WALTERBORO, SC (WSPA) – Attorney Chris Wilson said when his close friend Alex Murdaugh confessed to stealing money from clients and his law firm, it hit him like a “ton of bricks.”
Wilson testified that confession came in September 2021.
Disbarred lawyer Alex Murdaugh is accused of killing his wife Maggie and son Paul in June 2021. State prosecutors said Murdaugh did this to stop his alleged financial misdeeds from coming to light. His attorneys deny these accusations.
Wilson’s testimony was used by prosecutors to lay out more of the alleged financial crimes evidence with jurors. While on the stand, Wilson also talked about his friendship with Murdaugh.
He testified he met Murdaugh in law school. They remained close and their families would even go on vacations together.
“I considered him to be one of my, if not, my best friend,” Wilson said.
According to Wilson, they worked dozens of cases together.
Following a case they settled in early 2021, Murdaugh asked Wilson to send his $792,000 in fees directly to him. This was not a usual request.
Wilson said, “I’d known him for 30-plus years. I didn’t have any reason not to trust him.”
Wilson testified he was contacted by Murdaugh’s law firm about the fees being missing. Murdaugh told Wilson to write a second check to the law firm, and he would wire him his money back.
According to Wilson, he received $600,000 from Murdaugh. He has yet to get the other $192,000 he loaned Murdaugh.
Months later, Wilson said he was contacted by Murdaugh’s law firm again. They told him they suspected Murdaugh was taking money.
Wilson spoke with Murdaugh the next day. Lead Prosecutor Creighton Waters asked what they talked about, “Did he confess to you the truth of his life that those of whom were close to him no one knew?”
“He told me he had been addicted to opioids…and had been stealing money from clients and the firm,” Wilson said to jurors.
While being questioned by Murdaugh’s defense team, Wilson said Murdaugh was distraught after the murders. He didn’t believe Murdaugh had anything to do with the murders initially.
“He was destroyed. Upset all the time. Not eating. Not sleeping,” Wilson said.
Other testimony from Thursday include the CEO of Palmetto State Bank and the son of Murdaugh’s former house keeper.
The trial is expected to resume at 9:30 Friday morning.