Alex Murdaugh faces trial in 2021 for murder of wife and son – Boston News, Weather, Sports

WALTERBORO, SC (AP) — As his life unraveled over the past two years, the South Carolina attorney disgraced Alex Murdaugh did not fight against giving up his license to practice law and admitted many failures associated with a lack of client money and financial chaos that led to it 100 criminal charges.

But he has been adamant about it from the moment he found the bodies his wife and youngest son, who was shot multiple times at the family home in June 2021, that he was not the killer. Up to 12 judges will soon decide whether to approve.

Jury selection began Monday morning when prosecutors and defense attorneys went through some 700 subpoenas to find 12 jurors and six alternates. More than 200 people were called in for an initial round of questioning that lasted nearly three hours, but only about 30 qualified for the potential jury pool.

Potential jurors faced a range of questions, including whether they knew any of the nearly 200 lawyers, friends, bankers and others on the witness list and whether they had heard of and followed the case.

Two other panels were shown Monday and lawyers said they hope to have a jury selected by early Tuesday or Wednesday.

State agents investigated 13 months earlier Charge Murdaugh with two counts of murder in July, and a judge has set aside three weeks for the trial. Murdaugh, who has been in prison since October 2021 on financial crimes charges, insisted that the trial be as soon as possible.

Prosecutors don’t look for them death penalty but said they will ask for life without parole if Murdaugh is convicted of murder. The minimum sentence is 30 years.

Here’s an overview of the trial and the surrounding scenery as hundreds of attorneys and their paralegals, reporters and true crime enthusiasts are expected to swell Colleton County’s population of 38,000 in the rural southern part of the state.


Murdaugh, 54, told police He found Maggie, 52, and her son Paul, 22, dead outside their Colleton County home on June 7, 2021. He said he was gone for an hour to visit his sick father and mother.

Authorities released little information about the murders except that Maggie Murdaugh was killed with a rifle and Paul Murdaugh with a shotgun.

Prosecutors have presented no direct evidence linking Murdaugh to the deaths. So far, they have not presented any confessions or testimonies about the killings in court, and there is no evidence that either weapon was found.

Video from Paul Murdaugh’s phone, which was timestamped shortly before the killings, shows the three conversing with no sign of anger. Alex Murdaugh’s lawyers said he never denied being inside his home.

There is DNA from the victims on Alex Murdaugh’s shirt, but his defense said it was from looking for signs of life when he found their bodies.

defense and prosecution are fighting about having an expert testify that blood spattered Murdaugh’s shirt when his son was shot. Defense attorneys claim the expert testing the shirt lied and destroyed it before the defense could conduct its own tests.

Prosecutors are expected to rely heavily on evidence of Murdaugh’s financial troubles, which they said prompted him to kill gain sympathy and buy time while covering up his theft of customer billing funds and other crimes.

Murdaugh’s attorneys say it is absurd to say that Murdaugh thought the violent deaths of his wife and son would limit the scrutiny of his finances.


The murder charges are just two of the rounds 100 counts Murdaugh faces. He is also on trial for two counts of gun possession during a violent crime.

A broad spectrum of dozens of state indictments still hovers over his head. These include stealing millions of dollars from clients and diverting a wrongful death from his family longtime maid ahead, running a drug and money laundering ringTax evasion and fraud from what the police said was an attempt to have someone killed so that his surviving son could get a $10 million life insurance policy.

Murdaugh also faces a spate of civil lawsuits from former clients and a boating accident in 2019 that killed a teenager. Police say Paul Murdaugh drove the boat while heavily intoxicated and he prosecuted when the teenager died. The teen’s family were aggressively trying to obtain information about the Murdaugh family’s finances at the time of the 2021 murders.


The Murdaugh name is well known in legal circles in the South Carolina Lowcountry. Alex Murdaugh worked for the family law firm, which operated in a tiny neighboring town Hampton County for a century, winning a string of multimillion-dollar settlements for workplace fatalities and injuries.

Murdaugh’s father, grandfather and great-grandfather were the elected prosecutors in Colleton, Hampton and three other counties for 87 years.

Typically, a portrait of Murdaugh’s father hangs in the Colleton County Courthouse. Judge Clifton Newman ruled that it should be removed for his son’s trial.


Murdaugh’s demise has attracted media from around the world and dozens of true crime podcasts and other coverage. It’s probably the most sensational trial in South Carolina since Suzanne Schmidt was found guilty of murdering her children and sentenced to life imprisonment in 1995 tiny Union County.

The Murdaugh trial takes place in the historic Colleton County Courthouse in Walterboro, where the large, old south courtroom seats nearly 250 people, or about 5% of Walterboro’s 5,500 residents.

Walterboro calls itself “The Front Porch of the Lowcountry” as the gateway to popular South Carolina beaches. It’s off busy Interstate 95, with a number of fast-food restaurants and a few chain hotels lining both freeway exits.

The city has asked food trucks to help downtown restaurants deal with the lunchtime crowd, and residents have offered their homes or businesses to media companies to use as a base for reporting the trial.

(Copyright (c) 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, transcribed, or redistributed.)

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Sarah Y. Kim

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