Attorney Alex Murdaugh called Rock Hill videographer Brian White (inset) from the scene of the double murders on June 7, 2021. Murdaugh is shown here moments after police responded to his 911 call.

    Brian White was in bed with his wife, watching a TV show on the evening of June 7, 2021 when he his cell phone lit up with a call from Alex Murdaugh.

   The Rock Hill videographer wondered why the Hampton County attorney and client would be calling him so late at night, especially since he hadn’t produced videos for the Murdaugh law firm since before the pandemic. He ignored the 10:55 p.m. call.

   “I remember hearing the next day about the murders, and I remember texting him and sending him condolences,” White said.

“If God brings you to it, he will bring you through it,” White texted.

   “Thank you, Brian,” Murdaugh responded.

    White was surprised to learn Friday that his name was brought up at Murdaugh’s double-murder trial, which local media are labeling as South Carolina’s “trial of the century.” The defense team suggested their client was acting erratically after discovering the bodies of his wife Maggie and son Paul on June 7, 2021. Phone data shows he googled the name of a restaurant at Edisto Beach and called a videographer (White) who he hadn’t talked to in years.

   White has a theory on why Murdaugh called him from the scene of the double-murder.

   “In my mind, it was a butt dial, maybe an accidental phone call,” he said. “I really didn’t think a lot about it until this morning after a friend told me my name got brought up in a court clip.”

   SLED phone logs show Murdaugh was texting his older son’s girlfriend, Brooklyn White, around the same time.

Brian White is owner of MediaZeus, which provides creative video services for businesses. White had worked with Murdaugh for a decade, producing settlement documentaries for use in expensive court cases.

   Prosecutors have painted the former attorney as a drug addict who was desperate to hide a 15-year scheme to swindle upwards of $8.7 million away from his clients and law firm. They say it was an attempt to keep his “fantasy persona of wealth, respectability, and prominence alive.”

   But White saw Murdaugh as a Southern gentleman who he came to recognize as “Hampton royalty.” MediaZeus did about 15-20 projects for his law firm.

YouTube video

   “I worked with a lot of attorneys throughout the U.S. and a lot of them out of South Carolina. He was definitely one of the most down-to-earth attorneys I had worked with,” White said. “Just super nice, and loved the work I did for him. He would just call me randomly out of the blue, and say, ‘Hey, I have a case for you.’”

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   The cases took them all over the region, including a trip down south to do a story on the victim in a personal injury case the attorney was working on. Many of the videos were sad to do since they involved catastrophic injuries or wrongful death cases. They flew in a jet.

   “He picked me up from the Rock Hill airport and we went down to Florida,” White said.

   During their interactions, White never saw evidence that Murdaugh was an opioid addict or was stealing client’s money.

   “The drug addiction, I would have never guessed. I never worked with him where I thought he was high,” White said. “It was always a feeling of super confidence.”

    He said he enjoyed working with him and knew that many attorneys have a stereotype of having big egos.  “I never got that with him,” White said.

   White, a former news-station videographer, enjoyed the relationship so much that he got into the habit of sending a holiday gift of River Street Sweets to the law firm, known to many as P.M.P.E.D, or Peters, Murdaugh, Parker, Eltzroth & Detrick.

   Murdaugh would send him a lot of business, even producing a video that recommended MediaZeus to others. To this day, White continues producing videos for attorneys, even the newly-renamed Parker Law Group.

   “I never knew anything about his family life. Again, it was strictly business,” he said.

   That is why he was surprised by all of the details on the murders and the surprise phone call on the evening of the murders.

   “I don’t know if I would have liked to hear what was on the other end of that phone call,” White said. “Honestly, I believe it was a misdial. He was trying to call someone else. … It is not like we were buddies and he was calling me for advice.”

    Still, when he heard the allegations, he was shocked like everyone else since that was never the kind of person he knew.

   White hasn’t watched the trial, but he has read the details. Does he think Murdaugh is guilty of murdering his family?

   “I honestly don’t have an opinion just based on everything I know about it,” he said. “It’s hard to believe that that is the guy that I have known this whole time. We all have issues, and we can always fake the front. It is hard to believe that seeing all of this stuff, that he is the guy behind it. It is really hard to believe, but I have no idea of whether he did it or not.”

Greg "Ricky Bobby" Rickabaugh has lived in the Fort Mill and York County community since 2006. He has covered the area while a reporter for The Charlotte Observer and a freelance writer for The Fort Mill...

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  1. I have watched the trial throughout. AM is a liar, a thief, and I believe he is a murderer. Maggie was about to divorce him because of his persistent drug habit. Paul was siding with Mom. Paul was the one who searched and found his pill stashes. Paul also was about to be found guilty of the demise of Mallory Beach. The Beaches would no doubt sue for millions. What better motive than love and money. AM did show today on the stand, without a doubt, a reckless lack of concern for anyone but himself

  2. I just can’t think of a motive Alex murdaugh would have for killing his wife and son. I also wonder if they have looked into other possible suspects?

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