Alex Murdaugh moved to 8-by-10 cell in protective custody unit, South Carolina prison official says

For the double homicide of his wife and son, the shamed former South Carolina attorney was condemned to life in jail.

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A state Department of Corrections spokeswoman verified to CBS News on Saturday that Alex Murdaugh has been transferred to a statewide protective custody section of a South Carolina maximum-security jail.

Murdaugh, 54, was condemned to life in jail for killing his wife Maggie Murdaugh, and his son Paul Murdaugh in 2021. Murdaugh denied any participation in the killings during his punishment in a hearing that captivated the country.

According to Chrysti Shain, a prisons department spokeswoman, his new residence comprises an 8-by-10-foot cage with a cot, latrine, and basin. 

According to Shain, his section has 28 other prisoners, including “former law enforcement” or “corrections officers,” who require an “extra layer of security.” 

Murdaugh’s section is isolated from the general populace, which is an important security precaution to keep him secure from other prisoners. 

When notorious prisoners mingle with the general populace, they put themselves in danger. In 1994, a fellow prisoner stabbed serial murderer Jeffrey Dahmer to death, and in 2022, mafia mobster James “Whitey” Bulger was stabbed to death by fellow inmates.

Although inmates transferred to safe detention are protected from the general public, they can still be murdered. Pedophile John Geoghan, a Roman Catholic priest who abused hundreds of children, was murdered by another prisoner in 2003 while in safe custody. 

The prison department stated that the jail where Murdaugh is spending his term will not be freed for safety concerns.

According to the prisons department, he was put in safe detention after the state’s four-member review commission convened on Thursday. According to Shain, the council, which comprises security, mental health, and categorization specialists, examines an inmate’s classification once a year. 

Murdaugh will remain in safe care for a year. Administrators will then decide whether to discharge him or retain him in the safe custody section, according to Shain.  

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