Alex Murdaugh — a famous personal injury lawyer in South Carolina who comes from one of that region’s wealthiest families — was found guilty of murder on Thursday.
Murdaugh, who had pleaded not guilty to two counts of murder and two counts of possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime, was convicted at the conclusion of his trial on all four counts.
The jury deliberated for only three hours following the end of the trial.
Murdaugh will be sentenced on Friday morning; he faces 30 years to life in prison without parole.
As for his heinous crime?
On June 7, 2021 the bodies of Murdaugh’s 52-year old wife, Maggie and 22-year old son, Paul, were found dead on the 1,770-acre property in Islandton, South Carolina where the family’s hunting lodge was located.
The pair died near the lodge’s dog kennels as a result of multiple gunshot wounds, a State Law Enforcement Division press release said at the time.
Murdaugh was the one who called 9-1-1 and reported the deaths.
For decades until 2006, Murdaugh family members served as the leading prosecutor in and around Colleton County.
During the six-week long trial, Murdaugh said he gunned down his wife and son to distract from his financial crimes, including the theft of millions of dollars from his law partners and clients … money used to feed a years-long addiction to opioids and support a lavish lifestyle.
While testifying in his own defense, Murdaugh confessed to lying about his whereabouts on the night of the killings, although he also denied taking the lives of his wife and son.
“I could never intentionally do anything to hurt either one of them,” he said on the stand. “Not ever.”
Alas, a jury of his peers did not believe this claim in the end.
“It doesn’t matter who your family is, it doesn’t matter how much money you have,” Creighton Waters, the lead prosecutor, said after the verdict.
“If you do wrong, if you break the law, if you murder, then justice will be done in South Carolina.”
After the verdict was read out loud on Thursday, meanwhile, Murdaugh’s attorney immediately motioned for a mistrial — which the judge swiftly denied.
“The evidence of guilt is overwhelming,” South Carolina Circuit Court Judge Clifton Newman said in response.
The murders were the topic of Netflix’s Murdaugh Murders: A Southern Scandal, which premiered on February 22, which provided further background into the Murdaugh family’s influence among its local South Carolina community.
Murdaugh’s great-grandfather founded the Hampton law firm in 1910, while a member of this family had occupied the 14th Circuit solicitor’s chair for three generations.
The series also covered how Paul and Maggie’s deaths shed a light on “a century of corruption, power, and cover-ups in the Low Country,” featuring interviews with those closest to the Murdaugh family in the process.
“Circumstantial evidence, direct evidence — all of the evidence pointed to only one conclusion, and that’s the conclusion that you all reached,” Judge Newman told the jurors on Thursday.