The prestigious southern lawyer addicted to opiates is sentenced to life in prison for killing his wife and son

Alex Murdaugh, a powerful lawyer from South Carolina, has been sentenced to life in prison for murdering his wife and one of their children to cover up a financial scandal.

The history of the United States is replete with morbid media court cases. OJ Simpson’s is the first that usually comes to mind, the so-called trial of the century. But the list is extensive. There is that of Conrad Murray, the doctor who ended the life of Michael Jackson with propofol injections, or that of Lorena Bobbitt, who cut off her husband’s penis and threw it into a field, or the most recent of Johnny Depp and Amber Heard, who exposed the dirty laundry of their marriage to the world for weeks. The turn now is for Alex Murdaugh, a powerful lawyer fallen from grace sentenced to life in prison on Friday for killing his wife and one of his children to hide a huge financial scandal.

The adventures of the 54-year-old red-haired lawyer have enough elements to have become a major television phenomenon in the US. Even HBO Max and Netflix have taken advantage of the situation to launch documentaries about “the southern scandal”, coinciding with a trial that began in January and that several channels have broadcast live. There is not a day that CNN has not been primed with the subject.

Murdaugh, part of a clan of lawyers who for years controlled the South Carolina shoal -known as the Lowcountry- at will, has been sentenced to life imprisonment for the death of Margaret ‘Maggie’ Murdaugh, 52, and her second son, Paul Murdaugh, 22. It happened on the night of June 7, 2021, in a case involving a scam for almost 9 million dollars, money laundering, opioid addiction and two more deaths shrouded in mystery that have been reinvestigated in the heat of the trial, that of the nanny and family assistant for 20 years, Gloria Satterfield, and a young man, Stephen Smith, allegedly hit by a hit-and-run car.

Lawyer Alex Murdaugh at the hearing of one of his trials in June 2021 PA

‘Maggie’ was killed by a shotgun blast and Paul by an assault weapon at their lavish Islandton estate, known as the Moselle, in the region where Murdaugh’s father, grandfather and great-grandfather were district attorneys in the 1920s to 2006. The Murdaugh who has sat in the dock he owned the litigation firm founded by his grandfather from which he defrauded his clients for years. In addition to the two murder charges against him for the death of his wife and son, he has another 99 pending charges of fraud.

A financial head of the firm noticed the diversion of funds to a personal account and uncovered the thunder box. Murdaugh was forced to resign the next day, four months after the murders. In his conclusions, prosecutor Creighton Waters explained that the alleged murderer became so addicted to money that he “The millions of dollars he received for his attorney fees were not enough and that is why he began to steal, billing personal expenses to the company and even stealing from his own family”.

In addition, the lawyer was facing a lawsuit from the family of Mallory Beach, the 19-year-old girl who lost her life in February 2019 when she was thrown from a boat that Paul Murdaugh was driving while very drunk. A hearing in that civil case was scheduled three days after the massacre, with the potential to air your entire financial plot.

The Prosecutor’s Office is convinced that such pressure led him to commit the crimes to try to momentarily shake off all his problems. His plan was to become a victim, to arouse pity, especially after the death of his father three days after the murders. When they accused him of the crime, he declared that he had not been on the farm that night, a testimony that he later admitted to have been false, blaming his addiction to painkillers.

The prosecutor also questioned that point, the alleged thousand milligrams of opiates that Murdaugh consumed per day. “That’s not what the financial records reflect,” said. “They reflect an insatiable desire for money and a hamster wheel effect that has been going on for a long time.”

Lawyer Alex Murdaugh, convicted of killing his wife and son PA

The indictment claimed that the lawyer killed the two relatives and then fabricated an alibi by sending a text message to his wife’s cell phone and driving to her parents’ house in Almeda. But in a video recorded from her son Paul’s phone at 8:44 p.m. Murdaugh’s voice is heard, acknowledged by a dozen witnesses at the trial.

Only Buster, the eldest son, testified on his father’s behalf, stating that he was “destroyed” by the loss. He also found it favorable that there was no direct evidencewould incriminate. No blood stained clothes nor the murder weaponNot one eyewitness. It was all “guesswork” and “speculation,” according to the defense.

Murdaugh will spend the rest of his life behind bars for a case that still leaves many questions unanswered. If his family turned against him or if the effect of the drugs really led him to make the drastic decision to end his relatives in cold blood. Open remains, to a certain extent,the file of the mighty dynasty, subscribed to a thriller which has long since surpassed fiction.

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