Lead prosecutor Creighton Waters gave insight on his strategy that led to the conviction of disbarred attorney Alex Murdaugh in his double murder trial in an exclusive interview Thursday on “The Story with Martha MacCallum.”
Waters defended his strategy against critics who said during the trial that he allowed Murdaugh to take “control” of the courtroom during his testimony on the stand.
“This was not going to be a traditional cross-examination,” Waters told MacCallum. “I think if I tried to do it that way, and that’s typically it, where you try to control the conversation, that it would have been a disaster. One thing I knew about this man was…he was an effective trial lawyer and I had no doubt because of what we understood about him and his makeup, that he would be convinced in his ability to look those jurors, in a community where his family has long dominated, look them in the eye and try to convince them of one last lie.”
The prosecutor said his plan was to get Murdaugh “talking.”
ALEX MURDAUGH SUICIDE-FOR-HIRE HITMAN CURTIS ‘EDDIE’ SMITH COULD BE KEY PLAYER IN NEXT TRIAL
“There were intentional pauses that he couldn’t help himself, and he would start talking anew, and I really wanted to see that jury watch him be able to lie in real time,” Waters revealed. “I wanted him to speak as much as he wanted to because I think they would see him refine that lie – actually lie – new lies in front of them. And in the end, I think that was an effective way to do that.”
One critical piece of evidence in the case was identifying Murdaugh’s voice in a snapchat video which placed him at the scene moments before the murders of his wife Maggie and son Paul, according to a previous Fox News report.
“We all recognized Alex’s voice immediately and knew that as we were putting our timeline together, that was right around the time these murders happened and not only that, that he had lied about that. That became very significant, as you know,” Waters said.
South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson, who remembered signing the murder indictments against Murdaugh, said when he got on the witness stand, he was “known for his theatrics and his ability to connect with juries.”
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
The jurors, however, “saw right through it,” he said.
“They felt manipulated and lied to all the way through and concluding that testimony he gave,” Wilson said. “I think Creighton, to his credit, did an amazing job letting him run with his own closing argument to the jury, and it ultimately hung him.”
Fox News’ Greg Norman and Rebecca Rosenberg contributed to this report.