3 Murdaugh Jurors Open Up About Deliberations, Say He Hurt Himself by Taking the Stand

Jurors Amie Williams, Gwen Generette and James McDowell appeared on the Today show Monday to discuss the Alex Murdaugh case and verdict

3 Murdaugh Jurors Open Up About Deliberations, Say He Hurt Himself by Taking the Stand
Photo: TODAYshow/Twitter

Three jurors who took part in the Alex Murdaugh trial are speaking out about the case and the verdict.

Jurors Amie Williams, Gwen Generette and James McDowell appeared on the Today show Monday, where they opened up about the high-profile double murder trial of Murdaugh, 54, who was found guilty of the murders of his wife, Maggie and son Paul.

Speaking about the critical piece of evidence that made her feel the guilty verdict was accurate, Williams told co-hosts Savannah Guthrie and Craig Melvin, "Well, witness testimony was very believable, and the kennel video definitely played a major part" — referring to video evidence that proved Murdaugh went to the dog kennels on his property the night of the murders, though he claimed otherwise.

Generette told Guthrie, 51, and Melvin, 43, that she "couldn't believe" that Murdaugh took the stand, and when she heard his voice for the first time there, it "sealed the deal" that it was indeed him in the dog kennel video, which Paul, 22, captured on his phone minutes before his death.

Then asked to detail whether Murdaugh should have taken the stand or not, Generette replied, "No," while Williams responded with the same, as McDowell added, "If I was him, I don't think I would have, but I think he believed that he's so convincing that he felt like that was his last resort."

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Guthrie further pushed the three jurors to elaborate on why they thought Murdaugh shouldn't have taken the stand, to which McDowell detailed, "I just think that we already know that he's a lawyer — he's able to be emotional with cases, he's able to be emotional with himself, he knows ... when to turn it on and off — so I think we were able to read right through that."

The Today anchor also asked the three jurors to express their opinions on whether or not they "believed" Murdaugh's tears, pointing to how other jurors have said they did not.

"No, I didn't think he was crying," Generette told Guthrie. "He turned it on and off. It wasn't genuine."

Alex Murdaugh rollout
Grace Beahm Alford/USA Today

Melvin then pressed the group to share what they possibly believed Murdaugh's motive could have been for killing his two family members. "I don't know if we'll ever know," Williams said. "I think it may have been a combination of things, not just financial, but everything was weighing heavily on him."

Generette, meanwhile, told Today, "I think he wanted to have control of everything, you know, and his wife owned a majority of the things that they owned, they had, so I think it was greed and being in control."

Added McDowell: "I think the prosecution had a very good point — it's a storm. You know, at points in time, the defense would take one aspect and be like, 'It couldn't have been this,' and it may not have been that one singular thing, but so many things there that contributed to that overall storm that I think it played a part."

RELATED VIDEO: Alex Murdaugh Gets 2 Life Sentences in Prison for Murders of Wife and Son

Last week, juror Craig Moyer told Good Morning America that the dog kennel cell phone evidence introduced early on in the trial is what made him sure of Murdaugh's guilt. "I was certain it was [Murdaugh's] voice," he said. "Everybody else could hear [Murdaugh's voice] too."

At the start of the trial, prosecutor Creighton Waters revealed that Paul had taken a cell phone video near the dog kennels on the family's Islandton property at 8:44 p.m. on the night the murders occurred, which features the voices of Paul, Maggie, 52, and Murdaugh.

The video was a key component for the prosecution because Murdaugh initially denied being near the dog kennels where Maggie and Paul were killed.

Sometime after that video was taken, Paul was shot in the chest and head with a shotgun at close range. Maggie was shot multiple times, including one shot in the back and additional shots while she was lying on the ground. She had been shot with 300 Blackout ammo from an AR-style rifle. Both of them were pronounced dead at the scene.

For nearly two years, Murdaugh maintained that he hadn't been with Paul and Maggie at the family's dog kennels on the night they were killed. But when he took the stand during the murder trial, he admitted that he lied about his whereabouts, stating, "I lied about being down there, and I'm so sorry that I did." Murdaugh, however, still adamantly denied fatally shooting Maggie or Paul.

January 18, 2023: Alex Murdaugh sits in the Colleton County Courthouse with his legal team including Dick Harpootlian, middle, and Jim Griffin, right, as his attorneys discuss motions in front of Judge Clifton Newman in a December hearing.
Alex Murdaugh. Tracy Glantz/The State via ZUMA

According to Moyer, when the jury went to deliberate after closing arguments, they took a vote. Nine, including Moyer, believed Murdaugh was guilty, two thought he was innocent and one was unsure. However, after going through the evidence again, all jurors unanimously agreed that Murdaugh was guilty of murdering his wife and son.

Moyer also said he thought Murdaugh was a "good liar, but not good enough."

"I didn't see any true remorse or any compassion or anything," Moyer told GMA, referencing when Murdaugh took the stand in his own defense. "He never cried. All he did was blow snot. No tears."

Murdaugh was convicted of two counts of murder and two weapons charges. The guilty verdicts were read around 7 p.m. on Thursday night. On Friday morning, Murdaugh was sentenced to two life sentences for the murders. His defense attorney asked for a mistrial, which the judge quickly denied.

The once-prominent South Carolina lawyer still faces dozens of charges for alleged financial crimes, including misappropriating money from his law firm, defrauding clients of funds and computer crimes. A trial for those charges will be held at a later date.

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