- Cell phone video taken by Paul Murdaugh served as crucial evidence in a double murder case.
- Alex Murdaugh, a prominent South Carolina lawyer, has been convicted of murdering his wife and son in an attempt to distract from his multimillion-dollar financial crimes.
- The jury deliberated for less than three hours before delivering their verdict. Murdaugh faces 30 years to life without parole for each murder charge.
- No direct evidence was brought against him during the trial, such as a murder weapon, blood on his clothing or an eyewitness. Instead, the case was based solely on circumstantial evidence.
Alex Murdaugh, a prominent South Carolina lawyer, has been convicted of murdering his wife and son in an attempt to distract from his multimillion-dollar financial crimes.
Alex Murdaugh, who was once a respected personal injury attorney in the state, was found guilty of two counts of murder after a six-week trial.
The jury deliberated for less than three hours before delivering their verdict. Murdaugh faces 30 years to life without parole for each murder charge.
‘The evidence of guilt is overwhelming’ South Carolina Circuit Court Judge Clifton Newman said he rejected a defense motion for a mistrial. He scheduled sentencing for Friday morning.
No direct evidence was brought against him during the trial, such as a murder weapon, blood on his clothing or an eyewitness. Instead, the case was based solely on circumstantial evidence.
The murders of Maggie and Paul Murdaugh, who were shot on June 7, 2021 near the dog kennels on their family estate, have captured the nation’s attention and spawned documentaries on Netflix and HBO.
At trial, he learned that Murdaugh had spent years stealing from his lawyers and clients to support an addiction to painkillers and an extravagant lifestyle.
Murdaugh had pleaded not guilty to murdering his wife and youngest son to cover up years of financial corruption, which he admitted in court.
He had claimed that someone angry about a fatal boating accident involving Paul in 2019 could have killed his son to get revenge.
“I would never hurt Maggie, and I would never hurt Paul – never – under any circumstances,” Murdaugh testified.
The prosecution relied on an incriminating Snapchat video taken by Murdaugh’s son just before the murders.
In the video, the defendant’s voice could be heard in the background, despite his repeated claims that he had not been at the dog kennel that evening. Murdaugh admitted to lying, saying his addiction to painkillers had left him in a paranoid state.
The trial also learned about Murdaugh’s bizarre attempt to fake his own death in an insurance fraud scheme just three months after killing his wife and son.
Prosecutors argued that it was Murdaugh’s financial crimes that drove him to murder – that he believed Maggie and Paul’s deaths would win his sympathy and avoid a reckoning on his other misdeeds.
Several witnesses testified that on the night of the murders, Murdaugh asked Maggie to return to their family estate, despite her preference for their other properties in nearby Edisto Beach.
Jessica Williams, a 38-year-old resident, was out of court during the proceedings, watching them on her phone as she spoke to her six-year-old daughter.
After the verdict was announced, she expressed her happiness to BBC News, comparing the moment to when OJ Simpson was sentenced in 1995.
At trial, Judge Newman allowed prosecutors to present evidence of Murdaugh’s alleged financial crimes, which investigators allege involved the theft of millions from clients and colleagues, including $3.7 million (£3 million) in 2019 alone.
Murdaugh also admitted to having committed grand theft at trial.
The prosecution alleged that Murdaugh used one of the guns in his collection to kill Maggie and another to kill Paul. However, they were unable to find either firearm and show them at the trial.
Following the jury’s verdict, Murdaugh was quickly taken into custody and sentencing was scheduled to take place the next day.