Alex Murdaugh said in court Thursday that he plans to testify in his own defense at his double-murder trial
Before jurors were brought into the Colleton County Courthouse Thursday, Murdaugh told Judge Clifton Newman he wanted to take the stand.
“I am going to testify. I want to testify,” he said. The decision appears to be counter to the wishes of his defense lawyers.
Murdaugh, 54, is accused of gunning down his 22-year-old son, Paul Murdaugh, and his wife, Maggie Murdaugh, 54, in June 2021.
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Defense attorney Jim Griffin asked the judge Wednesday for an order barring the state from being able to question Murdaugh about his alleged financial crimes if he testifies.
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The disgraced attorney is charged with more than 90 counts that stem from his theft of nearly $9 million from his law firm and his clients.
Jurors have already heard extensive testimony about the alleged swindles — and even heard an audiotaped confession in which Murdaugh admits to many of the schemes.
Lead prosecutor Creighton Waters argued that the general rule is that cross-examination should be “wide open.”
He added that the alleged financial crimes go to the heart of Murdaugh’s credibility.
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The judge sided with the prosecutors. “For the court to issue a blanket order limiting the scope of cross-examination, that’s unheard of to me,” Newman said.
South Carolina attorney Joe McCullough, who is suing Murdaugh on behalf of one of the 2019 boat crash victims, told Fox News Digital that the defense has a serious issue if they don’t put Murdaugh on the stand.
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“There is a kennel video that is unexplained, and he would be the only one who can explain it,” McCullough said, referring to the cellphone clip that places Murdaugh at the murder scene four minutes before the killings.
The video was pulled off Paul’s phone after Murdaugh told numerous people — including investigators — that he was not at the dog kennels the night of the slayings.
“They must weigh the possibility of a mistrial versus putting him on the stand and swinging for the fences,” said McCullough, who is also a close friend of Murdaugh attorney Dick Harpootlian.
Justin Bamberg, of Bamberg Legal, told Fox News Digital that Murdaugh’s only shot at winning the case is to testify. There’s no other way to explain the many inconsistencies in his alibi.
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“If Alec wants to have any chance of potentially hanging a jury, he’s not going to be found not guilty, he has to testify,” Bamberg said.
“This is Squid Games for him,” added Bamberg, referring to Murdaugh being crossed on all his financial crimes, which could be used against him if those cases go to trial.
Bamberg represents several victims whose settlements were stolen by the disgraced attorney.
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