For almost one hundred years, men from the same family ran the Fourteenth Circuit Solicitor’s Office as top prosecutor. Now the scion — disbarred and disgraced as an attorney — stands trial for allegedly murdering his wife and their son. You can watch the trial of Alex Murdaugh in the player above. Prosecutors seek life in prison without the possibility of parole.
As heard in 911 audio, he told the dispatcher he found wife Margaret “Maggie” Murdaugh and their son Paul Murdaugh shot dead at the family-owned hunting lodge.
Neither Maggie nor Paul were breathing or moving. Asked by a dispatcher not to touch them, defendant Murdaugh said he had touched them to see if they were breathing.
He had blood spatter on his shirt. Prosecutors said it was from the shooting. The defense maintains it got there from when he “frantically checked them for signs of life.”
Prosecutors said defendant Murdaugh executed the murders while facing ruin.
“The jury will need to understand the distinction between who Alex Murdaugh appeared to be to the outside world — a successful lawyer and scion of the most prominent family in the region — and who he was in the real life only he fully knew – an allegedly crooked lawyer and drug user who borrowed and stole whatever he could to stay afloat and one step ahead of detection,” State Grand Jury Section Chief Attorney Creighton Waters previously wrote. “Proof of years of Alex Murdaugh’s unbroken series of misappropriations, lies, loans, debts, and thefts is necessary to explain that distinction to a jury. Only then can a jury understand that the clouds of Defendant’s past were gathering into a perfect storm that was going to expose the real Alex Murdaugh to the world — and which would mean facing real accountability for his life.”
Defendant Murdaugh allegedly tried to mislead investigators by suggesting for his son Paul’s past. The younger Murdaugh allegedly drove a boat drunk and got into an accident, killing his friend Mallory Beach.
The Beach case was dogged by a narrative that the Murdaugh family had somehow used its long-collected power, largesse and influence to shape the contours of the initial law enforcement investigation.
The defense in the double-murder case maintains their client’s innocence.
“In order to preserve the integrity of the trial process, our team will not be providing any further statements or responses to anything that occurs at trial, which commences with jury selection tomorrow, Monday, January 23,” Dick Harpootlian and Jim Griffin said in a statement released Sunday. “We are fully prepared to challenge the State’s allegations and to demonstrate the weaknesses in the State’s case before a Colleton County jury. Alex looks forward to this opportunity to clear his name of these heinous charges so that the Attorney General can finally begin looking for the actual killer or killers of Alex’s beloved wife and son.”
Colin Kalmbacher and Angenette Levy contributed to this report.
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]