A jury has convicted South Carolina attorney Alex Murdaugh on all charges for the murders of his wife and son. After hearing from more than seventy witnesses over the course of five weeks – including Alex Murdaugh, who denied committing murder but admitted to lying and deceiving his clients – a jury deliberated for three hours on Thursday before finding him guilty on all four counts. These included two counts of homicide and two charges related to possession of a weapon with intent to carry out violent acts, ABC News reports.
This week, the jury traveled to Moselle Estate in order to gain a better sense of the crime scene prior to deliberations. In June 2021, authorities discovered Margaret Murdaugh (age 52) and Paul Murdaugh (22) deceased with multiple gunshot wounds near their family’s dog kennels.
Alex Murdaugh, 54, who reported the grisly discovery to 911 over a year ago, could be facing 30 years up to life in prison. According to the prosecutors, Alex Murdaugh – a lawyer from a prestigious family in the area – had taken his wife’s and son’s lives so as to garner sympathy while diverting attention away from his illicit financial activities.
To counter this, the defense team characterized him as an affectionate husband and father while suggesting that law enforcement neglected to take into account any other suspect could have killed them. During his testimony, Alex Murdaugh attributed deceiving detectives to a dependency on painkillers which provoked “paranoid thinking.”
The Chief Prosecutor described Alex Murdaugh’s behavior after the crimes as ‘guilty conduct’
On Wednesday, in his subsistent four-hour closing argument, Chief Prosecutor Creighton Waters emphatically proclaimed that Alex Murdaugh is the solitary culprit, “who had the motive, who had the means, who had the opportunity to commit these crimes” and that his “guilty conduct after these crimes betrays him.” Waters communicated to the jury that trustworthiness is essential and depicted Murdaugh as someone adept at lying who was accustomed to understanding how jurors interpreted facts.
“This is an individual who was trained to understand how to put together cases, complex cases. He’s been a prosecutor,” Waters told the jury. “He’s given closing arguments to juries before. So, when you have a defendant like that, be thinking about whether or not this individual is constructing defenses and alibis.”
According to Waters, investigators were able to construct a timeline based on the Murdaughs’ cell phones that showed Paul Murdaugh had captured a video of Alex at the kennels minutes before the shootings happened. This evidence refutes earlier statements made by Alex in which he claimed he had never been at said location.
The most valuable piece of information Alex Murdaugh could have provided to law enforcement was the last time he saw his wife and child alive, according to Waters. “Why in the world would an innocent, reasonable father and husband lie about that and lie about it so early?” Waters explained.