With the debut of Netflix’s new true crime series Murdaugh Murders: A Southern Scandal and a double homicide trial in South Carolina, there’s a question of where Alex Murdaugh is now after being charged with the murder of his wife, Maggie, and his youngest son, Paul.
In June 2021, the unsolved killings shattered the immaculate image of a well-connected and respected legal family in South Carolina’s Lowcountry. Murdaugh, whose father, grandfather and great-grandfather were all top prosecutors in the region spanning a collective family history of almost 90 years, has denied responsibility for their deaths.
If convicted, Murdaugh faces 30 years to life in prison as the State did not seek the death penalty. “After carefully reviewing this case and all the surrounding facts, we have decided to seek life without parole for Alex Murdaugh,” South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson said in a statement on December 20, 2022; around a month before the trial was set to begin.
Where is Alex Murdaugh now?
Where is Alex Murdaugh now? The disgraced and disbarred attorney is on trial for the shooting murder of his wife and youngest son. He has pleaded guilty and throughout the trial, which has lasted more than a month, maintained his innocence.
The victims were found with multiple gunshot wounds on June 7, 2021, after 911 dispatchers received a call from Murdaugh at around 10 pm. In October 2021, Murdaugh was arrested in Florida on two felony counts of obtaining property by false pretenses after an investigation into millions of dollars that went missing from a settlement involving the death of the Murdaugh’s housekeeper, Gloria Satterfield. According to her heirs, they received none of the proceeds from a $4.3 million settlement they said was orchestrated in secret by Murdaugh. He was denied bond.
Amassing charges of what would eventually be more than 100 financial crimes, Murdaugh did not make the $7 million bail set in December 2021 and so he remained in Richland County jail. Murdaugh is charged with the murders of Paul and Maggie on July 14, 2022 and on July 20, 2022, he pleaded not guilty.
Maggie and Paul’s bodies were found on the family’s sprawling hunting lodge and responders were met with a “gruesome” scene, according to chief prosecutor Creighton Waters said in his opening statement of Murdaugh’s murder trial on January 23, 2023. He noted that neither Paul nor Margaret had defensive wounds, “as if they didn’t see a threat coming from their attacker.”
Richard Harpootlian, on Murdaugh’s defense team, insisted there were numerous holes in the prosecution’s case. “I want you to hear that 911 tape, a man hysterical and in grief,” he said, frequently referring to Murdaugh as a family man who loved Paul and Margaret deeply. “There’s no direct evidence. There’s no eyewitnesses. There’s nothing on camera. There’s no fingerprints. There’s no forensics tying him to the crime. None,” Harpootlian continued.
A key piece of the state’s evidence against Murdaugh is video footage which was apparently captured near the dog kennels on the family’s hunting property; his voice can be heard in the background. “Mr. Murdaugh, is that you on the kennel video at 8:44 p.m. on June 7,” defense attorney Jim Griffin asked, per CNN, “the night Maggie and Paul were murdered?”
Murdaugh initially told investigators he discovered them after returning from visiting his mother, who has dementia, but while on the stand during his double homicide trial, Alex admitted he’d lied about where he was on the night Paula and Maggie were killed.
Alex confirmed it was his voice in the video and explained why he’d lied on three separate occasions during interviews with investigators. “I did lie to them,” he said, blaming his addiction to opiate painkillers. “I wasn’t thinking clearly,” he added. “I don’t think I was capable of reason, and I lied about being down there, and I’m so sorry that I did.” He continued to deny responsibility for his wife and son’s murder. “I didn’t shoot my wife or my son, anytime, ever.”
When questioned again the following day about why he lied, prosecutors noted Murdaugh’s phone went dark for about an hour on June 7, 2021, the night of the killings, starting at 8.08 pm. Murdaugh insisted he didn’t take it with him to the dog kennels. At 9.02 pm, his phone became active again and data shows he made a flurry of calls. “At 9:02 you finally have the phone in your hand, moving around and making all these phone calls to manufacture an alibi, is that not true?” asked Waters. “That’s absolutely incorrect,” Murdaugh replied, saying that he started his car at 9.06 pm and drove to his mother’s house and returned at 10.05 pm where he said he found the scene of Paul and Maggie’s “badly shot” bodies, per the 911 call. Murdaugh testified that he believed the fatal boat crash in which his son Paul was involved in 2019 was the reason for the killings.
On February 24, 2019, friends Paul Murdaugh (Alex’s now-murdered son), Mallory Beach, Morgan Doughty, Miley Altman and Connor Cook and Mallory’s boyfriend Anthony Cook—all around the age of 19—were drinking alcohol on Paul’s family’s boat. After barhopping down the Beaufort, a highly intoxicated Paul drove the boat back and became agitated by his friends who said he shouldn’t be driving.
Becoming more reckless, Paul crashed the boat into the Archers Creek bridge where Mallory and Anthony were thrown from the vessel. Anthony emerged from the water but his girlfriend didn’t. Her body was found eight days later. Paul was charged with three felony counts including boating under the influence and causing the death of Mallory as well as seriously injuring two others.
Maggie’s sister Marian Proctor explained during her testimony in mid-February how, after the boat crash, the community turned against the Murdaugh family. “That was a devastating blow for their family. It was a horrible accident but it was an accident. Maggie felt like the community had turned against her and Paul was being mistreated,” Proctor said. “People would say mean things to him, call him names… It was very hard on the family.” During his own testimony on February 23, 2023, Murdaugh said his son Paul, whom he called “Paw Paw,” was “so misrepresented in the media” following the boat crash.
During his testimony on February 24, 2023, Murdaugh clarified he didn’t think any of the passengers of the boat committed the shooting of Paul and Maggie but that it may have been done by someone who’d heard about the incident. “I can tell you that at that time, and as I sit here today, that I believe that boat wreck is the reason why PawPaw and Maggie were killed. I’m certain.”
If you’re interested in learning more about the family, don’t miss Murdaugh Murders: A Southern Scandal on Netflix. The synopsis of which is as follows: “The Murdaughs were one of South Carolina’s most prominent families, but the death of teenager Mallory Beach in a drunken boating accident began the unraveling of their legacy. When Paul Murdaugh—the alleged driver of the boat—and his mother Maggie are found brutally murdered, a century of corruption, power, and cover-ups in the Low Country is brought to light. The three-part series will feature first-hand accounts from those on the boat that fateful night, many of whom have not spoken about the crash or double homicide of Maggie and Paul until now, including Paul Murdaugh’s longtime girlfriend, Morgan Doughty; Mallory Beach’s childhood friends, Miley Altman and Connor Cook; Mallory’s boyfriend, Anthony Cook; and, several others.”
Netflix’s Murdaugh Murders: A Southern Scandal is available to stream now.
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2023-02-25 03:40:01 ,
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