Alex Murdaugh has admitted he ‘may’ have purposely dangled his solicitor’s badge out of his pocket on the night of his son’s boat crash to elicit a ‘warmer’ response from law enforcement.
The State this afternoon began cross-examining the disgraced legal scion, 54, after he took the stand to deny killing his wife and son at his family’s hunting estate in Moselle, South Carolina, on June 7, 2021.
At the time of Maggie and Paul’s deaths, Murdaugh was facing a civil suit over a fatal boat crash in which he son was driving under the influence in February 2019. He was being sued by the family of 19-year-old Mallory Beach over the wreck.
Prosecutor Creighton Waters grilled Murdaugh about whether he walked into the hospital that night flashing his solicitor’s badge, if he pressured other teenagers who were in the crash to lie to the cops, and why he had blue lights installed on his car.
Murdaugh first said he could not remember whether he was wearing the badge before jurors were shown photos which showed it was hanging out of his left pocket. ‘A badge has a warming effect with other law enforcement. If I was seeking an advantage as you say,’ he eventually conceded.
Alex Murdaugh admitted he ‘may’ have purposely dangled his solicitor’s badge out of his pocket on the night of his son’s boat crash to elicit a ‘warmer’ response from law enforcement
Murdaugh first said he could not remember whether he was wearing the badge before jurors were shown photos which showed the badge was hanging out of his left pocket. ‘A badge has a warming effect with other law enforcement. If I was seeking an advantage as you say,’ he eventually conceded
Murdaugh’s solicitor’s badge which he allegedly flashed at cops the night of the boat wreck
Murdaugh admitted he routinely left his badge on the dash to get better treatment if he was pulled over by cops
Waters asked: ‘Did you tell any of the kids not to cooperate with law enforcement?’
Murdaugh replied: ‘I never told anybody not to cooperate with law enforcement.’
Earlier he admitted he routinely left his badge on the dash to get better treatment if he was pulled over by cops.
Waters asked: ‘You used it to get better treatment if you got pulled over?’
Murdaugh answered: ‘I’d say that’s true.’
He said he had blue lights installed on his law firm-owned car by somebody who did work at one of the local sheriff’s offices.
He agreed that he got permission from his friend, Colleton County Sheriff Andy Strickland, who pleaded guilty to misconduct in office, assault and battery in 2020 when he was ousted from office.
Murdaugh testified that he had five cases in his two decades of working as a volunteer solicitor.
His main line of work was in securing lucrative settlements in personal injury cases for his family firm, Peters Murdaugh Parker Eltzroth and Detrick. The firm has since been dissolved because he stole more than $10m from clients and partners.
Waters then moved on to grilling the disgraced scion over the money he stole, including from a teenage car crash victim who was left a quadriplegic.
He told the court he got almost $4.1m in legal fees from the $10.2m recovery he got for Hakeem Pinckney. But he stole Pickney’s settlement as well.
‘I admit candidly in all of these cases that I took money that was not mine, and I shouldn’t have done it,’ Murdaugh said. ‘I hate the fact that I did it. I’m embarrassed by it.’
Maggie, Paul and Alex are pictured at the younger son’s high school graduation
The disgraced legal scion appeared to want to speed the line of questions along as Waters walked him through specific cases where he wronged his clients and firm.
‘Mr. Waters, just to get through this quicker,’ Alex said, asking the questions move along to the night of the murders.
Asking abut his legal history, Waters asked if he was successful before the inherited legal empire which crumbled over his stealing.
Murdaugh was hesitant to answer, saying he no longer views himself as successful. He denied that people saw him as a ‘big shot’ in the local community.
But he did agree that he might have been considered successful because he wont millions of dollars in lawsuits.
‘By those criteria, I was successful, certainly,’ he said. ‘But we’ve talked about a lot of my flaws here today, too. Do I feel like I was successful? No, sir.’