Alex Murdaugh Indicted in Murder of Wife, Son

South Carolina attorney is charged in double-homicide
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 12, 2022 7:42 PM CDT
Updated Jul 14, 2022 11:22 AM CDT
Report: Murdaugh to Be Charged in Deaths of Wife, Son
Alex Murdaugh walks into his bond hearing on Sept. 16, 2021, in Varnville, SC.   (AP Photo/Mic Smith, File)

Update: This summary has been updated with Thursday's indictment. A grand jury in South Carolina has indicted attorney Alex Murdaugh in the high-profile murders of his wife and son last year, reports the AP. The indictments are for two counts of murder and two counts of possession of a weapon, per CNN. Murdaugh already had been jailed on a slew of charges, but these are the first in connection to the deaths. Our story from July 12 follows:

Disgraced South Carolina attorney Alex Murdaugh's extensive legal woes may have deepened to the point where the death penalty is a possibility. Sources tell the State that the 54-year-old is likely to be indicted this week for murder in the June 2021 murders of his wife and son, who were found shot to death near dog kennels on the family's rural property. Alex Murdaugh has long denied involvement in the deaths of Maggie Murdaugh, 52, and their 22-year-old son, Paul Murdaugh. Jim Griffin, a lawyer for Murdaugh, said family members had been informed that the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division plans to seek an indictment from a grand jury, the AP reports.

Murdaugh is also accused of numerous financial crimes—and of staging his own shooting months after his wife and son were found dead, allegedly as part of a plot to have surviving son Buster Murdaugh collect a $10 million life insurance payout. Investigators say Maggie and Paul Murdaugh were shot with different weapons—Paul with a shotgun, and Maggie with an assault rifle. Murdaugh called 911 from the property and told police he had found the bodies, NBC reports. "My wife and child have been shot badly," he said "Please hurry."

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The murder of "two or more persons ... pursuant to one scheme or course of conduct" qualifies a crime for the death penalty in South Carolina, though it also depends on the motive and authorities haven't disclosed a possible motive for the killings, the State reports. Murdaugh, who is being held on $7 million bond in connection with financial charges, is from a long-prominent family of South Carolina attorneys, but he was disbarred by the state's Supreme Court on Tuesday, the AP reports. His attorneys did not contest arguments at a disbarment hearing last month. (An "oddity" was found in Maggie Murdaugh's will.)

(Read more Alex Murdaugh stories.)

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