Alex Murdaugh’s decision to take the stand and testify in his double murder trial sealed his fate, said several jurors who alleged that his sobbing on the stand “wasn’t genuine” and that it appeared as though it could be turned “on and off," reports Yahoo News. “We were able to read right through that,” juror James McDowell said of the fourth-generation attorney’s dramatic emotions while pleading his innocence on the stand. “I think that he believes he’s so convincing that he felt like that was his last resort.” Murdaugh was sentenced to life in prison for murdering his wife and son. Ultimately, all 12 people on the jury concluded that the 54-year-old fatally shot the two near dog kennels at the family’s rural South Carolina hunting estate in 2021 before calling 911 and claiming that he found them dead upon returning home.
Initially, Murdaugh told investigators that he was never at the scene of the killings. He reversed this claim after authorities discovered cellphone video that appeared to capture his voice at the kennels minutes before his family died. Murdaugh admitted that he had lied about his whereabouts after being confronted with the video that had been recorded by his slain son Paul. Another juror, Craig Moyer, called Murdaugh a “big liar” and also accused him of fake crying. He’s a “good liar but not good enough,” he told ABC. The jury deliberated for less than three hours before announcing a verdict, though Moyer said that it took them roughly an hour to come to the guilty conclusion. Moyer said jurors rewatched body camera footage taken the night of the killings from a responding police officer and debated the relevancy of different types of shotgun shells found at the scene. McDowell believes Murdaugh killed his family due to a wide combination of things, as Murdaugh’s life appeared to be in shambles at the time. He admitted on the stand that he was battling drug addiction and that he had stolen large amounts of money from his clients and his law office. Murdaugh continued to plead his innocence after the verdict was reached.