Replace, March 2, 2023: After deliberating for 3 hours on Thursday night, a jury discovered Alex Murdaugh responsible of murdering his spouse, Maggie, and youthful son, Paul, on June 7, 2021.
Murdaugh nonetheless faces a number of significant expenses, together with cash laundering, insurance coverage fraud, and alleged misuse of funds from a settlement associated to the demise of his housekeeper, Gloria Satterfield. He’ll face sentencing in his spouse’s and son’s murders on March 3, 2023.
The story of the Murdaugh murders stems from a 100-year-old household authorized dynasty in Hampton, South Carolina, that was put within the fingers of fourth-generation lawyer Alex Murdaugh.
However what took a century to construct got here crashing down in June 2021, when Alex referred to as authorities after discovering his spouse, Maggie Murdaugh, and his youngest son, Paul Murdaugh, shot lifeless of their 1,770-acre looking lodge at 4147 Moselle Highway in Islandton, South Carolina.
These crimes led to a sequence of revelations in regards to the household, which HBO Max unpacked within the new true crime documentary, Low Nation: The Murdaugh Dynasty, that aired on November 3. Adopted by one other true crime sequence primarily based on the once-prestigious household Murdaugh Murders: A Southern Scandal which is about to launch on Netflix on February 22.
Picture credit score: Courtesy of Maggie Murdaugh through Fb.
Now in the identical courthouse the place generations of Murdaughs laid down the regulation, Alex is set to go on trial for homicide, with jury choice starting on January 23.
Hold scrolling for the whole lot to know in regards to the case and the Murdaugh household.
Who Are the Murdaugh Household?
The Murdaugh household started in South Carolina on the flip of the century and have been outstanding attorneys within the state for many years. Starting with Alex Murdaugh’s great-grandfather Randolph Murdaugh Sr., who began Peters Murdaugh Parker Eltzroth & Detrick in 1910, generations of his household have continued to work on the agency, together with his son, Randolph “Buster” Murdaugh II, grandson, Randolph Murdaugh III, and his great-great-grandsons Randolph “Randy” Murdaugh IV and Alex Murdaugh.
The agency was profitable with private harm circumstances by making the most of a South Carolina regulation that permits individuals to sue in any county and never the place an incident might have occurred — which may usually end in favoritism and landed Hampton County on the 2004 checklist of “Judicial Hellholes“. Nevertheless, this made the Murdaugh group the “go-to” attorneys within the county.
Randolph Sr. additionally turned the primary elected solicitor, (or district lawyer), of the 14th judicial circuit (district) in 1920. Randolph Sr. held the function for 20 years till his demise. His son, Randolph “Buster” Murdaugh II, was elected to the place subsequent. He labored from 1940 to 1986, till his son Randolph Murdaugh III took over, working from 1986 to 2006. Alex volunteered and labored part-time within the solicitor’s workplace after graduating from USC Legislation College in 1994 till 2021.
The Murdaugh household have been solicitors in South Carolina for 86 years straight; main prison prosecutions for his or her district, and enjoying a key function in deciding which circumstances get prosecuted (and when) from 1920 to 2006.
What Occurred to Paul and Maggie Murdaugh?
Maggie and Paul Murdaugh have been shot lifeless on June 7, 2021. Alex Murdaugh referred to as 911 at round 10 p.m., claiming he had found the our bodies. Nevertheless, the coroner discovered that the 2 had died between 9 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., per NPR, and so they had been shot with totally different weapons — Maggie with an assault-style rifle and Paul with a shotgun.
In October 2021, Alex was named as an individual of curiosity within the case, though his lawyer denied the allegations and stated he had no motive for the crimes, in accordance with Folks.
In accordance with NBC Information, sources near the investigation stated authorities discovered cellphone video proof that locations Alex on the scene of the crime.
On July 14, 2022, he was indicted by a grand jury in connection to Paul and Maggie’s murders. He was charged with two counts of homicide and two counts of possession of a weapon throughout the fee of a violent crime.
Alex Murdaugh’s attorneys keep his innocence.
Picture credit score: Courtesy of Maggie Murdaugh through Fb.
What Different Crimes Had been Uncovered After the Murdaugh Household Murders?
As investigators seemed into the deaths of the mom and son, different unsolved crimes regarding the Murdaugh household have been found.
Two years earlier than his demise, in February 2019, youngest son Paul, 22, had been concerned in a ship crash that left his good friend, Mallory Seashore, lifeless after being thrown from the boat. Although varied witnesses stated Paul had been driving the boat whereas intoxicated, in accordance with a earlier NBC documentary on Peacock, key proof had gone lacking within the case.
Paul was charged with one depend of sailing whereas intoxicated and two counts of inflicting bodily harm, although individuals advised he obtained particular therapy due to his household’s legacy. He was launched on bond and a date for his trial was by no means set, per Folks.
Moreover, two weeks following the double murders that occurred in June 2021, the state reopened an investigation right into a 2015 case of a person, Stephen Smith, who had been discovered lifeless on the aspect of the highway.
