Disgraced South Carolina lawyer Alex Murdaugh was found guilty of the 2021 murders of his wife, Maggie, and son, Paul, after weeks of evidence from more than 75 witnesses.
Maggie, 52, and Paul, 22, were discovered dead on the 1,770-acre property near Islandton, S.C., where the family’s hunting lodge was situated, on June 7, that year.
The jury debated for less than three hours before reaching a decision.
Murdaugh moved his head back and forth as the guilty verdicts were read out. He and his surviving son Buster, who was there in court, did not cry immediately after the judgment.
Murdaugh was charged with the murders on July 14, 2022, more than a year after they occurred. He was charged with two counts of murder and two counts of having a weapon while committing a violent crime, and he was found guilty on all counts.
Murdaugh’s murder trial started on January 23, 2023. A mobile phone video Paul transmitted to his companions on the night of the killings was displayed to the jury during the spectacular trial.
The film, which was shot near the property’s dog kennels, included the voices of Paul, Maggie, and Murdaugh. Murdaugh first denied being in the vicinity of the dog kennels on the night of the killings, but while testifying in his own defense, he acknowledged lying about his movements that evening.
“I lied about being down there, and I’m very sorry,” Murdaugh said.
Murdaugh, on the other hand, denied murdering Maggie and Paul, whom he commonly referred to as “Mags” and “Paul Paul” throughout his evidence.
“I could never do anything to purposely harm one of them,” he said. “Never ever.”
He said he lied because of the paranoia he was suffering at the time as a result of his drug use.
“As my addiction progressed, I would find myself in settings or scenarios where I would get paranoid,” Murdaugh said. “I’m sorry for lying.”
Even after his conviction, Murdaugh faces further legal challenges.
He is facing hundreds of accusations for suspected financial crimes such as stealing money from his legal practice, scamming customers, and computer offenses.
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Prosecutors suspect that he allegedly scammed his former housekeeper’s family of a $4.5 million insurance payment after she died in a bizarre slip-and-fall event at his home. A trial will be convened for those charges at a later date.
This is an ongoing narrative.