Lawyer is accused of killing his spouse and son : NPR

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The homicide trial of distinguished South Carolina lawyer Alex Murdaugh is now below approach, with Murdaugh going through a doable life sentence if he is discovered responsible of killing his spouse and son.

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The homicide trial of distinguished South Carolina lawyer Alex Murdaugh is now below approach, with Murdaugh going through a doable life sentence if he is discovered responsible of killing his spouse and son.

AP

Alex Murdaugh’s homicide trial is now below approach in South Carolina, with the scion of a well-connected household going through expenses that he shot and killed his spouse and son in June of 2021.

Murdaugh, 54, is being tried on the Colleton County Courthouse in Walterboro, S.C., the place the jury choice course of started on Monday. Throngs of journalists and true-crime followers have descended on the small city for the trial.

The trial is happening in what for many years was the Murdaugh household’s seat of energy, heading the prosecutor’s workplace for the five-county Fourteenth Circuit. After Murdaugh’s great-grandfather, Randolph Murdaugh Sr., was elected to that publish in 1920, the household managed it for 86 years. As well as, the Murdaughs additionally ran a worthwhile non-public observe.

“Murdaugh is not going to be shackled throughout the trial, which begins Monday in Colleton County,” as South Carolina Public Radio experiences. “He faces life behind bars if convicted. Meantime, a portrait of his grandfather that hangs within the courtroom can be taken down.”

Decide Clifton Newman is overseeing the trial, which prosecutors anticipated to finish round Feb. 10.

Within the early hours of jury choice, at the least one potential juror was excused after the choose requested if anybody had been represented by Murdaugh’s former regulation agency, sued by the agency, or had gone to any of the Murdaughs’ events, hunts or different gatherings. A person recognized as juror 203 was excused after telling Newman that he could not be neutral, as Murdaugh had sued his father.

The investigation into the tragic deaths of Maggie Murdaugh and the couple’s son Paul pulled the veil again on a privileged household, exposing dozens of monetary crimes Alex is accused of. It additionally renewed curiosity in different current deaths linked to the household that haven’t been totally defined.

Here is a quick recap of the stunning and unhappy occasions that led as much as Murdaugh being charged with homicide:

Feb. 24, 2019

The highly effective Murdaugh household was thrust into headlines when Mallory Seashore, 19, died after a late-night boating accident in South Carolina’s Low Nation with Paul Murdaugh, who was then 19, at its heart.

Authorities stated Murdaugh was extremely intoxicated and steering a ship carrying 5 pals after an oyster roast when it struck a channel marker and the pilings of the R.C. Berkeley Bridge, operating aground in Beaufort County, close to Parris Island. No alcohol was served on the get together, however the boat held a cooler with drinks, and Paul and a good friend briefly visited a waterfront bar after the oyster roast.

After the crash, Paul and others had been taken to an area hospital, the place witnesses say Alex Murdaugh additionally appeared. The nurse in cost described the elder Murdaugh making an attempt to talk with each passenger from the boat, instructing at the least certainly one of them to not say something to the authorities concerning the incident.

Mallory Seashore’s physique was discovered every week later, about 5 miles from the bridge.

Could 6, 2019

Greater than 70 days after the boating accident, Paul Murdaugh was arraigned and launched on bond after a quick courtroom look, pleading not responsible to felony expenses that embrace boating below the affect and inflicting Seashore’s dying.

A grand jury had indicted Murdaugh greater than two weeks earlier, on April 18.

The local people instantly criticized the gradual tempo, calling it an indication of deference to the Murdaugh household that has raised generations of attorneys within the space, together with prosecutors.

June 7, 2021

Alex Murdaugh known as 911 a bit after 10 p.m., saying he had simply found the our bodies of Maggie, 52, and Paul, 22. They died on the household’s sprawling looking property generally known as Moselle, in Islandton, a part of Colleton County.

“My spouse and youngster have been shot badly!” Alex Murdaugh informed dispatchers. He reportedly informed investigators that he had been visiting his personal mother and father that evening.

