Alex Murdaugh’s lawyer admitted for the first time this week that the disgraced South Carolina legal scion has always been a person of interest in the double slaying of his wife and son.
Murdaugh — who on Thursday was arrested for the second time in a month — had been the one who called 911 after finding the bullet-riddled bodies of wife Maggie, 52, and their 22-year-old son Paul in June.
His attorney, Jim Griffin, told FOX Carolina News on Wednesday that the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) “has said from the get-go that Alex was a person of interest” in the brutal slayings.
“SLED said the next morning — which is still mind-boggling to us — that the public need not be worried about their safety,” Griffin noted, even though murder-suicide was immediately ruled out in the slayings.
That would hint that they thought it “must be domestic-related. And when you look at domestic violence, you look at the husband or father,” he said of why his client would inevitably come under suspicion.
“SLED identified Alex as a person of interest. They’ve never eliminated him as a person of interest,” Griffin admitted.
Still, the fact that Murdaugh has not been charged more than four months later should be seen as proof that he is innocent, the lawyer said.
“You would think that if Alex was the one who did it, that SLED would have been able to establish that pretty easily that night,” Griffin told the local Fox station.
“You would think they would come up with something to link Alex to the murders, forensically or independent evidence. And to my knowledge, they have not done that,” he said.
He conceded that officers “are not sharing any information,” but said, “I believe if they had that they would have charged Alex. And they have not charged him.”
Griffin also admitted that his client had been a secret opioid addict for at least 20 years — even suggesting it could be a “door” into the mushrooming series of crimes he’s since been linked to.
“I think it’s a door that is worthwhile pursuing … Is there something at the end that he, or those acquiring this drug from, did?” he asked.
“Did he owe money, or did the middleman scam money and blame it on Alex? Was that a driver of this?” he asked.
“I don’t know. But it certainly gives a whole other avenue of inquiry that we didn’t know existed,” he admitted of his own client, whom he said he had been unable to speak to at length because he’d been in rehab before Thursday’s arrest.
Griffin dismissed earlier reports suggesting that Maggie Murdaugh had wanted a divorce, claiming that text messages between the pair were full of “I love you’s” with “no hint of domestic dispute.”
“He had no motive to kill them. He loved his wife, he loved his son,” he said, claiming his client would never be capable of murders “done in the most brutal fashion” with two separate guns.
“I can assure you that we have Alex’s whereabouts accounted for completely during that period of time,” he said, saying Murdaugh had been with his mother — who “has dementia.”
Asked why Murdaugh had unexpectedly gone to the weekend hunting lodge where he found his family members slain, Griffin conceded, “I don’t have any idea … I mean, I don’t have an answer.”
However, he insisted his friend “didn’t do it.”
“I feel strongly that he didn’t do it,” said Griffin, who knew and “thought the world” of Maggie and Paul Murdaugh.
“I can tell you that if in my heart of hearts I thought Alex had any role in the death of Maggie and Paul, I wouldn’t be so aggressively defending him,” he said.
The Murdaughs were one of South Carolina’s most prominent legal families, with three generations having served consecutively as solicitor for the 14th Circuit.
SLED did not respond to a request for comment about Murdaugh being a person of interest in his wife and son’s deaths.
The agency called in the FBI last month to help, with SLED chief Mark Keel vowing at the time, “Our agents remain committed to following the facts no matter where they lead us.”