Alex Murdaugh was not at home when his wife and son were killed last year, his legal team told a South Carolina court in a formal alibi filing on Thursday.
The former attorney was charged with murder in July for the deaths of Maggie and Paul Murdaugh with a shotgun at their rural hunting estate in Colleton County on June 7, 2021.
Autopsies showed Paul and Maggie had each been shot multiple times between 9 and 9:30 p.m. that night.
But Murdaugh's defense attorneys say the pair were alive when he left the property shortly after 9 p.m. to drive to his mother's home. Murdaugh's 81-year-old father had been ill in a Savannah hospital and would die a few days after the killings.
On his drive, Murdaugh was said to have made telephone calls to his other son, his brother, his sister-in-law, an attorney and friend, and another person identified by the Post and Courier newspaper as his farmhand.
After visiting with his mother and her nurse for roughly 25 minutes, he drove back to the hunting lodge, speaking again via his phone with his attorney friend.
Upon his return, he was said to have discovered the pair's bodies near the lodge's dog kennels at approximately 10:05 p.m.
Authorities have not publicly outlined any motive for Murdaugh, who is due to go on trial in January on two counts of murder and two counts of possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime.
In a pretrial hearing last month, prosecutor Creighton Waters said they had obtained a cellphone video from Paul's phone showing him talking with his mother and father near the kennels at 8:44 p.m., shortly before his and his mother's phones stopped all activity.
That contradicts a claim one of Murdaugh's defense attorneys made in a recently released HBO Max documentary about the killings that Murdaugh had been napping and hadn't seen his wife or son in the moments prior to leaving the lodge.
Almost three months after the killings, Murdaugh was arrested and charged with planning his own botched killing so that his surviving son, Buster, could receive a $10 million insurance payout.
He’s also been charged with 90 counts of fraud and money laundering connected to insurance payouts managed through his former law firm, including some related to the death of his former housekeeper.
Murdaugh's law license was suspended after his firm discovered he had misappropriated millions of dollars to fund an addiction to oxycodone, for which he subsequently went to rehab. He was officially disbarred in July.