Jury selection begins Monday in the trial of Alex Murdaugh, the disgraced South Carolina attorney accused of killing his wife and youngest son on the family estate in June 2021.
Murdaugh has adamantly denied any involvement in his family’s murder, insisting the real killer or killers are still out there. The prosecution, meanwhile, insists the evidence shows Murdaugh is the killer.
“The evidence, in this case, is substantial and it all points back to Alex Murdaugh. There is forensic evidence as well as other evidence of his guilt of these murders,” Creighton Waters, deputy state attorney general, said during a hearing in July 2022, in which Murdaugh pleaded not guilty to killing his wife and son.
Ahead of the trial, Murdaugh’s legal team released a forensic report providing graphic details of how his wife and son were murdered, News Nation reported. The report said Maggie Murdaugh, Alex’s wife, was found facedown and had been shot five times with a rifle, with the killing blow traveling through her brain. The report also stated that three of the shots were fired while she was standing, and at least one was fired while she was “holding herself up on her knees.”
His son Paul was also found lying face down and had been shot twice with a shotgun, not a rifle. The first shot went through his chest, while the second was to his neck and shoulder, which hit his brain and instantly killed him.
“I need the police and an ambulance immediately. My wife and child have been shot badly,” Murdaugh said in his 911 call after he allegedly discovered his wife and son dead in the dog kennels on their family estate.
Murdaugh was already in prison for dozens of other charges, including financial crimes and charges related to his alleged attempt to stage a fake “hit” on himself. Those charges, according to The Washington Post, were made after his wife and son were killed, but he had not been indicted for their deaths until July 2022.
The murder charge was the last in a long and bizarre story regarding the once-prominent South Carolina attorney. After Murdaugh’s wife and son were murdered, police began looking into Murdaugh’s life and discovered numerous disturbing details.
Murdaugh was accused of stealing $8.5 million from people who had hired him as their attorney. He is also alleged to have orchestrated his own murder by hiring a friend to kill him so that his surviving son, Buster, could receive a $10 million life insurance payout. Murdaugh allegedly lied to police about the incident, claiming a stranger shot him on the side of the road. This all took place just days after Murdaugh’s firm discovered he had stolen money from clients.
Further, state police began looking into the hit-and-run death of a 19-year-old in July 2015 as a possible connection to Murdaugh, but no additional details have been released. Authorities also exhumed the body of Murdaugh’s former housekeeper, Gloria Satterfield, who was said to have died after a fall in 2018. Murdaugh allegedly collected more than $4 million from his home insurer by claiming wrongful death and saying he was working for Satterfield’s family, but the family didn’t receive any of the money, according to prosecutors.
Last month, Murdaugh was also indicted for alleged money laundering and creating a “distribution network” for painkillers, the Associated Press reported at the time. Murdaugh allegedly ran the drug ring with the same friend he allegedly hired to kill him.
Murdaugh has repeatedly denied killing his wife and son, saying he was visiting his parents when they were killed. He’s been in jail since October with a $7 million bond. Last week, the South Carolina Supreme Court disbarred him, with his attorneys declining to contest the arguments against his disbarment.