Alex Murdaugh Sentenced to Life in Prison Without Parole for Murder of Wife and Son
On Friday, March 3, 2023, Alex Murdaugh, a once-prominent South Carolina lawyer, was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for murdering his wife and son in 2021. The trial lasted nearly six weeks, leaving the nation captivated. Murdaugh denied his guilt throughout the trial, taking the stand in his own defense and admitting to lies, stealing money from his firm, and an opioid addiction.
The jury took just three hours to render a guilty verdict in the case after being presented with video evidence from the scene of the shooting. In his testimony, Murdaugh cited his mistrust of police and paranoia stemming from his drug addiction. He also expressed his innocence, saying “I respect this court, but I’m innocent, I would never under any circumstances hurt my wife Maggie, and I would never under any circumstances hurt my son ‘Paw Paw.’”
The jury was convinced by the evidence presented and the defendant's lies. Juror Kevin Moyer said he “was certain” it was Murdaugh's voice in the video, and that “everybody else could hear [Murdaugh's voice] too.” Moyer commented that Murdaugh was “good liar, but not good enough.”
Judge Clifton Newman gave Murdaugh two life sentences in prison, to be served consecutively. After the sentencing, Murdaugh was transported to Kirkland Reception and Evaluation Center in Columbia, South Carolina, where he will undergo medical tests, mental health and education assessments, and for the South Carolina Department of Corrections to gather other additional background information. The evaluation process will take about 45 days, and then he will be assigned to a maximum-security prison.
Murdaugh is also separately facing a wave of financial charges, including allegations he embezzled millions from the family-founded law firm at which he was a partner. His defense attorneys have announced they plan to appeal his conviction.
0. “Alex Murdaugh Found Guilty in Double Murder of Wife and Son” Variety, 3 Mar. 2023, https://variety.com/2023/tv/news/alex-murdaugh-found-guilty-murder-wife-son-1235541803/
1. “Alex Murdaugh officially in prison to begin serving life sentence” WLTX.com, 3 Mar. 2023, https://www.wltx.com/article/news/special-reports/alex-murdaugh/alex-murdaugh-in-prison-mugshot/101-80ec290c-ff31-4c0e-bea3-3a0e8841df52
2. “Prosecutor Says Alex Murdaugh's Decision to Take Stand Was ‘Fatal' Mistake: That's ‘What Sealed It for Him'” PEOPLE, 3 Mar. 2023, https://people.com/crime/alex-murdaugh-took-stand-sealed-fate-says-prosecutor/
3. “Alex Murdaugh's prison houses South Carolina’s most dangerous inmates” Fox News, 3 Mar. 2023, https://www.foxnews.com/us/alex-murdaughs-prison-houses-south-carolinas-most-dangerous-inmates
4. “Juror Reveals Evidence that Convinced Him of Alex Murdaugh's Guilt” PEOPLE, 3 Mar. 2023, https://people.com/crime/juror-reveals-piece-evidence-convinced-him-alex-murdaughs-guilt/
5. “How Alex Murdaugh's son helped solve his own murder and convict his father” WJRT, 4 Mar. 2023, https://www.abc12.com/news/how-alex-murdaughs-son-helped-solve-his-own-murder-and-convict-his-father/article_52fe3c94-0f04-5322-924e-7a3405a55d3f.html
6. “Alex Murdaugh trial: How Paul Murdaugh testified “from the grave” to help convict his father” CBS News, 5 Mar. 2023, https://www.cbsnews.com/news/alex-murdaugh-trial-paul-murdaugh-testified-from-grave-to-help-convict-father/
7. “The story of the Alex Murdaugh trial” BBC, 3 Mar. 2023, https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-64790627