right,” Murdaugh said.

Later in the interview, Owen asked Murdaugh if there were any missing guns from his hunting estate. At first, Murdaugh only mentions three guns—before eventually bringing up the semi-automatic rifle prosecutors allege was used to fatally shoot Maggie.

“I understand also that a .300 was used that night….one of which was lost a long time ago. But I’m telling you now that I am certain that we replaced that gun,” Murdaugh said in the interview. “But I’m telling you now that I am certain that we replaced that gun.”

Murdaugh then quickly flipped the interview to ask Owen questions about the ongoing investigation, where the SLED agent admits that investigators are not as far along as they had hoped.

“We may honestly never know who was first. But I think that it was Paul for the simple fact that if he saw his mother getting shot, he wouldn’t have run to that feed room,” Owen said in the video, before later admitting his team has no substantive leads. “No, sir. Like I said, the only DNA we have are family and close friends.”

Toward the end of the interview, Owen bluntly asked Murdaugh whether he killed his wife and son. Murdaugh responds “no” before insisting that he does not know who did.

“Do you think I killed Maggie?” Murdaugh asked, prompting Owen to throw his hands up in the hair.

“I have to go where the evidence takes me,” the SLED agent responded. In court, Owen said that at that time in the investigation, Murdaugh was the “only known suspect at that time.”

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