Alex Murdaugh Found Guilty of Murdering Wife and Son After Three Hour Jury Deliberation
On Thursday, after a two-and-a-half-hour jury deliberation, former South Carolina lawyer Alex Murdaugh was convicted of the murder of his wife Maggie Murdaugh and their youngest son Paul Murdaugh. The jury was composed of 12 jurors and one alternate, after one juror was removed for improper discussions about the case.
During the sensational courtroom proceedings, a cell phone video Paul sent to his friends on the night of the murders was shown to the jury, as well as footage taken near the dog kennels on the property featuring the voices of Paul, Maggie and Murdaugh, and a video taken by Paul minutes before he died, in which Mr Murdaugh can be heard in the background and has since confessed to lying about not being at the kennels that night.
Prosecutors argued that Murdaugh killed his family to draw attention away from his emerging financial crimes, and that he admitted to lying to investigators about his whereabouts that night. Prosecutor Waters highlighted Murdaugh's propensity for dishonesty in his closing statement. Murdaugh confessed to deceiving investigators concerning his whereabouts a few minutes prior to the shooting deaths of his wife and son, which the jury was reminded of.
Last month, when Murdaugh testified, he became emotional while remembering the discovery of his wife and son's demise. Yet, due to the evidence provided by Paul's video, he was obliged to confess that he had lied to law enforcement regarding his presence at the murder scene.
Jim Griffin, the defense attorney, claimed that Murdaugh lied to law enforcement due to his paranoia caused by drugs and in order to avoid the attention to his personal life.
“I probably wouldn’t be sitting over there right now if he did not lie. But he did lie, and he told you he lied,” Griffin told the jurors. “He lied because that’s what addicts do. He lied because he had a closet full of skeletons and he didn’t want any more scrutiny on him.”
Several months after the killings, Murdaugh was investigated when it was found that he had taken money from his legal practice and confessed to fabricating his own attempted suicide to seem like a murder, in order to let his remaining son receive a life insurance policy.
After hearing six weeks of often gruesome testimony that garnered international attention, the jury needed less than three hours to come to a unanimous agreement.
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