Once a successful attorney, Alex Murdaugh is now standing trial for the murder of his wife and son after they found out he was bankrupt and had lost his license.
Murder of a mom and her kid. The amount of money taken is in the millions. New inquiries into a fatal boat crash and a fatal slip and fall by a housekeeper.
One of the most closely watched trials in the country is taking place right now, and the tragic circumstances surrounding a lawyer and his family in South Carolina have only grown more perplexing over time.
Alex Murdaugh, 54, whose family has ruled the southern Texas legal system for a century, is at the center of this case. He is charged with two counts of murder. The prosecution claims he murdered his family to cover up his own financial wrongdoing.
On the evening of June 7, 2021, Alex Murdaugh called 911 to report that he and his wife and one of their two sons had been shot dead. Alex’s father, grandfather, and great-grandfather had all served as the top prosecutors across a large area of the state.
Over a year passed with no suspect or motive identified, adding mystery to the killings. Then, on July 14, 2022, Mr. Murdaugh was indicted for the shooting deaths of his wife and son, both allegedly at his hands.
Since his initial arrest in October 2021 for theft from a former client, prosecutors have filed a slew of additional financial charges against Mr. Murdaugh, alleging that he defrauded victims, many of whom were clients, out of approximately $8.8 million.
- Police Say The ‘Catfishing’ Officer Who Killed A California Family Then Shot Himself In The Head With His Service Weapon!
Mr. Murdaugh’s attorneys claimed before trial that he “looks forward to this opportunity to clear his name” because he is innocent of murdering his wife and son.
On Monday, the jury was selected for the trial that was anticipated to last around three weeks.
What Happened In The Original ‘Murdaugh Murders’?
Mr. Murdaugh’s 52-year-old wife, Maggie, and their 22-year-old son, Paul, a junior at the University of South Carolina, were shot and killed, sending shockwaves through the state’s Lowcountry region, where the Murdaughs had built a legal dynasty. People started referring to the killings as the Murdaugh murders.
Not much information was made public about the assault, and no suspects were identified for over a year.
Mr. Murdaugh allegedly told police that he found the bodies of his wife and children when he returned to their remote home in Islandton, a rural hamlet about 65 miles west of Charleston.
After 10 o’clock that night, a visibly distressed Mr. Murdaugh called 911 to report that he had returned home to find their bodies on the ground “out at my kennel.”
I’ve been up to it now, it’s bad,” Mr. Murdaugh said to the dispatcher. He pleaded with the emergency personnel to come quickly, saying that neither his wife nor his son was breathing. “How far apart are they, ma’am?”
Colleton County Sheriff’s Deputies called a tow truck service after finding several shell casings, according to their reports. They also claimed to have checked nearby homes and businesses for surveillance cameras, though it is unclear from the heavily redacted police reports whether or not they did so.
What Time Did Alex Murdaugh Get Shot, And What Provoked The Shooting?
Nearly three months after Mr. Murdaugh’s wife and son were murdered, an employee at the law firm founded by his great-grandfather more than a century ago found a check made out to Mr. Murdaugh.
After a further investigation revealed financial wrongdoing, the company asked for his resignation, which he subsequently granted.
On the following day, September 4, 2021, Mr. Murdaugh claimed, in an additional bizarre turn of events, that he had been shot in the head while changing a flat tyre on the side of a rural road.
After being taken to the hospital, his story started to fall apart. He wasn’t by himself on the side of the road like he said he was; he was with his friend and distant cousin, Curtis Edward Smith.
Very quickly, Mr. Murdaugh admitted that he had asked Mr. Smith to shoot him in the head. His attorneys claim that Mr. Murdaugh plotted his suicide to look like a murder so that his older son, Buster Murdaugh, could collect on his life insurance.
What Happened With The Fatal Boating Accident?
Paul Murdaugh, who died in a boat crash in which Mallory Beach, 19, was killed and several others were hurt, was out on bail at the time of his death. He had been charged with drunken boating in 2019.
Recent documents and videos have cast doubt on whether or not the police were thorough in their investigation of his death. In the immediate aftermath of the accident, one of the six passengers told an officer from the Department of Natural Resources that Paul Murdaugh was behind the wheel, but the officer noted in his report that the passenger had actually said he wasn’t sure.
The South Carolina attorney general is still looking into the crash that resulted in felony charges against Paul Murdaugh for boating under the influence which led to one person’s death and two others suffering serious injuries.
How Influential Is The Murdaugh Clan?
Randolph Murdaugh, the progenitor of the Murdaugh legal dynasty, started out as a solo practitioner before being elected in 1920 as the first chief prosecutor for a five-county area that encompassed 3,200 square miles.
He held the position for twenty years before he was tragically killed in a train accident. In time, his son, Randolph Murdaugh Jr. (nicknamed “Buster”), succeeded him as the 14th Circuit Solicitor. After 46 years in office, Alex Murdaugh’s grandfather Randolph Murdaugh Jr. retired and was succeeded by his son.
Although Alex Murdaugh never sought the position of the prosecutor, he did work as a volunteer for the state and occasionally assisted his father in court. This past September, he was officially relieved of his volunteer duties.
Alex Murdaugh has reportedly been under scrutiny for various allegations ever since the murders of Paul and Maggie Murdaugh. His law license was revoked after he was found guilty of misusing firm funds.
It is also claimed that Alex Murdaugh paid a hitman to kill him so that his eldest and only surviving son, Buster, would collect the $10 million from his life insurance policy. The once-mighty lawyer is now accused of as many as 71 separate crimes.