Disgraced ex-attorney Alex Murdaugh won’t face death penalty in wife and son’s deaths
New York Daily News, The (NY)
Disbarred South Carolina attorney Alex Murdaugh will not face the death penalty when he’s tried next month for the shooting deaths of his wife and younger son in 2021.
Murdaugh was the leader of a prominent upcountry South Carolina family whose patriarchs had been attorneys for centuries. But his life began unraveling last year, beginning with the deaths of his wife, Maggie, and son Paul.
“After carefully reviewing this case and all the surrounding facts, we have decided to seek life without parole for Alex Murdaugh,” South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson said Tuesday in a statement. “Because this is a pending case, we cannot comment further.”
Maggie and Paul Murdaugh were fatally shot on June 7, 2021, at the family’s home in Hampton County. Alex was a long-running suspect in the case, but he wasn’t formally charged until July 2022.
At a hearing last month, prosecutors suggested Alex Murdaugh killed his family members to garner sympathy as a reckoning for his various other crimes was approaching.
Investigators have said Murdaugh stole millions of dollars from his law firm — and in some cases from clients — to fund his drug addiction.
As his life fell apart, Murdaugh paid Curtis Smith, allegedly his drug dealer, to kill him and stage it as a drive-by shooting in September 2021. Murdaugh’s apparent motive was to allow his living son, Buster, to receive a $10 million life insurance payout. However, the former lawyer survived the shooting.
Murdaugh surrendered to police after the botched assisted suicide and has been behind bars ever since.