Alex Murdaugh Claims Son 'Paul Paul's' Killer Was Angry About Fatal 2019 Boat Crash: 'The Most Vile Threats'

At the time of his death, Paul was awaiting trial in connection to a 2019 boat crash that left a 19-year-old woman dead

When Alex Murdaugh took the stand on Thursday in his own defense, he immediately denied killing his wife and son, then suggested that their killer could have been seeking revenge on his son, Paul.

On June 7, 2021, Margaret "Maggie" Murdaugh, 52, and her son, Paul Murdaugh, 22, were shot to death at their residence in Islandton, S.C., near the dog kennels on their sprawling property. Now Murdaugh — Paul's father and Maggie's husband — is accused of murdering them.

During the trial, a 911 call made by Murdaugh on the night of Paul and Maggie's deaths was played. The defense asked Murdaugh what he was saying on the call, and he claimed he said to Paul, "I should have known" that somebody would harm him because Paul had been threatened numerous times before he was fatally shot to death, according to Murdaugh.

At the time of his death, Paul was awaiting trial in connection to a 2019 boat crash that left 19-year-old Mallory Beach dead. Paul was indicted on charges of one count of boating under the influence causing death and two counts of causing significant bodily injury in connection with the crash.

"Paul got the most vile threats — the stuff that was on social media — you couldn't believe it," Murdaugh said during his testimony. "You couldn't believe it. It was so over the top, truthfully we didn't think anything about it, it was so crazy. People talking about what he was going to get … We disregarded it. It was so over the top."

Murdaugh said after discovering Paul and Maggie's bodies, he went back to the house to retrieve a gun "just in case" he was in danger, too. During the 911 call, Murdaugh told the dispatcher about the threats against his son, but he said he didn't know who made them.

Alex Murdaugh testifies
Alex Murdaugh. CBS News

But on the stand, he testified that the Dean of Students at the University of South Carolina, where Paul went to college, was made aware of the threats. "They were wanting to make sure he was okay," Murdaugh said on the stand.

Although Murdaugh repeatedly claimed during his testimony that he did not kill his wife and son, he did admit to lying to police about his whereabouts on the evening of their killings.

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For nearly two years, Murdaugh has maintained that he hadn't been with Paul and Maggie at the family's dog kennels, where the pair was found slain, on the night they were killed. But on the stand, he admitted that he had been.

Murdaugh Family
From left, Buster Murdaugh, Margaret "Maggie" Murdaugh, Paul Murdaugh, Alex Murdaugh. Maggie Murdaugh/Facebook

"I lied about being down there, and I'm so sorry that I did," Murdaugh said.

Murdaugh said the reason he lied was because of the paranoia he claims he was experiencing due to his drug addiction at the time.

"As my addiction evolved over time I would get in these situations or circumstances where I would get paranoid," Murdaugh said. "I'm sorry I lied."

Murdaugh also apologized to his surviving son Buster and additional family members for lying about the last time he saw Maggie and Paul.

During the trial, Murdaugh frequently used nicknames, Paul Paul and Mags, to refer to his wife and son.

"You couldn't be around Paul Paul without having fun," Murdaugh said between tears while testifying. "He was an absolute delight."

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