Disgraced South Carolina lawyer Alex Mardaugh charged with murder of wife and son


Disgraced South Carolina lawyer Alex Mardaugh charged with murder of wife and son

Alex Mardaugh has been charged with murder in connection to the killings of his wife and son.

Murdaugh, the fourth-generation lawyer whose family has long held power and influence in South Carolina, was charged on Thursday, July 14, with killing his wife and one of his sons at the family’s secluded hunting estate in a mysterious murder that remained unsolved for more than a year.

Margaret “Maggie” Murdaugh, 52, and their youngest son, Paul Murdaugh, 22, were found shot to death on the family’s property in Islandton, about an hour north of Hilton Head Island, on the night of June 7, 2021.

Alex Murdaugh placed the 911 call reporting the shooting, saying he had just returned home and discovered their bodies.

Murdaugh, a pillar of the South Carolina legal community, has denied involvement in the deaths, saying he had been visiting his mother at the time.

The murders were made into several TV documentaries that grabbed the interest of the public.

The killings immediately put scrutiny on the Murdaugh family and the deaths of several people associated with them.

The police began to re-examine the 2015 death of Stephen Smith, a 19-year-old man who was found along a road about 10 miles from the Murdaugh’s home and who was thought to have been hit by a truck, as well as the death of Gloria Satterfield in 2018, a housekeeper who worked for the Murdaugh family who died after falling on their house’s front steps.

At the time of 22-year-old Paul Murdaugh’s death, he had been facing charges of drunkenly crashing a boat carrying several of his friends, killing a 19-year-old passenger, Mallory Beach.

Soon after the 2021 killings of Margaret Murdaugh and son Paul Murdaugh, Alex Murdaugh’s life began to unravel as those around him began to accuse him of years of financial corruption.

The law firm where he worked, which was founded by his great-grandfather more than a century ago, said in September 2021 that Mr. Murdaugh had stolen millions of dollars from the firm.

He was forced to resign from the firm owned by his family.

The day after his forced resignation, police said Alex Mardaugh asked one of his distant cousins to kill him on the side of the road and stage the act as if it were a murder so that his other son, Buster, could collect on his life insurance policy.

The plan failed. Mr. Murdaugh was wounded in the shooting but it was not fatal.

He and the cousin, Curtis Edward Smith, were charged with several crimes in the scheme.

In the following months, Mr. Murdaugh was charged with a series of financial crimes, including pocketing $2.8 million in settlement funds that were supposed to go to relatives of Ms. Satterfield in a wrongful death lawsuit over her fall on Mr. Murdaugh’s property. He admitted last month that he owed her sons $4.3 million.

This July, Mr. Murdaugh and Mr. Smith were indicted on conspiracy charges for what prosecutors said was years of money laundering related to distributing oxycodone.

Mr. Murdaugh said last year that he suffered from a drug addiction and he checked himself into a drug detox center in Florida, but he was arrested at the center in October over financial crimes related to the settlement funds in the case of Ms. Satterfield. He has been in jail in South Carolina ever since.

Now, a Colleton County, South Carolina, grand jury has indicted Alex Murdaugh for the 2021 murders of his wife and son.

Murdaugh’s lawyers blasted the latest development in the case.

“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’s attorneys, Dick Harpootlian and Jim Griffin, said in a statement Thursday.

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