SC v. Alex Murdaugh: Murdaugh Family Murders

Posted at 12:51 PM, January 18, 2023 and last updated 12:28 PM, January 27, 2023

By Court TV Staff

WALTERBORO, S.C. (Court TV) — The once-prominent heir to a low country legal dynasty faces life in prison if convicted in the murders of his wife and youngest son.

Disbarred attorney Alex Murdaugh, 54, is accused of fatally shooting 52-year-old Maggie Murdaugh and 22-year-old Paul Murdaugh on June 7, 2021. Their bodies were found near the dog kennels on the family’s 1,770-acre estate in Islandton.


Murdaugh claims he was at his mother’s home at the time of the shooting, but authorities say blood splatter allegedly found on his clothing indicates that he, too, was at the dog kennels when his wife and son were killed.

Murdaugh called 911 at 10:07 p.m. to report finding Maggie and Paul deceased. His attorneys claim their client checked the bodies for signs of life, which ultimately transferred blood onto his hands and clothes.

Prosecutors claim Murdaugh murdered his wife and son to gain sympathy ahead of a “pending motion that threatened to expose years of substantial debts and illicit financial crimes,” reported The Associated Press.

FILE – The gates near Alex Murdaugh’s home in Islandton, S.C., are seen on Sept. 20, 2021.  (AP Photo/Jeffrey Collins, File)

In a shocking turn of events, Murdaugh was shot three months later while changing a tire on a rural road. Authorities quickly unraveled a murder-for-hire plot that would allow Murdaugh’s oldest son to receive a $10 million insurance payout. Curtis Edward Smith, the allegedly gunman and former client of Murdaugh, is accused of conspiring with Murdaugh. The duo was indicted for the alleged scheme in Nov. 2021.

RELATED: A timeline of events surrounding Alex Murdaugh’s charges

As of January 2023, Murdaugh faces 106 grand jury criminal charges, including murder, drugs, and financial fraud dating back to at least 2011. He is also named a defendant in three separate civil suits. He has been disbarred, and his assets frozen.

A jury of 12 jurors and 6 alternates was seated after three days of jury selection. Opening statements will begin Wednesday afternoon.

Court TV cameras are inside the courtroom, providing gavel-to-gavel coverage to multiple media outlets across the country.



DAY 2 – 1/26/23

DAY 1 – 1/25/23

Lead prosecutor Creighton Waters delivers the opening statement for the State, followed by Alex Murdaugh’s defense attorney Dick Harpootlian.



Field producer Tiffany Smith, documentary producer Emily Kean, Crime & Justice Correspondent Matt Johnson and digital content manager Ivy Brown contributed to this report.