Disgraced lawyer Richard “Alex” Murdaugh has been found guilty of killing his wife and son. A South Carolina jury convicted the once-influential attorney on Thursday in a grisly and complex case that has gripped the nation's attention for nearly two years, Reuters reported.
The 54-year-old was found guilty on two counts of murdering his wife Maggie and Paul his youngest son age 22. They were killed near the dog kennels on their family estate on June 7 2021. A motion for mistrial by Murdaugh's lawyer was swiftly denied. "The evidence of guilt is overwhelming," Judge Clifton Newman said.
Murdaugh is the scion of an influential legal family in an area west of Charleston. He admitted to lying about his and to an array of financial crimes in confessions. This dented his credibility with the jury. Murdaugh faces 30 years to life in prison on sentencing.
“The circumstantial evidence, direct evidence, all of the evidence, only pointed to one conclusion – the conclusion that you all reached,” judge Clifton Newman said, the Guardian reported. Murdaugh, reportedly said on the witness stand that he would never do anything to hurt Maggie and Paul. He however did not plead guilty or denied having killed them.
According to the prosecutors, the murders were committed to distract from a series of financial crimes, including the theft of millions of dollars from his law partners and clients. The stolen money was used to support years-long addiction to opioids and a lavish lifestyle.