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Alex Murdaugh testifies in double murder trial

Alex Murdaugh took the stand in his own defense at his double murder trial in Walterboro, S.C., on Thursday, testifying that he did not murder his wife and son in what prosecutors alleged was a botched attempt by the former lawyer and scion of a powerful legal family to cover up his financial fraud. During his testimony, Murdaugh explained that his initial statements to police immediately following the murders were inaccurate and cited a drug problem as the cause for his erratic behavior. "As my addiction evolved over time I would get in these situations or circumstances where I would be paranoid," Mudaugh told the court, "I don't think I was capable of reason."

Video Transcript

- Mr. Murdaugh, is that you on the kennel video at 8:44 PM on June 7 the night Maggie and Paul were murdered?

ALEX MURDAUGH: It is.

- Were you, in fact, at the kennels at 8:44 PM on the night Maggie and Paul were murdered?

ALEX MURDAUGH: I was.

- Did you lie to SLED Agent Owen and the deputy, Laura Rutland, on the night of June 7 and told them that stayed at the house after dinner?

ALEX MURDAUGH: I did lie to them.

- Did you lie to Agent Owen and Agent Croft on the follow-up interview on June 10 that the last time you saw Maggie and Paul was at dinner?

ALEX MURDAUGH: I did lie to them.

- And then the interview of August 11, did you tell Agent Owen and Agent Croft, did you lie to them by telling them that you were not down at the kennels on that night?

ALEX MURDAUGH: Yes.

- Alex, why did you lie to Agent Owen, Agent Croft, and Deputy Rutland about the last time you saw Maggie and Paul?

ALEX MURDAUGH: As my addiction evolved over time, I would get in these situations or circumstances where I would get paranoid thinking. And it could be anything that triggered it. It might be a look somebody gave me. It might be a reaction somebody had to something I did. It might be a policeman following me in a car.

That night, June 7, after finding Mags and Paul, Pau-Pau, don't talk to anybody without Danny with you. All my partners were just repeatedly telling me that. I had a Deputy Sheriff take a gunshot test from my hands. I'm sitting in a police car with David Owen asking me about my relationship with my wife and my son, and all those things coupled together after finding them, coupled with my distrust for SLED, caused me to have paranoid thoughts.

Normally when these paranoid thoughts would hit me, I could take a deep breath real quick and think about it, reason my way through it, and just get past it really quickly. On June the 7, I wasn't thinking clearly, I don't think I was capable of reason, and I lied about being down there. And I'm so sorry that I did.

I'm sorry to my son, Buster. I'm sorry to Grandma, Papa T. I'm sorry to both of our families. Most of all, I'm sorry to Mags and Pau-Pau. I would never intentionally do anything to hurt either one of them.

[CRYING]

Ever. Ever.