Buster Murdaugh 'Knew a Little Bit' About Dad's Drug Addiction, and that Slain Mom, Brother Found Pills

The surviving son of Alex Murdaugh testified about his father's drug use on Tuesday morning

Buster Murdaugh, the son of Alex Murdaugh, testifies during his father's trial at the Colleton County Courthouse in Walterboro, S.C., on February 21, 2023
Buster Murdaugh. Photo: Grace Beahm Alford/AP/Shutterstock

When Buster Murdaugh took the stand in the murder trial against his father, Alex Murdaugh, he testified that he was aware of his father's drug addiction — although he acknowledged that his mother and brother knew more about it.

Buster, 26, told the jury that he "knew a little bit" about his father's drug use, and said that his mother, Maggie, and brother, Paul, had confronted Alex about the pills they had found.

He also described his father's efforts to beat his addiction, including checking himself into a rehab facility in late 2018.

"I thought that he had handled it," Buster testified, before acknowledging that there were "a couple of more times" that his father had relapsed. He testified that his father was always "apologetic and sorry" when he was confronted about his drug use.

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

Alex Murdaugh, 54, is accused of shooting Paul and Maggie on the evening of June 7, 2021. He has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder and two related weapons charges. He has pleaded not guilty and is in the midst of a protracted trial.

According to the prosecution, 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.

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But Murdaugh and his attorneys insist that he was a doting father and husband who was visiting his ailing mother at the time of the murders.

Buster seems to agree with the defense, and testified on his father's behalf.

Fighting back tears on Tuesday, Buster told the jury that his father called him on June 7, 2021. "He said 'are you sitting down?'" Buster testified. "He sounded odd, and then he told me that my mom and my brother had been shot."

While Buster was not asked about his father's guilt or innocence, he squeezed his father's hand after testifying.

Murdaugh Killings, Walterboro, United States - 07 Feb 2023
Joshua Boucher/AP/Shutterstock

Even if Murdaugh is acquitted in this trial, he will have more legal woes. He faces dozens of charges for alleged financial crimes, including misappropriating money from his law firm, defrauding clients of funds and computer crimes. Authorities allege that he also defrauded the family of his former housekeeper out of a $4.5 million insurance settlement after she died in a mysterious slip-and-fall accident at his home. A trial for those charges will be held at a later date.

Once a prominent attorney in South Carolina, Murdaugh has been disbarred from practicing law. His trial is expected to last at least another week.

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