Alex Murdaugh Indicted On 22 Counts For Alleged Financial Schemes
(UPDATE 5/24/23 at 12:50 P.M. ET): Alex Murdaugh was indicted on 22 counts for alleged financial schemes on Wednesday, May 24, 2023. The charges came two months after he was found guilty of the murders of his wife Maggie and son Paul. The charges included bank fraud, wire fraud, money laundering, and conspiracy to commit bank and wire fraud, per CNN. Alex's lawyers expect to settle the charges out of court. "We anticipate that the charges brought today will be quickly resolved without a trial," they said in a statement.
(UPDATE: 3/2/23 at 2:00 P.M. ET): One day after Alex Murdaugh was found guilty of two murders, he received his prison sentencing. The former lawyer was given two life sentences for the crimes he committed. He left the courtroom in a prison jumpsuit and in handcuffs.
(ORIGINAL) Richard "Alex" Murdaugh, 54, has been found guilty of murdering his wife, Margaret "Maggie" Murdaugh, and one of their sons, Paul Murdaugh, on June 7, 2021. He was also found guilty of two weapons charges, which means he did defeat a single charge in his case. Jurors came to their conclusion after a few hours of deliberation on March 2 after analyzing six weeks' worth of testimony by 70 witnesses and after they visited the 1,700-acre crime scene on March 1.
The disgraced South Carolina attorney was accused of fatally shooting his family on their sprawling Islandton, S.C. property known as Moselle and was subsequently slapped with two counts of murder and two weapons charges in July 2022. He pleaded not guilty, and his surviving 26-year-old son, Buster, testified in his defense on Feb. 26. He testified that his father called him while he was on the way to Moselle and called him after allegedly discovering his mother and brother's bodies. "He said, 'Are you sitting down?'" Buster recalled of the moment he discovered the news, per PEOPLE. "He sounded odd, and then he told me that my mom and my brother had been shot."
"He was heartbroken," he continued in front of the jury. "I walked in the door and saw him, gave him a hug." He also claimed his father was "destroyed" by the loss.
During the closing argument on March 1, however, prosecutors painted a picture of a man who stole from and lied to his clients for years and reached a breaking point as he experienced more financial and legal woes. "The evidence that you've heard shows that the defendant became so addicted and so dependent on the velocity of money that the millions of dollars in legal fees that he was receiving was not enough and so he started to steal," Prosecutor Creighton Waters said on March 1, per CNN.
Alex was also under immense pressure due to a pending lawsuit by the family of a young woman killed in a Feb. 2019 boating accident. The woman was thrown overboard and died after the boat, which was owned by Alex and was allegedly being driven by his son, Paul, crashed. "The pressures on this man were unbearable and they were reaching a crescendo the day his wife and son were murdered by him," Waters added.
Furthermore, Alex admitted to lying about his whereabouts on the night of June 7, 2021. While he originally claimed that he was never near the dog kennels on his property at which his wife and son were found, video from his phone taken that night proves otherwise.
The case and life of Alex caught national attention and even spawned documentaries from Netflix and HBO Max. The documentaries dug not only into the murder of Alex's wife and son, but the boating incident as well, plus an alleged murder-for-hire and insurance fraud plan, his numerous financial crimes, and a series of deaths associated with the Murdaugh family.