Alex Murdaugh Found Guilty in the Killings of Wife Maggie and Son Paul

The disgraced South Carolina lawyer was accused of murdering his family members in 2021. 

Alex Murdaugh was found guilty of the 2021 murders of his wife, Maggie, and their son, Paul, a jury decided on Thursday. The disgraced South Carolina lawyer was first charged with their deaths in July 2022 before standing trial in January 2023. 

In June 2021, Murdaugh alerted the police that he had found the bodies of his 52-year-old wife and their 22-year-old son near the dog kennels at the family hunting lodge in Islandton, South Carolina. Both victims had been shot multiple times. 

During the trial, Murdaugh revealed he lied about his whereabouts on the night of Maggie and Paul's deaths, blaming a painkiller addiction for increased paranoia that led him to not disclosing the truth to authorities at the time. "I didn’t shoot my wife or my son any time -- ever,” he said, while admitting that "I lied about being down there, and I’m so sorry that I did."

Additionally, Murdaugh has been accused of a number of other alleged crimes, including charges for a murder-for-hire suicide scheme as well as embezzlement and fraud. In total, the state has brought 99 charges against him. While on the stand, he addressed some of those accusations. “What I admit is I misled them, I did wrong and that I stole their money,” Murdaugh said. 

On the day of closing arguments, one of the jurors was removed and replaced with an alternate before the defense team started its summary. According to Circuit Court Judge Clifton Newman, the juror had engaged in improper conversations outside the courtroom. And when asked to leave, the person asked to collect the dozen eggs they had brought with them and kept in a back room. 

Since the news of the two murders, the Murdaughs have become a national media sensation after it was discovered there were other deaths associated with the American legal dynasty, which had ruled over the Lowcountry region for several generations.

While not charged with any crimes, they have been tied to the unsolved 2015 hit-and-run of gay teen Stephen Smith and the 2019 boat accident that resulted in the drowning of Paul's high school friend, Mallory Beach, as well as the unexpected 2018 death of their longtime housekeeper, Gloria Satterfield.