Disgraced South Carolina attorney Alex Murdaugh plans to appeal his conviction for murdering his wife, Maggie, and son, Paul, as well as his life sentence.
Murdaugh on Thursday filed a notice that he would be appealing the convictions and sentence, though the notice contains no arguments, NBC News reported. Murdaugh’s attorneys had previously argued at trial that investigators didn’t properly secure the crime scene, suggesting they only focused on Murdaugh for the crimes and didn’t seek other possibilities.
Murdaugh was found guilty earlier this month of murdering his wife and youngest son in an alleged attempt to distract from his numerous financial crimes, for which he still faces prosecution. The decision came after just a few hours of deliberation and a six-week trial where more than 70 witnesses testified.
Lead prosecutor Creighton Waters explained to Judge Clifton Newman during sentencing that the evidence in the trial “shows [Alex] to be a cunning manipulator, a man who placed himself above all others, including his family, a man who violated the trust of so many – including his friends, his family, his partners, his profession, but most of all Maggie and Paul.”
Waters requested the consecutive life sentences, saying Murdaugh’s family, “like everyone else, was unaware of who he really was.”
Murdaugh’s attorneys declined to comment during the hearing, but Murdaugh himself once again proclaimed his innocence.
“I’m innocent. I would never hurt my wife, Maggie, and I would never hurt my son Paul,” Murdaugh said, according to Avery Wilks, chief investigative reporter for the Post and Courier.
Judge Newman excoriated Murdaugh for his repeated lies, including his insistence that he was never at the dog kennels — where Maggie and Paul were murdered — on the day of the crime. Cell phone evidence proved that was a lie, and Murdaugh admitted to lying while testifying in his own defense during the trial.
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After the sentencing, Alex’s older brother Randy told The New York Times that while his brother lied to police and stole millions of dollars from former clients, he was still unsure whether Alex actually murdered his wife and son.
Despite this, Randy told the outlet he believes Alex knows more about their murders than he’s said.
“He knows more than what he’s saying,” Randy told the Times. “He’s not telling the truth, in my opinion, about everything there.”
Randy, who was also Alex’s partner at the family law firm, told the outlet that he couldn’t picture Alex pulling the trigger and committing the gruesome crime described by prosecutors at his trial.
Randy added that “not knowing is the worst thing there is.”
Randy did not testify at Alex’s trial, unlike their brother John Marvin and Alex’s surviving son Buster, who both testified in Alex’s defense. Still, Randy’s sentiments about the case differed from what defense attorney Jim Griffin said about the family following the trial.
“After six weeks of trial, they came away more convinced that he did not do this, and they are steadfastly in his camp and support him,” Griffin told reporters at a news conference after Alex was sentenced to consecutive life prison terms for the murders.