Disgraced South Carolina legal professionalwas charged with murder Thursday in the deaths of his wife and youthful son, who had been greater than a yr in the past.
Murdaugh is already jailed and faces dozens of felony costs which have piled up in the months since his wife Maggie, 52, and their 22-year-old son, Paul, had been killed. But till now he had not been charged in connection with his wife and son’s deaths.
The indictments handed up by a grand jury in Colleton County, the place the shootings occurred, contend Murdaugh killed his wife with a rifle and his son with a shotgun. They embrace no particulars on how police linked Murdaugh to the deaths after 13 months of investigation. More particulars could also be launched in a bond listening to, which has not been scheduled.
Murdaugh, 54, has repeatedly denied any position in the deaths, saying he was visiting his mom and ailing father and found his son and wife slain when he returned to their property.
“Alex wants his family, friends and everyone to know that he did not have anything to do with the murders of Maggie and Paul. He loved them more than anything in the world,” Murdaugh protection attorneys Jim Griffin and Dick Harpootlian mentioned in an announcement.
Murdaugh additionally was charged Thursday with possession of a weapon throughout a violent crime.
Murdaugh’s household has dominated the authorized scene in tiny, neighboring Hampton County for almost a century. Murdaugh’s father, grandfather and great-grandfather had been the space’s elected prosecutors for 87 years straight.
Murdaugh as soon as labored for the century-old, family-founded legislation agency, which mentioned in September that he was stealing cash.
Throughout the investigation, state police have launched few particulars about the case, and Thursday’s indictments had been no exception. A joint assertion from State Law Enforcement Division Chief Mark Keel and state Attorney General Alan Wilson mentioned they would not touch upon particular proof as a result of the investigation stays energetic and a court docket case is pending.
“Over the last 13 months, SLED agents and our partners have worked day in and day out to build a case against the person responsible for the murders of Maggie and Paul and to exclude those who were not. At no point did agents lose focus on this investigation,” Keel mentioned in the assertion.
Murdaugh’s legal professionals mentioned “it was very clear from day one” that legislation enforcement was specializing in Murdaugh and nobody else. They mentioned they need his trial held in the subsequent three months,
“We know that Alex did not have any motive whatsoever to murder them,” the protection attorneys mentioned.
If convicted of murder, Murdaugh would face 30 years to life in jail with out parole. Prosecutors might additionally select to hunt the dying penalty beneath state legislation as a result of a couple of individual was killed.
The June 2021 deaths prompted authorities to look into all corners of Murdaugh’s life. At least a half-dozen investigations resulted in costs that he stole $8.5 million from individuals who employed him and that he lied to police by saying he was shot by a stranger on a roadside when, officers say, he truly requested a pal to kill him so his surviving son might gather a $10 million life insurance coverage coverage simply days after the household agency decided he was stealing cash.
State police mentioned info they gathered in the Murdaugh investigations additionally led them to evaluation what was initially reported as the hit-and-run dying of 19-year-old Stephen Smith in Hampton County in July 2015, though they did not present extra particulars.
Agents additionally exhumed the physique of the Murdaugh’s housekeeper,who the household mentioned died in the hospital a number of days after a fall in 2018. Prosecutors mentioned Murdaugh acquired his dwelling insurers to pay greater than $4 million in wrongful-death claims in Satterfield’s case by saying he was negotiating for her household however did not give them any of the cash.
In June, Murdaugh was indicted in what prosecutors mentioned was an eight-year cash laundering and painkiller ring that additionally concerned that very same pal and former shopper charged with making an attempt to assist him commit suicide.
Murdaugh wrote 437 checks price $2.4 million that his pal cashed over eight years, protecting some of the cash for himself and giving the relaxation for wide-ranging unlawful actions, in accordance with the indictments unsealed final month.
Theon Tuesday, confirming the inevitable after Murdaugh’s attorneys declined to contest arguments at a June disbarment listening to.
“Based on his admitted reprehensible misconduct, we hereby disbar respondent Richard Alexander Murdaugh from the practice of law in South Carolina,” the Supreme Court mentioned in an order signed by all 5 court docket justices.
Maggie and Paul Murdaugh had been shot a number of instances between 9 and 9:30 p.m. the night time of June 7, 2021, outdoors their dwelling on the household’s land close to Islandton, authorities mentioned. Their our bodies had been discovered close to canine kennels, in accordance with Colleton County Coroner Richard Harvey.
At the time, authorities reported that Alex Murdaugh found the our bodies and referred to as 911. Murdaugh sounded deeply upset and agitated on the name, instantly figuring out himself and telling the operator his “wife and child have been shot” on his property.
“I’ve been up to it now. It’s bad,” Murdaugh mentioned.
CBS affiliate WTOC stories that beneath South Carolina legislation, the household was notified earlier than the grand jury was contacted to hunt the indictment.
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