Influential lawyer found guilty of murders after a river trial
Alex Murdaugh during his trial.
After six weeks of avidly watched hearings across the United States, influential attorney Alex Murdaugh was found guilty on Thursday of murdering of his wife and son.
The evidence of guilt is overwhelming, Judge Clifton Newman said after the verdict was read.
Standing in the room, Alex Murdaugh showed no emotion, only blinking repeatedly.
The jurors needed just under three hours of deliberation to reach their decision.
Alex Murdaugh faces life imprisonment. His sentence is due Friday morning.
This 54-year-old notable was accused of having stolen crazy sums from his law firm, his friends and even the son of his cleaning lady, and of having shot his relatives to avoid being killed. x27;be unmasked.
He deceived everyone, but don't be fooled by this master liar, prosecutor Creighton Waters had launched on Wednesday at the address of the jurors, asking them to return a guilty verdict.
Why would he have killed the two people he loved most in the world?, retorted his lawyer Jim Griffin on Thursday, denouncing an absurd theory. Pointing to the lack of physical evidence, he pleaded acquittal.
Maggie Murdaugh, 52, and Paul Murdaugh, 22, were shot and killed on June 7, 2021, near the kennel of their huge property in South Carolina, called Moselle.
The jurors went there on Thursday to better understand the layout of the premises. It was the first time in a month and a half that television cameras were kept away from the proceedings.
Because the case fascinates the States United States, where all the media, including the most serious, dissected the life of this opulent family, proud of its three generations of local prosecutors and judges, as well as the drift of the father.
A documentary, Murdaugh Murders: A Southern Scandal, is also one of the most-watched programs on Netflix, with 40 million hours watched in the country last week.
Throughout the trial, the news channels broadcast live the parade of defrauded colleagues and friends, who recounted how Alex Murdaugh stole millions of dollars from them without being cheated. they don't realize it.
This 54-year-old notable was accused of having stolen crazy sums from his law firm, his friends and even of having shot his relatives to avoid being unmasked.
These frauds, which he admitted, blaming them on bad investments and opiate addiction, were uncovered after the double murder and will be tried later.
According to the prosecution, in June 2021, however, several people had started asking questions, especially in the context of an investigation into the death of a young girl in a boat accident piloted by her son. Paul.
The whole illusion of his life was going to crumble, he couldn't stand it, prosecutor Waters assured.
For him, Alex Murdaugh killed his loved ones in order to buy time, before trying to end his life in a new scam. In early September, he had an accomplice kill him so that his surviving son would receive $10 million in life insurance. The bullet had just grazed him.
The defense questioned the plausibility of this illogical theory: he killed to distract attention in a financial investigation, by placing himself at the heart of a criminal investigation and a media storm?, was surprised Mr. Griffin, pointing out the absence of DNA or traces of blood for the & rsquo; #x27;incriminate.
Alex Murdaugh, familiar with the investigations because of his profession, manipulated the crime scene, changing his clothes or erasing the history of conversations, replied the prosecutor. He also made up an alibi by visiting his senile mother and making calls right after the crime, Creighton Waters said.
But there is one thing that he could not control, said the prosecutor: a video filmed by his son a few minutes before his death, in which we hear the voice of the father, while he had always denied #x27;being made near the kennel that evening.
Last week, in harrowing testimony, the disgraced lawyer admitted to this lie, attributing it to a paranoia caused by his drug addiction, while maintaining that he did not commit the double murder.
When confronted with the truth, he backtracks, pivots, and invents a new story, reacted the prosecutor.