After deliberating for about three hours, a South Carolina jury found disgraced ex-attorney Alex Murdaugh, suspected of murdering his wife and son in 2021, guilty of all charges. Murdaugh was found guilty on four charges, including the murders of his parents, two counts of weapon possession, and the murder of Paul Murdaugh.
Murdaugh, who is 54 years old, is being held without the possibility of parole on two counts of first-degree murder. Friday is slated to be the sentencing day. A second trial for Murdaugh’s various monetary offenses is still forthcoming.
South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson said at a news conference on Thursday night that the verdict resulted from “nearly two years of blood, sweat, and tears from a lot of hard-working people.”
“Our criminal justice system worked tonight. It gave a voice to Maggie and Paul Murdaugh, who were brutally mowed down by someone they knew and trusted.”
The defense asked for a mistrial after the judgment was read. Still, according to The Associated Press ( as per CBC news), Judge Clifton Newman dismissed their request since the jury had to analyze such a large body of evidence.
After hearing from dozens of witnesses over several weeks, the jury visited the family’s rural hunting estate Moselle in preparation for closing arguments and has already begun deliberations on Thursday afternoon.
“The jury has now considered the evidence for a significant period of time, and the evidence of guilt is overwhelming.”
Murdaugh testified in his defense for two days, repeatedly crying while steadfastly denying any involvement in the deaths of his wife and son.
Upon examination, he admitted lying to detectives about his whereabouts that night, attributing his dishonesty to his opiate dependency. His lawyers estimated that he spent $50,000 weekly on drugs.
“I’m not quite sure how I let myself get where I got. I battled that addiction for so many years. I was spending so much money on pills.”
Alex Murdaugh’s presence at the murder scene was revealed via a cellphone video filmed by his son just before the deaths on June 7, 2021, near the kennels on their remote Colleton County estate.
The prosecution contended that Murdaugh had murdered his wife and children to garner public sympathy and divert attention away from his alleged financial wrongdoings. The 52-year-old Maggie Murdaugh was shot multiple times with a rifle, and Paul, who was 22 then, was shot twice. It appears that the murder weapons were not located.
Throughout the trial, the jury heard testimony from over seventy-five individuals and saw approximately eight hundred exhibits. Murdaugh failed to stage his death for insurance money, and a fatal boat crash for which his son Paul was facing charges were just two plot twists revealed during the weeks of testimony.
The jury also heard about the death of the family’s housekeeper in a fall in the Murdaugh home and accusations that Murdaugh defrauded her family of the insurance settlement.
if you’re curious about local criminal activity, we’ve covered some breaking stories that you may check out at the provided links:
- Councilman Russell Heller of New Jersey Was Killed in a Murder-suicide at PSEG Facility.
- Aiden Fucci on Trial in Florida: Pleads Guilty in 13-year-old Tristyn Bailey Murder.
The defense claimed that the police were so intent on convicting Paul Murdaugh that they performed a sloppy investigation, failing to collect evidence such as fingerprints or possibly DNA on Maggie or Paul Murdaugh’s clothing that could have pointed to someone else.
As jurors were excused for health reasons and, in one case, for discussing the issue with a friend, the number of alternate jurors decreased to one person by the end of the trial. That juror was excused when it came time for the attorneys to present their closing arguments.
Murdaugh is suspected of stealing over $8 million and trying to recruit a man to shoot him in a $10 million life insurance scheme; he is also facing approximately 100 accusations for different financial crimes, including fraud, money laundering, tax evasion, and forgery. While he confessed to some of these offenses on the witness stand, the courts still need to rule on the rest.