Whereas South Carolina State Legislation Enforcement Division (SLED) has not revealed what proof prompted them to reopen the case, per NPR, the Murdaugh identify saved arising in relation to the case. Sources speculated that Buster Murdaugh, Alex Murdaugh’s eldest son who additionally labored on the household regulation agency, had a relationship with Smith, in accordance with the Every day Mail.
Moreover, though Smith’s demise was dominated a hit-and-run, he had a gunshot wound above his proper eye and his accidents weren’t according to these sustained from car trauma, in accordance with the Every day Mail.
Buster has not been named an individual of curiosity in Smith’s demise.
What Occurred to Gloria Satterfield?
Along with Smith’s demise, SLED started investigating one other case involving the Murdaugh household. In 2018, the household’s longtime housekeeper, Gloria Satterfield, died after Maggie Murdaugh referred to as 911, claiming Satterfield had fallen down the steps. It was famous that Paul was current throughout the name.
Satterfield was a longtime caretaker of the household, and in accordance with sources featured in Discovery + documentary Murdaugh Murders: Lethal Dynasty, she had instructed a number of people who Paul would kill small animals and infrequently disregarded authority.
Her reason behind demise stays unclear.
On the funeral, Alex approached Satterfield’s sons and stated for the reason that accident occurred on his property, he was going to sue himself for wrongful demise so the boys can get some insurance coverage cash, in accordance with The New York Instances.
With all legalities dealt with by Alex, the sons have been instructed to attend for a settlement.
Alex and his insurers did attain a $4.3 million settlement within the months after Satterfield’s demise, however the Satterfield household did not see a dime.
The Satterfield sons filed a lawsuit towards Alex Murdaugh in September 2021, and SLED determined to exhume the physique for an post-mortem in June 2022, in accordance with South Carolina’s WCSC. That very same month, Alex agreed to pay the Satterfield household $4.3 million.
The place Is the Murdaugh Legislation Agency Now?
The alleged misappropriated funds within the wrongful demise go well with uncovered varied different monetary crimes together with Alex stealing hundreds of thousands from purchasers and his household regulation agency, in accordance with The New York Instances.
He was then pressured out by his companions in September 2021, simply three months after the double murders. The agency modified its identify to the Parker Legislation Group, LLP in January 2021, in accordance with WOTC South Carolina.
Alex was additionally stripped from being a lawyer within the state of South Carolina indefinitely, and his identify was faraway from the agency that was as soon as often called the “Murdaugh Legislation Agency.”
What Occurred to Alex Murdaugh?
The next day, after Alex was pressured out of the agency, he was shot within the head whereas altering a tire on the aspect of the highway. The shot solely prompted minor injury and he was capable of name for assist.
Days after he was shot, he checked into rehab for opioid habit. It was there that he admitted to attorneys that he had employed Curtis Eddie Smith to kill him so his son Buster might gather $10 million in insurance coverage cash.
On Sept. 16, 2021, he turned himself in to Hampton County Legislation Enforcement in connection to the suicide-for-hire rip-off, per Folks.
Later, on Oct. 14, 2021, Alex was arrested on felony expenses for misusing hundreds of thousands from the Satterfield property and acquiring property beneath false pretenses, per NPR, and was hit with tens of expenses within the months that adopted regarding quite a few monetary crimes and deaths.
He was indicted on homicide expenses for the deaths of his spouse and son in July 2022.
Picture credit score: Tracy Glantz/The Island Packet/Tribune Information Service through Getty Pictures
The place Are the Murdaughs Now?
Alex Murdaugh is at the moment in jail and is about to go on trial for the June 2021 murders of his son Paul and his spouse Maggie in January. If convicted, he might face 30 years to life in jail with out parole and could possibly be eligible for the demise penalty, in accordance with USA Right this moment.
Murdaugh faces a complete of 90 expenses, lots of which embrace monetary crimes reminiscent of stealing from the household regulation agency, cash laundering by way of a drug ring, and committing insurance coverage fraud.
As for the remainder of the surviving Murdaugh household, eldest son Buster was final reported to be “not doing properly in any respect” since his father was arrested for the double murders, sources instructed Folks in July 2022.
Regardless of beforehand working at his household’s regulation agency, Buster seems to have no involvement within the rebranded Parker Legislation Group.
In the meantime, Alex’s brother Randy nonetheless works as a practising lawyer on the now-renamed Parker Legislation Agency. He denounced Alex’s actions and claimed he had no involvement in his mishandling of firm funds in a press release to Folks in September 2021.
Randy can be suing Alex for 1000’s in unpaid loans.
How A lot Are the Murdaughs Value?
It is unclear precisely how a lot wealth the Murdaugh household as soon as had, however a number of accounts and properties have been discovered to be price hundreds of thousands.
When Murdaugh was held on a $7 million bond for 51 prison expenses, the court docket detailed Murdaugh’s property, which included quite a few actual property properties and even small islands, in accordance with Greenville Information.
Moreover, the court docket discovered a retirement account price between $2.1 and $2.2 million, and an IRA retirement fund valued at $350,000 to $400,000.
He was additionally purported to obtain a belief for an undisclosed quantity after his father Randolph Murdaugh III’s demise in June 2021, plus probate property after his spouse’s demise that very same month.
Moreover, the household looking lodge the place Paul and Maggie have been killed was listed in February 2022 for $3.9 million.