Disgraced South Carolina lawyer Alex Murdaugh has been charged with murder in the deaths of his wife Maggie and his son Paul.
On June 7, 2021, Maggie and Paul Murdaugh were found shot near the dog kennels on the family’s hunting estate, known as “Moselle,” the Wall Street Journal reported.
Paul, 22, was found shot in the chest and head with a shotgun at close range.
Maggie, 52, was shot multiple times in the chest and back with a rifle. Two of the shots were at close range once she was already lying on the ground.
Murdaugh, who is a well-known South Carolina lawyer, said that he was not involved in either death, CNN reported.
He claimed that he had been visiting his mother at the time of the deaths.
But now, Murdaugh has been disbarred and charged on two counts of murder and two counts of possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime.
But as the investigation into the deaths played out, officials also uncovered other crimes and insurance fraud, the Daily Mail reported.
Two other deaths related to the family are also being investigated: Gloria Satterfield’s and Stephen Smith’s.
The Murdaugh’s former housekeeper, Gloria Satterfield, died after falling down stairs at Moselle in 2018.
Eric Bland, the attorney for Satterfield’s sons, told the Daily Mail that they have decided to exhume Satterfield’s body to re-examine her remains.
“My clients relive it every day. They’re going to exhume Gloria over the next couple of months,” Bland said.
“She had a crushed skull and 12 broken vertebrae, so they just want to make sure it wasn’t [caused] by human hands as opposed to a fall,” he added.
Bland also described Murdaugh as “evil beyond anything you could ever possibly want to imagine.”
“He will go down in history like Madoff or Bundy, a one-word name, Murdaugh,” he said.
Along with Satterfield’s exhumation, authorities have also decided to reopen the investigation into the 2015 death of Stephen Smith, who was 19 years old.
Smith was found dead on the side of the road with gashes on his head. His mother claimed it was a hate crime.
Smith, a classmate of Murdaugh’s eldest son Buster, was gay.
While these investigations resume, Murdaugh will soon be facing trial on charges of murdering his wife and son.
In a statement, Murdaugh’s lawyers denied guilt.
“Alex wants his family, friends and everyone to know that he did not have anything to do with the murders of Maggie and Paul. He loved them more than anything in the world,” read the statement, the Wall Street Journal reported. “But we know that Alex did not have any motive whatsoever to murder them.”
Murdaugh’s lawyers asked for a trial to begin as soon as this fall, which is an unusually quick timeline.
A spokesman for Attorney General Alan Wilson said that the case will be tried “as soon as it reasonably can be scheduled.”
Murdaugh, who is now 54, has been in jail since last October. Along with the charges of murder and suspicion about Satterfield’s and Smith’s deaths, he also faces a total of 81 felony charges related to financial crimes.
Among those felonies are counts of breach of trust, forgery and money laundering.
State prosecutors have said that Murdaugh defrauded personal-injury clients of at least $8.5 million.
He did so by primarily taking settlement payments meant for client trust accounts and depositing the money for his own personal finances.
In June, he was also charged with distributing oxycodone.
Murdaugh has pleaded not guilty to many of the charges. His lawyers blame many of Murdaugh’s problems on an opioid addiction that he was battling.
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