‘No, hell no!’ Murdaugh’s 911 call from night of the murders plays for jury
Jurors in the Alex Murdaugh murder trial heard an unredacted 911 call Murdaugh made the night his wife and son were shot and killed.
The recorded phone call, most of it previously released publicly, was made by Murdaugh after he reportedly discovered his wife Maggie, 52, and son Paul, 22, had been shot dead near the dog kennels on his rural Colleton County property. It was introduced on the first day of testimony in Murdaugh’s trial for their murders.
“I need the police and an ambulance immediately,” Murdaugh can be heard telling the 911 dispatcher. “My wife and child were just shot badly.”
A nearly hysterical Murdaugh can be heard asking for dispatchers to hurry. He said his son Paul had “a hole in his head” and was not breathing. He said there was no one else at the property at the time.
When asked if the victims had killed themselves, Murdaugh says, “No, hell no.”
As the calls were played, in court Murdaugh bowed his head and moved it back and forth slightly, apparently trying to hold back tears. He seemed to become more upset as a later witness, a first responder, recounted the extent of the injuries to Maggie and Paul.
Multiple first responders who testified Thursday described Murdaugh as “upset,” although under the prosecutors’ questioning, the first Colleton County sheriff’s deputy on the scene noted that he did not see Murdaugh cry that night.
Defense attorney Dick Harpootlian questioned first responders about the need to preserve evidence at the crime scene, questioning whether responding vehicles drove over tire tracks at the scene and potentially destroyed evidence. A fire chief, Barry McRoy, testified that he noted tire tracks at the scene and believed they should be maintained.
The call was made at 10:07 p.m. the night of June 7, 2021, and first responders arrived 18 minutes later. Although Moselle, the family home where Paul and Maggie died, is in Colleton County, Murdaugh’s cell phone initially directed the call to Hampton County 911.
In the call, Murdaugh can be heard saying his son Paul had been threatened and hit, an apparent reference to animosity over a fatal boat collision in which a friend of Paul’s, Mallory Beach, had been killed. The case was the subject of a lawsuit and criminal charges against Paul, and many initially speculated the incident may have had something to do with the murders.
In a June 2021 interview shortly after the murders, John Marvin Murdaugh, Murdaugh’s younger brother, told ABC News that Paul received threats.
“I didn’t think it was a credible threat,” John Marvin Murdaugh said in the interview then. “If it was, I would have tried to do something or notify someone. But, I guess, maybe I made a mistake.”
Murdaugh also told the first responders to arrive at the house the night of the killings about the boat accident, something prosecutors highlighted in earlier testimony by first responders Thursday.
Prosecutors contend that Murdaugh killed his wife and son with two different firearms in an attempt to divert attention from his financial activities, which may have come to light as a result of the lawsuit over the boat crash. Within months of the deaths at Moselle, Murdaugh was fired from the Hampton law firm founded by his great-grandfather a hundred years before. He was disbarred by the S.C. Supreme Court, and charged with stealing millions of dollars from his former law firm and clients whose settlement accounts he was supposed to safeguard.
As of 3:11 p.m., six witnesses had been called by the defense, all first responders, dispatch and law enforcement.
This story may be updated.