LEGAL heir Alex Murdaugh was found guilty of murdering his wife and youngest son in an attempt to cover up his financial crimes.
The disbarred lawyer was sentenced to life in prison for the slayings.
Alex Murdaugh was convicted of the murder of his wife and son[/caption]
Who is Alex Murdaugh?
Murdaugh was the eighth in a long line of prosecutors dating back to the first elected official over 100 years ago.
However, everything changed when he made a 911 call at 10.07 pm to report his wife and son had been fatally shot.
Authorities found shell casings at the scene and said Maggie and Paul had been shot several times and they had not initially found a weapon.
Per the timeline of events, Murdaugh called the police dispatcher and said he arrived home to find the lifeless bodies of his son and wife.
“I’ve been gone,” Murdaugh told a dispatcher, adding, “I just came back.”
A coroner determined Maggie and Paul had likely died between 9 pm and 9.30 pm, but Murdaugh provided an alibi that he had spent the day with his mother, who has dementia, and her caretaker.
However, the case surrounding the murders began to unravel when, three months later, Murdaugh was driving and his vehicle had a flat tire.
He reportedly stopped to change the tire when a man driving by turned around and shot him and he sustained a minor gunshot wound to the head.
The man, identified as Curtis Edward Smith, was arrested on charges of assisted suicide, assault, and battery, pointing and presenting a firearm, insurance fraud, and conspiracy to commit insurance fraud.
Investigators delved into Murdaugh’s past and revealed he had committed fraudulent business dealings and he was arrested on November 19, 2021.
He was charged with 27 counts of indictment including breach of trust with fraudulent intent, obtaining signature or property by false pretenses, money laundering, computer crimes, and forgery.
The state attorney general’s office said, “Altogether, Murdaugh is charged with respect to alleged schemes to defraud victims and thereafter launder” nearly $4.9 million.
In January he faced another 23 charges, including breach of trust with fraudulent intent and computer crimes.
The total amounts to 71 charges of fraud and theft, amounting to about $8.5 million over 11 years.
On May 24, 2023, he was indicted on 22 counts including conspiracy to commit wire fraud, bank fraud, and money laundering.
A federal grand jury returned with the indictment.
The indictment stated he “conspired with a personal injury attorney in Beaufort to defraud the estate of Murdaugh’s former housekeeper and Murdaugh’s homeowner’s insurance carriers.”
Was Alex Murdaugh charged with murder?
The investigation into Maggie and Paul’s murders gained momentum in July 2022 when authorities uncovered a cellphone video that they said allegedly linked Murdaugh to the crime.
Murdaugh was indicted on a double murder charge on July 14, 2002, for the slayings of his wife and son.
Mark Keel, the chief of the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, told NBC News, “Over the last 13 months, SLED agents and our partners have worked day in and day out to build a case against the person responsible for the murders of Maggie and Paul and to exclude those who were not.”
“At no point did agents lose focus on this investigation. From the beginning, I have been clear the priority was to ensure justice was served. Today is one more step in a long process for justice for Maggie and Paul,” he continued.
Federal agents said the new video placed Murdaugh at the scene of the crime when the murders occurred.
Murdaugh’s lawyers said in a statement at the time, “Alex wants his family, friends, and everyone to know that he did not have anything to do with the murders of Maggie and Paul.”
“He loved them more than anything in the world,” the statement continued.
“It was very clear from day one that law enforcement and the Attorney General prematurely concluded that Alex was responsible for the murder of his wife and son.”
“But we know that Alex did not have any motive whatsoever to murder them.”
His lawyers filed a motion to hand over evidence acquired within 30 days and demanded to have a trial within 60 days of receipt of the evidence.
Alex Murdaugh is also facing 71 charges of fraud[/caption]
Where is Alex Murdaugh now?
Alex Murdaugh is currently serving a life sentence without parole for the murder of his wife and son.
In August 2023, he reportedly lost his phone and tablet privileges after he read his journal entries to his lawyer, Jim Griffin, over the phone.
Griffin then provided the recording to the media.
According to a Corrections Department incident report, the recording was meant for the Fox Nation documentary, The Fall of the House of Murdaugh, which aired on August 31, 2023.
The Fox special explores the convoluted Murdaugh Murders and features interviews from people close to the case, including Murdaugh’s other son, Buster.
“I don’t think that he could be affiliated with endangering my mother and brother,” Buster said, per a clip published by People, noting that he is “absolutely” fearful for his safety as he believes the killer is still out there.
“I think that I’ve set myself up to be safe. But yes, when I go to bed at night, I have a fear that there is somebody else still out there.”
Buster also asserted that the jury did not give his father a “fair” trial.
“I was there for six weeks studying it, and I think it was a tilted table from the beginning,” he said in a preview footage from Fox News.
“I think, unfortunately, a lot of the jurors felt that way prior to when they had to deliberate. It was predetermined in their minds, prior to when they ever heard any shred of evidence that was given in that room.”
On January 29, 2024, the convicted Murdaugh was denied a retrial by a judge.
The denial comes after he and his legal team accused Colleton County Clerk of Court Rebecca Hill of tampering with the jury during his trial.
They claimed that Hill pressured jurors into finding Murdaugh guilty so she could publish a book that revolved around the case and trial.
The jury in Murdaugh’s double-murder trial deliberated for about three hours before returning a guilty verdict last March.
However, a judge determined that Rebecca Hill’s actions did not impact the outcome of the trial.