Jury finds Alex Murdaugh guilty for murder of wife, son

Published: Mar. 2, 2023 at 7:07 PM EST|Updated: Mar. 3, 2023 at 10:20 AM EST
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COLLETON COUNTY, S.C. (WTOC) - The jury has returned a verdict in the Murdaugh double murder trial.

The jury found Alex Murdaugh guilty of murdering his wife, Maggie, and son, Paul, on June 7, 2021.

Murdaugh was charged with two counts of murder and two counts of possession of a weapon during a crime. He was found guilty on all four counts.

Murdaugh’s trial began on Jan. 23. It took around six weeks to get through opening statements, testimony, a trip to Moselle for jurors to see where the killings took place, and to finish closing arguments.

Maggie and Paul’s bodies were found at the dog kennels on the Moselle property, allegedly by Alex. He claims he found them after visiting his mother.

Over the course of the trial, we have heard testimony from SLED agents who worked the scene, to Murdaugh’s mother’s caregiver at the time, to Alex’s only living son Buster, and more.

Most of the information from the night of the murders, including the weapons used, was not released until the trial began.

Judge Clifton Newman had the task of deciding what extra details would be permitted during the trial, including Alex’s financial crimes and his attempted assisted suicide.

Alex Murdaugh faces over 99 financial charges. When he took the stand to give testimony during the trial, he heavily admitted to the financial crimes. He has admitted to stealing millions of dollars over the years from clients and friends. His financial charges include embezzlement, money laundering, tax evasion, and more.

Alex’s alleged financial crimes first came to public attention after he resigned from the law firm he was a partner at on September 3, 2021. It was reported he was forced out by his partners. The law firm, formally known as Peters, Murdaugh, Parker, Eltzroth & Detrick, has since rebranded.

The next day, Alex made headlines after it was reported he was shot in the head while changing a flat tire on the side of the road in Varnville, S.C. He was airlifted to a hospital in Savannah.

Alex gave police a description of the man he said shot him, and said the man drove past him as he was changing his tire before turning around and shooting him.

On September 4, 2021, Alex made a public statement about his resignation about his law firm and that he was entering rehab for an opioid addiction.

Four days later, his law license was suspended indefinitely by the South Carolina Supreme Court.

On September 14, 2021, Curtis Smith was arrested in connection to Alex’s shooting. Smith is charged with assisted suicide, assault and battery of a high aggravated nature, pointing and presenting a firearm, insurance fraud, and conspiracy to commit insurance fraud.

Alex admitted to SLED his involvement in the shooting. He admitted he wanted assistance in killing himself so his son Buster could collect his life insurance policy, which was valued at approximately $10 million.

During the trial, the prosecution used the shooting as evidence that Alex was trying to make it look like he was being targeted like his wife and son, to take law enforcement’s eyes off of him. When Alex took the stand, he said he did it because he thought everyone would be better off without him.

Alex was charged in connection to the attempted assisted suicide. In October of 2021, Alex was charged again, this time in connection with misappropriated funds in his former housekeeper’s death settlement.

On July 12, 2022, Alex Murdaugh was officially disbarred by the South Carolina Supreme Court. The court said disbarment is, “among the most serious sanctions this Court can impose for unethical conduct committed by members of the legal profession.”

Two days later, Alex was indicted on two counts of murder in the deaths of Paul and Maggie. He pleaded not guilty and maintained his innocence throughout his trial.

During his testimony, Alex admitted to lying to SLED agents and that he had in fact been at the dog kennels with Paul and Maggie minutes before their death. He blamed his lie on his drug addiction and being afraid that would immediately make him a suspect.

After Murdaugh finished his testimony, Colleton County deputies served him with a new charge. Information on what he is charged with has not yet been released.

Find a complete timeline of the Murdaugh case below:

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