Alex Murdaugh Found Guilty of Murdering Wife Maggie and Son Paul Murdaugh
A South Carolina jury has reached a verdict in Alex Murdaugh's murder trial. See more details into the case's conclusion.
Alex Murdaugh's murder trial has come to an end.
On March 2, a jury gave the verdict and found the former personal injury lawyer guilty of murdering his wife Maggie Murdaugh, 52, and son Paul Murdaugh, 22. He had pleaded not guilty to two counts of murder and two counts of possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime, but was found guilty on all four counts, according to NBC News.
Circuit Court Judge Clifton Newman said Murdaugh's sentencing will begin on March 3, per the outlet. He faces 30 years to life in prison without parole.
Murdaugh's lawyers asked for a mistrial after the verdict was announced, which the judge denied. E! News has reached out to Murdaugh's lawyer and has not heard back.
The verdict concludes a six-week long trial that examined where Murdaugh was on June 7, 2021--the night that Maggie and Paul were shot and killed at the family's hunting estate in Islandton, S.C. 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.
Initially, Murdaugh had told prosecutors that he was visiting his parents that night, and afterward came home to find Paul and Maggie dead. However, his voice could be heard in a Snapchat video--timestamped 8:44 p.m--recorded by the kennels on Paul's phone soon before their time of death.
During his trial testimony, Murdaugh confessed to lying because he said his longtime opioid abuse made him "paranoid," and that he was advised by law partners to not speak until Danny Henderson--his former fellow law firm partner--arrived at the scene. The pressure of being questioned by authorities from the State Law Enforcement Division also prompted him to lie, he said.
"All those things coupled together after finding them, coupled with my distrust for SLED, caused me to have paranoid thoughts," he explained during the trial. "On June 7, I wasn't thinking clearly, I don't think I was capable of reason and I lied about being down [by the kennels], and I'm so sorry that I did."
However, prosecutors alleged that Murdaugh killed his wife and son as a diversion from the financial investigation he was under, according to NBC News. His defense team denied the motive.
"Mr. Griffin, I didn't shoot my wife or my son any time," Murdaugh told his defense lawyer Jim Griffin. "Ever."
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Alex Murdaugh Found Guilty of Murdering Wife Maggie and Son Paul
South Carolina prosecutor Creighton Waters also alleged that Maggie and Paul had no defensive wounds, noting it was "as if they didn't see a threat coming from their attacker." Waters said Paul--who suffered "devastating damage" that night--was shot with a shotgun in the chest, shoulder and head, while Maggie was shot with a rifle in the abdomen, leg and head, per NBC News.
Paul's death came after he was charged in connection to a 2019 boat crash that left 19-year-old Mallory Beach dead. He had pled not guilty and the case was pending when Paul died.
The murders were the subject of Netflix's Murdaugh Murders: A Southern Scandal, which premiered on Feb. 22, which gave further background into the Murdaugh family's influence amongst their local South Carolina community, considering their prominence in the area's legal sphere. After all, Murdaugh's great-grandfather founded the Hampton law firm in 1910, and a member of their family had occupied the 14th Circuit solicitor's chair for three generations.
The docuseries covered how Paul and Maggie's deaths shed a light on "a century of corruption, power, and cover-ups in the Low Country" and featured interviews with those closest to the Murdaugh family.
Read all the bombshells from the trial here.