Oxygen Insider Exclusive!

Create a free profile to get unlimited access to exclusive videos, breaking news, sweepstakes, and more!

Sign Up for Free to View
Crime News Breaking News

Alex Murdaugh's Son Buster Testifies His Father Was 'Destroyed' By Maggie And Paul's Murders

Buster Murdaugh, the sole living son of Alex Murdaugh, told jurors on Thursday that his father was "heartbroken" after Maggie and Paul Murdaugh were discovered shot dead at the family's hunting lodge.

By Christina Coulter

Buster Murdaugh took the stand in his father's murder trial Tuesday, telling jurors that Alex Murdaugh was "heartbroken" and "destroyed" by the killing of his wife Maggie and youngest son Paul.

The younger Murdaugh's testimony came as the heavily-publicized double murder trial entered its fifth week. Alex Murdaugh has pleaded not guilty to the fatal shooting of Maggie, 52, and Paul, 22, on the night of June 7, 2021.

Prosecutors believe the former South Carolina lawyer shot his two family members dead at their hunting lodge in Colleton County in an attempt to distract from a burgeoning financial scandal, in which he is accused of stealing nearly $9 million from his law firm and clients.

RELATED: Mother And Her Son Murdered Her Husband As He Slept In Bed Over $1,500 Debt

Buster Murdaugh was the third witness called to the stand in his father's defense; prosecutors rested their case last Friday after calling more than 60 witnesses to testify.

Buster Murdaugh testifies during his father's trial

The disgraced attorney's son recalled the moment his father told him of his mother and brother's death.

"Buster, when did you first find out that your mom and brother had been murdered?" asked defense attorney Jim Griffin, according to trial coverage from The New York Times

"My dad called me - I can't remember the exact time," replied the sole Murdaugh heir. "But it was later. And he called me on the phone. He asked me if I was sitting down. And I was like, 'Yeah.' And then he, you know, he sounded odd and then he told me that my mom and brother had been shot."

His girlfriend, Brooklynn White, overheard the phone conversation and began to pack bags for the couple as the 26-year-old Buster "sat in shock," processing the news, he testified.

His father, Buster recalled, had sounded "normal" in an earlier phone conversation they'd had that day in which he said that he was on his way to check in on his ailing mother at her house (prosecutors allege that Maggie and Paul Murdaugh were already dead when this call was placed, and that it was the elder Murdaugh's attempt at establishing an alibi).

But after learning the tragic news over the second phone call, the younger Murdaugh said he and White gathered their things to meet Alex Murdaugh at the family hunting lodge where they arrived around 2 a.m.; according to Buster, "nobody really slept" that night.

His father was "destroyed," Buster said.

"He was heartbroken. I walked in the door and saw him and gave him a hug," Buster told the court.

Alex Murdaugh wiped away tears at the emotional testimony, according to Law and Crime, while his son's voice quivered on the witness stand. 

Over the following weeks, Buster said, he and his father were rarely apart. They stayed at Maggie Murdaugh's parents' home and between the homes of other relatives and issued a joint statement offering a $100,000 reward for information pertaining to Maggie and Paul's murders.

The younger Murdaugh also challenged prosecutors' assertion that his father had said "I did him so bad" during a police interview, referencing Paul, three weeks after the murders, saying that his father had actually said "They did him so bad," referring to another person who killed Paul.

Throughout the trial, Murdaugh's defense has maintained that their client did not kill his family, attempting to establish him as a loving father. They have pointed out the possibility that other potential suspects, perhaps linked to area drug dealers with whom Alex would have had dealings on account of his years-long opioid addiction, may have killed Maggie and Paul.

In September 2021, months after Maggie and Paul's murders, authorities say Alex recruited Curtis Edward Smith, a former client and his alleged drug dealer, to kill him in an assisted suicide attempt in order to ensure Buster would inherit his $10 million life insurance policy. Alex's head was grazed by a bullet in the attempt, which took place along a rural road, and survived.