Alex Murdaugh, the disgraced South Carolina attorney with a history of dead bodies around him, was found guilty of the murder of his wife and son.
The decision came after just a few hours of deliberation and a six-week trial. There were more than 70 witnesses who testified. Murdaugh maintained his innocence saying that his son was the main target because of a 2019 boat crash that killed 19-year-old Mallory Beach.
The prosecution argued that Murdaugh was the only person with the means, motive, and opportunity to kill his wife and son. The defense focused on a sloppy investigation that missed other suspects.
“This defendant … has fooled everyone, everyone, everyone who thought they were close to him,” lead prosecutor Creighton Waters told jurors.
“Everyone who thought they knew who he was, he’s fooled them all. He fooled Maggie and Paul, too, and they paid for it with their lives. Don’t let him fool you, too.”
Jim Griffin, the defense attorney, said, “We believe that we’ve shown conclusively that [South Carolina Law Enforcement Division] failed miserably in investigating this case. And had they done a competent job, Alex would have been excluded from that circle [of suspects] a year ago or two years ago.”
The prosecution was able to prove that Murdaugh lied about not going to the dog kennels on the day his wife and son were murdered. Prosecutor Creighton Waters focused on cell phone evidence taken from Paul’s phone less than five minutes before he was killed.
“I lied about being down there, and I’m so sorry that I did,” Murdaugh said.
“As my addiction evolved over time I would get in these situations or circumstances where I would get paranoid,” Murdaugh testified. “I’m sorry I lied.”
In 2022, Murdaugh was also indicted for alleged money laundering and creating a “distribution network” for painkillers, according to the Associated Press.