HomeTop StoriesAlex Murdaugh faces 30 years to life for murdering wife and son

Alex Murdaugh faces 30 years to life for murdering wife and son

WALTERBORO, SC (AP) — South Carolina attorney Alex Murdaugh will be back in a courtroom Friday, this time facing trial as a convicted murderer serving 30 years to life in prison for killing his wife and son.

Prosecutors have indicated in previous lawsuits that they will seek a life sentence to hold Murdaugh ultimately responsible for what they say is decades of lying, stealing and using his family’s considerable influence in their small county to his advantage. Any punishment would have no chance of parole.

As Alex Murdaugh stands before a judge to learn his fate, he finds himself in the same circuit courtroom where his father, grandfather, and great-grandfather tried cases for over 80 years as an elected prosecutor. His grandfather’s portrait hung in the back of the room until the judge ordered it removed before trial.

Instead of the shirt and sport coat he wore during the six-week trial, the lawyer who made millions suing major corporations on behalf of people injured in wrecks arrived in New York the day after he was convicted of two murders. a prison jumpsuit at court. .

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The Colleton County jury deliberated less than three hours before finding Murdaugh guilty of killing his 22-year-old son, Paul, with a shotgun and his 52-year-old wife, Maggie, with a shotgun on June 7, 2021.

Juror Craig Moyer told ABC News that when deliberations began, the jury immediately conducted a poll that came back with nine guilty votes. It didn’t take long to convince the other three.

The juror agreed with prosecutors that the key piece of evidence was a video stored on his son’s cell phone for a year — videotaped minutes before the murders in the same kennels near where the bodies would be found.

The voices of all three Murdaughs can be heard on the video, even though Alex Murdaugh has insisted for 20 months that he hadn’t been in the kennel that night. When he took the stand in his defense, the first thing he did was admit that he lied to investigators about his stay at the kennels, saying he was paranoid about law enforcement because he was an opioid addict with pills in his pocket on the night of the murders.

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“A good liar. But not good enough,” Moyer said.

Prosecutors did not have the weapons used to kill the Murdaughs or other direct evidence such as confessions or blood spatter. But they had a mountain of circumstantial evidence, including the video that placed Murdaugh at the scene of the murders five minutes before his wife and son stopped using their cell phones forever.

It is not clear who will speak at Friday’s sentencing hearing. Murdaugh’s surviving son, Buster, and one of his brothers testified for the defense and stood by him every day during the trial.

Murdaugh’s sister-in-law testified that they were all close. Alex Murdaugh vacationed with them in the months following the murders.

Through more than 75 witnesses and nearly 800 pieces of evidence, the jurors learned about betrayed friends and clients, Murdaugh’s failed attempt to fake his own death in an insurance fraud scheme, a fatal boating accident involving his son, the housekeeper who died in a fall into Murdaugh’s house and the gruesome scene of the murders.

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The now disbarred lawyer admitted to stealing millions of dollars from the family business and clients and said he needed the money to fund his drug use. Before being charged with murder, Murdaugh was in jail awaiting trial on about 100 other charges ranging from insurance fraud to tax evasion.

When he took the stand last week, Murdaugh appeared to cry as he repeatedly denied killing his wife. But juror Moyer said he saw through another lie.

“He never cried. All he did was blow snot,” Moyer said. ‘No tears. I saw his eyes. I was so close to him.”


Find more AP coverage of the case: https://apnews.com/hub/alex-murdaugh

___ Collins reported from Columbia, South Carolina.

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