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Famous US lawyer Alex Murdaugh found guilty of murdering his wife and son

Famous US lawyer Alex Murdaugh found guilty of murdering wife and son

A popular lawyer from South Carolina, USA
Richard “Alex” Murdaugh was found guilty of murdering his wife and son.

On Thursday, March 2, a jury convicted the once influential lawyer of murder in a case that has captured US attention for nearly two years.

The 12-person jury found Murdaugh, 54, guilty on two counts of murdering his wife Maggie, 52, and youngest son Paul, 22, who were executed at close range near the kennels on their family estate on the evening of June 7. , 2021. He was also convicted of two gun-related charges.

Famous US lawyer Alex Murdaugh found guilty of murdering his wife and son

Murdaugh showed no emotion as the foreman read the verdict, which the panel delivered after three hours of deliberation. He was then led out of the courtroom with his hands cuffed.

His attorney immediately requested a mistrial, which the judge quickly dismissed.

Famous US lawyer Alex Murdaugh found guilty of murdering his wife and son
“The evidence of guilt is overwhelming,” said South Carolina Circuit Court Judge Clifton Newman.

Murdaugh, whose family is an influential legal family, had pleaded not guilty, although he admitted to lying about his alibi and committing a series of financial crimes in confessions that tarnished his credibility with the jury.

With the guilty verdict, Murdaugh faces 30 years to life in prison for each of the two counts of murder when he is sentenced on Friday.

The case received intense media coverage given the family’s immense political power in and around Colleton County, where the trial took place. For decades until 2006, family members served as the area’s top prosecutor, and Murdaugh was a prominent personal injury lawyer in the Deep South state.

Throughout the trial, prosecutors portrayed Murdaugh as a serial liar and argued that he alone had the means and ability to carry out the murders. Prosecutors said he shot and killed his wife and son to distract from his financial crimes, including the theft of millions of dollars from his partners and legal clients – money used to fuel an opioid addiction years and supporting an expensive lifestyle.

One of the state’s strongest pieces of evidence against the disgraced lawyer was Murdaugh’s admission on the stand last week that he lied about his whereabouts on the night of the murders, telling investigators he didn’t Wasn’t in the kennel before the murders. Murdaugh changed his story after the jury listened to audio evidence placing him at the crime scene minutes before the murders.

“It doesn’t matter who your family is, it doesn’t matter how much money you have,” Creighton Waters, the lead prosecutor, said after the verdict. “If you do wrong, if you break the law, if you murder, then justice will be served in South Carolina.”

Murdaugh’s attorneys attempted to portray their client as a loving family man who, while facing financial hardship and suffering from an opioid addiction that caused him to lie and steal, would never hurt to his wife and child.

They put forward alternative theories, with Murdaugh testifying that he believed someone angry over a fatal boating accident in 2019 involving Paul was likely seeking revenge against his son.

Jim Griffin, one of the defense attorneys, described the state’s alleged motive as absurd during his closing argument on Thursday, saying the murders would have only drawn more attention to the financial wrongdoings of Murdaugh.

Griffin also accused investigators of fabricating evidence and repeatedly stressed that the state must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, underscoring the challenge facing prosecutors who have built their case largely on circumstantial rather than direct evidence.

Despite the strong defense, the jurors did not believe Murdaugh’s account. Prosecutors have focused on Murdaugh’s credibility, repeatedly backtracking on his admission that he lied about something as critical as where he was when his wife and child were killed.

Judge Newman told jurors they made the right choice.

“Circumstantial evidence, direct evidence — all the evidence pointed to one conclusion, and that’s the conclusion you all came to,” he said.

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