Alex Murdaugh verdict: Disgraced lawyer guilty of killing wife and son
A disgraced South Carolina lawyer has been found guilty of murdering his wife and son to distract from his multi-million dollar financial crimes.
The jury deliberated for less than three hours before convicting Alex Murdaugh, 54, of two counts of murder at the end of a six-week trial.
He faces 30 years to life in prison without parole for each murder charge.
Maggie and Paul Murdaugh were shot at close range near the dog kennels on their family estate on 7 June 2021.
Alex Murdaugh stood impassively as he learned his fate during Thursday evening’s hearing in Walterboro.
“The evidence of guilt is overwhelming,” South Carolina Circuit Court Judge Clifton Newman said as he rejected a defence motion for a mistrial. He scheduled sentencing for Friday morning.
Murdaugh had pleaded not guilty to killing his wife and youngest son in an attempt to conceal years of financial corruption – fraud that he himself had acknowledged in court.
After the 12-person jury’s verdict, dozens of spectators gathered outside the back of the court where officers ushered a handcuffed Murdaugh quickly into a black van.
Reporters shouted questions, though he remained silent. As police tucked him inside the vehicle, one man behind the media line shouted that he was praying for him.
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The case – chronicling the downfall of a family born to power and privilege – made national headlines, inspiring documentaries on Netflix and HBO.
Murdaugh was once an influential personal injury attorney in the state, and for decades until 2006 his family members had served as the leading prosecutors in the area.
But the trial heard that for years he had been stealing from his law partners and clients to feed an addiction to painkillers and an extravagant lifestyle.