A new mugshot of disgraced and disbarred attorney Alex Murdaugh was uploaded by the law enforcement agency where he is being detained in South Carolina’s Lowcountry region this week.
On the first day of testimony in his double homicide case, Murdaugh can be seen wearing what appears to be a white-and-brown gingham-style shirt with a white T-shirt underneath.
The defendant’s first mugshot was released in late September 2021 – after he was arrested in an alleged insurance fraud scheme that is believed to be peripherally related to his present murder trial.
Some two-and-a-half months after his wife and youngest son, Margaret “Maggie” Murdaugh, 52, and Paul Murdaugh, 22, were found shot and killed at the family’s storied hunting lodge in Colleton County, S.C., Murdaugh himself was found shot in the head on the side of the 15000 block of Salkehatchie Road in Hampton County.
At the time, defense attorney Jim Griffin said his client had stopped to assess car trouble when a truck passed him by, doubled back, and then an assailant got out and fired a single shot. The wound was deemed “superficial” by authorities in a news release the next day.
Several days later, according to the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, Murdaugh confessed to hiring ex-client Curtis Smith, 61, to shoot and kill him in an effort to secure a $10 million life insurance payout for his eldest son, Buster Murdaugh. Defense attorney Dick Harpootlian later said his client, under the influence of opioids, was under the false belief his policy had a suicide clause that would have limited or prevented payments if he died by his own hands.
In October 2021, Alex Murdaugh was arrested again, in Florida, on charges of falsely obtaining property from the family of his former, long-serving housekeeper, Gloria Satterfield.
In early July 2022, Alex Murdaugh was indicted for the murder of Maggie and Paul Murdaugh.
While his first mugshot showed him in detainee garb, the defendant’s second mugshot, on the property charges, also featured civilian clothes.
In July 2022, Murdaugh appeared in another mugshot, this time severely dressed down and with a short-cropped haircut. That photograph appeared after the defendant appeared in court for a short bond hearing where he accepted a prison stay during his trial on the murder charges.
While the return to normalcy for Alex Murdaugh’s mode of dress is not unusual – constitutional battles have been waged, for decades, about how criminal defendants present themselves during their trials – the new mugshot did cause some waves on social media.
Alex Murdaugh allowed to take mugshot wearing street clothes he had worn to court.
Also was allowed to fist-bump his sister in court.
Just 2 examples of things that NEVER normally happen for someone charged with 2 counts of murder.
Opening statements start in 15 minutes. https://t.co/IaifNokn1X
— Tiffany Alaniz (@TiffanyAlaniz) January 25, 2023
— Matt Johnson (@MattJohnsonNEWS) January 25, 2023
Testimony continues in the Alex Murdaugh trial live on Law&Crime and the Law&Crime Network.
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