Two completely different weapons had been used within the killings: an assault-style rifle for Maggie, and a shotgun for Paul. The coroner stated they died between 9 and 9:30 p.m.

June 23, 2021

Studies emerged that South Carolina Legislation Enforcement Division would mount its personal investigation into the 2015 dying of Stephen Smith, 19, whose physique was discovered on a rural highway miles from the Murdaughs’ looking property.

Smith’s dying from a traumatic head harm was initially dominated an unsolved hit-and-run, however his mom has rejected that rationalization. She stated her son, who was overtly homosexual, was killed after his automotive ran out of fuel, forcing him to stroll alongside the highway and probably exposing him to an assault.

Smith had attended highschool with Alex Murdaugh’s older son, Buster.

“The S.C. Freeway Patrol case notes from 2015 embrace Buster Murdaugh’s identify 9 occasions,” in accordance with Hilton Head newspaper The Island Packet.

Sept. 3, 2021

The regulation agency based by Alex Murdaugh’s household fired him after figuring out that he illegally siphoned tens of millions of {dollars} from the agency and its shoppers.

Sept. 4, 2021

Alex Murdaugh made one other name to 911, saying he’d been shot within the head whereas altering a tire on the aspect of the highway. However state investigators say he orchestrated the incident, even offering a gun to Curtis Edward Smith, 61, to assist him perform an assisted suicide and insurance coverage fraud.

9 days later, Murdaugh admitted to the scheme, which he stated was an try to get his son Buster a $10 million insurance coverage payout.

Sept. 6, 2021

Alex Murdaugh resigned from his regulation agency and traveled to a Florida rehab heart for opioid habit.

Oct. 14, 2021

Alex Murdaugh was arrested on felony expenses of acquiring property by false pretenses, accused of diverting tens of millions of {dollars} away from the property of Gloria Satterfield, his household’s longtime housekeeper who died after falling down steps on the Moselle property in February of 2018.

Murdaugh was taken into custody in Orlando, Fla., the place he had gone to a rehab facility.

Prosecutors say Murdaugh satisfied Satterfield’s sons that he would assist them get well some $2.7 million in an insurance coverage settlement, however that Murdaugh and a longtime good friend despatched many of the cash to themselves as an alternative. The alleged crimes vary from cash laundering to fraud and breach of belief.

Could 4, 2022

Prosecutors stated a state grand jury indicted Alex Murdaugh on extra expenses, together with fraud and forgery, bringing the entire to 79 state expenses on 15 indictments. Lawyer Common Alan Wilson stated Murdaugh ran schemes that defrauded victims of $8,492,888.31.

July 12, 2022

The South Carolina Supreme Courtroom formally disbarred Murdaugh, noting the lawyer’s “admissions of unethical conduct within the context of his myriad felony expenses.” Murdaugh, who had been suspended from training regulation because the earlier September, didn’t contest the choice.

July 14, 2022

A grand jury in Colleton County indicted Murdaugh on two counts of homicide and two counts of possession of a weapon throughout the fee of a violent crime

Alex Murdaugh was indicted on homicide expenses.

“During the last 13 months, SLED brokers and our companions have labored day in and day trip to construct a case in opposition to the particular person liable for the murders of Maggie and Paul and to exclude those that weren’t,” stated SLED Chief Mark Keel. He added, “Immediately is yet one more step in an extended course of for justice for Maggie and Paul.”

July 20, 2022

Murdaugh pleaded not responsible to murdering his spouse and son, as his protection crew stated Murdaugh “believes the killer or killers are nonetheless at giant.”

On the courtroom listening to, prosecutors stated the proof is “substantial.” However they did not present particulars concerning the case they’ve constructed, except for saying that monetary paperwork contact on a motive for the killings. Murdaugh was once more denied bond, and the choose stated he would contemplate a movement to restrict the quantity of proof that may be publicly revealed.

Jan. 23, 2023

The homicide trial for Murdaugh begins.

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