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How Murderer Alex Murdaugh Hanged Himself With His Own Testimony In A Case Where Bungling Prosecutors Had No Murder Weapon Or Any Direct Evidence

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Mar. 5 2023, Published 3:00 p.m. ET

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Alex Murdaugh was convicted of the shootings of his wife and son in less than three hours by a jury at the Colleton County Courthouse in Walterboro — a swift verdict that legal experts credit largely to Murdaugh himself.

Though prosecutors had no murder weapon or direct evidence linking him to the killings, they did present a video placing Murdaugh at the crime scene shortly before the shootings, along with his initial testimony denying he had been there.

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Professor Jessica Roth, of the Cardozo School of Law, said this combination of factors helped land the quick conviction.

“It came down to just a couple of key pieces of evidence,” Roth told ABC News. “The cell phone video that placed the defendant at the scene of the crime, the defendant’s denial to law enforcement agents that he had been at the kennels with his wife and son that night, and then finally, his testimony on the stand.”

Murdaugh insisted he was innocent, telling the judge at sentencing: “I would never hurt them.”

His defense team later said they intend to appeal, arguing that evidence of other crimes of which Murdaugh has been accused but not convicted may have tainted the case.

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On Friday, after being sentenced to life in prison without parole, South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson admitted: “Alex Murdaugh was our biggest piece of evidence.”

Craig Moyer, a juror in the case, also told ABC’s Good Morning America the jury was convinced of Murdaugh’s guilt after viewing the video and hearing his testimony.

“I didn’t see any true remorse or any compassion or anything,” said Moyer.

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Murdaugh’s lawyer, Dick Harpootlian, told reporters that there was no other choice but for Murdaugh to take the stand, due to the evidence his colleague had presented which “made out [him] to be a monster.”

“If he left without taking the stand, he was toast,” said Harpootlian. “Taking the stand, could he pull it off? Apparently, he didn’t.”

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Murdaugh’s case was perhaps remarkable for how quickly it had been concluded.

Professor Roth said that despite long trails of testimony and evidence, it appears the jury saw it as “not a complicated case.”

This sentiment was echoed by Moyer, who also told ABC News: “I think that all of the pieces matched up and clicked into place.”

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