Disgraced South Carolina attorney Alex Murdaugh convicted of killing wife and son, receives 2 life sentences – National & International News – FRI 3Mar2023


Disgraced South Carolina attorney Alex Murdaugh convicted of killing wife and son, receives 2 life sentences. But this is not the end of the story.


Disgraced South Carolina attorney Alex Murdaugh convicted of killing wife and son, receives 2 life sentences

Last night, after just 3 hours of deliberation, a South Carolina jury found former attorney and volunteer prosecutor Alex Murdaugh, 54, guilty of murdering his wife Maggie Murdaugh, 52, and son Paul Murdaugh, 22, on his 1,700-acre hunting property. The trial had been expected to last for three weeks but stretched on to six. 

The shocking Southern Gothic saga of murder in a small town inspired successful podcasts and two major documentaries (from HBO and Netflix). These chronicled the Murdaugh family’s century-old legacy of power and influence in the Low Country of South Carolina. Three generations of Murdaughs had served as chief solicitor in the region, giving them control over prosecutions and the power of life and death. And it all came crashing down on a muggy night in June 2021.

The murders

The Murdaugh family from left to right: Buster, Maggie, Paul, and Alex.

The story began on June 7, 2021, when Alex called 911 at 10:06pm, saying he’d found his wife and son murdered. What no one knew at the time was that Alex, who was a partner in a prominent century-old law firm founded by his great-grandfather, had been fleecing his personal injury clients of millions of dollars for over a decade.

Prosecutors say Alex feared his theft would be soon be uncovered. In a few days’ time, a financial discovery motion would be filed in a wrongful death suit against Alex. Two years earlier, a drunken Paul had driven a boat into a pier, killing a young woman named Mallory Beach. The state contended that Alex killed Maggie and Paul in hopes that law enforcement would believe their murders were retaliation for “the boat case”. Alex believed the wrongful death suit would then be dropped, and his thefts would remain secret, prosecutors said.

Law enforcement did investigate the “boat case” lead (at Alex’s suggestion) and found no connection. In September, three months after the murders, Alex’s law partners uncovered the fraud and fired Alex. On September 4, Alex hired a hitman to kill him so that his surviving son Buster, then 24, could collect millions in life insurance. At the same time, law enforcement was zeroing in on Alex as the prime suspect in the murders of his wife and other son.

Lies unravel

Charges weren’t filed until July 2022, over a year after the murders. It wasn’t until October of that year that investigators managed to unlock Paul Murdaugh’s phone. There they found a video in which Alex’s voice could be heard. That video placed Alex at the scene of the crime minutes before Maggie and Paul were brutally gunned down.

That video, one juror has said, was the key piece of evidence that sealed Alex’s conviction. During the trial, after denying for months that he’d been present, Alex took the extraordinary step of taking the stand during trial. He admitted that it was his voice on the video and that he had lied repeatedly to investigators. However, he said he left the scene before Paul and Maggie met their gruesome fate.

The juror also said he was unconvinced by Alex’s display of emotion on the stand. “He never cried,” the juror said, “He was just blowing snot“.


After last night’s verdict – a surprise to many, if only for its speed – Judge Clifton Newman set a sentencing hearing for this morning. There were no impact statements from victims during this morning’s hearing. Understandable, as Alex’s son Buster still supports Alex, while it’s unclear where his mother’s family stands. Alex stood and briefly declared that he was innocent and that he would never have hurt Maggie and “PawPaw”.

Judge Newman delivered a powerful summation (opens in YouTube ~20 minutes) before condemning Murdaugh to two consecutive life sentences. Although Alex’s crimes qualified for the death penalty in South Carolina, the state was not seeking that sentence.

Newman (a nephew of the late Civil Rights leader Isaiah DeQuincey Newman) remarked on the fact that for over a century, Murdaughs had prosecuted cases in that very courtroom. Many of those defendants, Newman observed, had received death sentences, likely for “lesser conduct” than Alex’s crimes.

This is far from the end of the story

Alex Murdaugh’s defense team say they plan to appeal, all the way to the US Supreme Court if necessary.

There remain 99 separate financial crimes for which Murdaugh has yet to stand trial. Judge Newman will be presiding over all of them. But there’s so much more to the tapestry of crime and privilege that is the Murdaugh family, including two other suspicious deaths. Law enforcement has now reopened their investigations of those deaths due to evidence that emerged while investigating the deaths of Paul and Maggie. Here’s an excellent article (from before this trial) that sums up the other suspicions surrounding the Murdaughs.

Click here for the full story (opens in new tab).


Please share any thoughts, comments or questions in the Comments section below!

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.