The approaching trial in a wrongful death lawsuit involving a 19-year-old murdered in a boating accident in 2019 is one of several legal challenges Alex Murdaugh confronts while he sits in jail after being sentenced to life in prison for the deaths of his wife and youngest son.
According to ABC-affiliated Georgia station WJCL, the lawsuit, brought that year by the family of victim Mallory Beach, is due to go to trial on Aug. 14.
Murdaugh was found guilty by a jury on March 2 of fatally shooting his wife Maggie, 52, and son Paul, 22, and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of release the following day. The lawyer’s attorneys in South Carolina have pledged to appeal.
Paul was engaged in a boat collision at about 2:20 a.m. on Feb. 24, 2019, two years before he was slain at the family’s hunting lodge in Colleton County, South Carolina on June 7, 2021.
Beach was killed in the event, and two other people aboard the boat were critically wounded. In the case, Paul was eventually charged with three felony charges of boating under the influence.
According to local station WCBD, Paul and five others — Morgan Doughty, Connor Cook, Miley Altman, Anthony Cook, and Beach — convened at his house before taking the boat out on the evening of Feb. 23.
Alex Murdaugh Murders Timeline
Investigators stated that those onboard the boat, all of whom were minors, were drinking from a booze-filled cooler that night, according to CBS News.
Altman allegedly told authorities that Paul opted to drive the boat to a bar in Beaufort at one point, with Paul and Cook stepping in to order two rounds of shots.
Cook stated that he entered the pub with a phoney ID, while Paul reportedly used his elder brother Buster’s. Paul and Cook were also seen on camera inside the pub.
According to past Northeasternpost.com reporting, Paul seemed inebriated after leaving the pub, and the others in his group attempted to restrain him from driving the boat, Altman claimed in a deposition connected to Beach’s mother, Renee Beach’s, wrongful death complaint.
In the statement, Altman said that he shouted at Paul, to which the young Murdaugh replied, “Nobody else is driving my boat.”
According to WSAV, Doughty testified that Beach stated she was “scared” when Paul shouted at her after she recommended having someone else drive the boat or the group gets off the boat.
Someone then pushed the boat’s throttle, causing it to smash into the bridge and send Beach overboard. Although it was unclear who pressed the throttle, Cook speculated that it was Paul. “I mean, he was behind the wheel when it occurred,” Cook said in his deposition.
Paul, who was 20 at the time of the boat accident, was discovered to have a blood alcohol level of 286% after the disaster, which was more than three times the legal limit in Georgia of.08%.
His blood alcohol concentration was not tested at the scene of the incident but was collected at a hospital around 4 a.m., according to David Lucas, a spokeswoman for the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, in 2021.
Beach’s corpse was discovered approximately five kilometers from the location of the boat disaster eight days later. Paul had pled not guilty to the allegations leveled against him in the case, but he was assassinated before the trial could begin.
“Mallory’s father has always stated, even from the beginning, that his daughter didn’t die in vain,” Beach family attorney Mark Tinsley told WJCL last week. “Then there would be a higher purpose. We may not know what it is quite yet. Yet he thought that her death would serve a larger purpose.”
After Murdaugh’s conviction and punishment, Tinsley told the station that Beach’s family is beginning to realize some of that purpose. “A lot of folks have gotten some justice,” he remarked. “If nothing else, we’ve ended Alex Murdaugh’s victimization of a large number of individuals.”
Beach’s family members were present in court for Murdaugh’s sentencing in his double-murder case. “They’re one step closer to some closure, in their opinion,” Tinsley added. “You know, they’ll never be at peace. They’ll never recover from this.”
Tinsley told Fox News that although Murdaugh’s oldest son Buster Murdaugh might be summoned as a witness in the impending August wrongful death trial against the once-prominent family, the disbarred lawyer is unlikely to be questioned due to his life sentence.
“We still have a long way to go. “There’s still room for responsibility,” Tinsley said of the case. “We’re optimistic that the attorney general’s office will continue to examine the investigators engaged in … the boat disaster.
We believe that a lot of incidents occurred there that warrant prosecution. We hope that those individuals be dealt with as well.”
At Murdaugh’s murder trial, Tinsley claimed that Paul utilized his family’s legal ties to gain favorable treatment after the boat tragedy. According to Fox News, Tinsley also said that the older Murdaugh approached him at a pub once and tried to get him to “back off” the issue.
Authorities claim that the Beach family’s lawsuit inspired Murdaugh to murder his wife and Paul because it may have revealed his other alleged financial misdeeds, including embezzling millions from his family’s law practice and its customers.
According to Fox News, the Beach family’s attorney filed a request to require Murdaugh to divulge his financial records, and a hearing was planned three days before the deaths of Paul and Maggie to decide if Murdaugh would have to release that information.
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