- Richard “Alex” Murdaugh is charged with murder in connection with the 2021 shootings of 52-year-old Maggie Murdaugh and 22-year-old Paul Murdaugh.
- Murdaugh pleaded not guilty and testified in his own defense at the outset of his trial.
- The South Carolina Attorney General’s Office is seeking life in prison if Murdaugh is convicted.
- Prosecutors allege Murdaugh killed his wife and son to gain sympathy and buy time to cover up his financial crimes.
- Murdaugh admitted to stealing client’s funds and described his addiction to opioids began after a knee injury and a series of surgeries.
Disbarred South Carolina Attorney Charged with Murder
Disbarred South Carolina attorney Richard “Alex” Murdaugh is charged with murder in connection with the 2021 shootings of 52-year-old Maggie Murdaugh and 22-year-old Paul Murdaugh.
Murdaugh pleaded not guilty and testified in his own defense at the outset of his trial.
Murdaugh denied shooting Maggie and Paul on June 7, 2021 and said he lied to South Carolina Law Enforcement Division investigators about the last time he saw his wife and son due to his distrust for the agency and paranoia induced by drug addiction.
The South Carolina Attorney General’s Office is seeking life in prison if Murdaugh is convicted.
Murdaugh Recounts Day of Killings
Murdaugh recounted the day of the killings, saying he met with Paul after work to spend time together on their property.
He said he showered and changed clothes after getting sweaty from moving around the property and taking drugs.
Murdaugh said he went to visit his ailing mother and stopped briefly in her driveway before driving home and denied using that time to dispose of a murder weapon or bloody clothes.
He broke down as he recounted discovering the bodies of his wife and son and said he called 911 as he tried to “tend” to Maggie and Paul.
Witnesses who saw Murdaugh in the minutes and hours after the shooting said they didn’t see any blood on him.
Murdaugh said he did get blood on him after touching the bodies, but said “there’s no way I had high velocity blood splatter on me.” He also offered an explanation for suspicious phone activity presented by the prosecution that showed he searched for a restaurant and called a wedding photographer in the moments after the murder.
Murdaugh denied taking a blue tarp or raincoat to his parent’s home during that time in the days after the murders.
Prosecutors Allege Murdaugh Killed Family for Financial Gain
Prosecutors allege Murdaugh killed his wife and son to gain sympathy and buy time to cover up his financial crimes that were about to be discovered.
Murdaugh admitted to stealing client’s funds, but testified that a confrontation with the former CFO of his law firm about his theft the day of the murders “wasn’t a very big concern.”
Murdaugh described his addiction to opioids began after a knee injury and a series of surgeries and tried multiple times to kick the habit.
Before entering detox September 2021, Murdaugh said he asked a friend, Curtis Edward Smith, to kill him.
Lead prosecutor Creighton Waters began his cross examination questioning Murdaugh about his family’s legal legacy in South Carolina, his work as a lawyer and his relationship with law enforcement.
Waters questioned Murdaugh about a photo of him wearing a badge at the hospital after the 2019 boat crash involving Paul that took the life of Mallory Beach.
He also questioned Murdaugh about his financial misconduct.
Cross-examination is expected to resume Friday.
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