South Carolina lawyer Alex Murdaugh found guilty in the murder of wife and child

Tara Dorlag, Staff Writer

March 2, 2023 Former South Carolina lawyer Alex Murdaugh was convicted by a unanimous jury of his crimes for murdering his wife, Maggie, 52, and youngest son, Paul, 22, on July 7, 2021. After a year of trial, the verdict has finally been reached and Murdaugh will now be facing 30 years to life. Murdaugh was also convicted of two counts of possession of a weapon during a crime as well as lying to police enforcement. 

The Murdaugh family was a well-off family in the small town of Hampton, South Carolina. The family consisted of Alex, Maggie and their two sons, Buster and Paul. Murdaugh ran his family’s passed-down law firm business for years before  it was later discovered that Murdaugh had been stealing millions of dollars from within the business. He was officially disbarred by fellow business practitioners on Sept. 8, 2021. 

17 witnesses and damning video evidence all worked against Murdaugh’s favor during the trial. On the night of June 7, 2021, Alex Murdaugh claimed he was visiting his parents around 8-10 pm. When he came back home, he then discovered the bodies of his two family members. 

His testimony was found to be false, however, as a Snapchat video taken from Paul around 8:30 that night indicates that Alex was with them, as you can hear his voice in the background. Murdaugh later confirmed that he lied about his whereabouts but did not admit to killing his wife and son. 

The infamous family is plagued with death and mystery. From the death of a young girl following a boating accident during which the youngest Murdaugh, Paul, had been boating and drinking to the mysterious death of their housekeeper in 2018, the powerful South Carolina family has done their best to keep their dark secrets under wraps. 

Until now.

A week after calling the police on the night of the findings, Alex was shot in the face by an unknown suspect on July 14, 2021. Come to find out, this was a plot set up by Murdaugh himself to hire a hitman so that his eldest son, Buster, would retain his share of a $10 million life insurance policy. 

Murdaugh’s lawyer, Richard Harpootlian, claimed that in the wake of his family’s murders, Murdaugh was depressed and battling a severe opioid addiction when he hired a former employee to kill him. 

On Sept. 16, 2021, Murdaugh turned himself in for insurance fraud but was released on bond and sent to a rehab facility in Florida. Upon release, he was then arrested as a suspect in the murders of Maggie and Paul. 

Altogether, Murdaugh faced 71 charges from debt to the murders, which, by the proceedings of his trial, went up to 82 charges altogether. 

Murdaugh pleaded not guilty to the charges, stating that “he did not butcher his wife and son.” 

The trial officially began Jan. 25, 2023, with opening statements damaging to the defense. Only a month and a half later, on March 2, was the trial finished, with the verdict that Murdaugh had, in fact, murdered his wife and son. The jury only took three hours to decide.

The prosecution claimed that Paul had attempted to confront his dad about his opioid addiction and his wife [Paul’s mother] finding out about his insurance fraud. 

All of this led to pliable reasons why Murdaugh shot the two to death: Paul with a shotgun and Maggie with an assault rifle. 

Murdaugh was able to avoid the death penalty but will be sent to a maximum security prison for the rest of his life. Lead prosecutor Creighton Waters’ final statement upon the verdict was, “Let this be a warning: No matter who you are, if you break the law, the truth will be brought out and you will be brought to justice.”


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