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HomeNewsAlex Murdaugh found guilty in wife and son's murder trial

Alex Murdaugh found guilty in wife and son’s murder trial

Alex Murdaugh found guilty in wife and son’s murder trial

Alex Murdaugh, a disgraced legal heir, was found guilty of murdering his wife Maggie, and youngest son Paul in June 2021.

Thursday, the jury returned a unanimous guilty verdict following five weeks of shocking testimony from more than 70 witnesses, including the defendant himself, who admitted on the stand to his financial misdeeds.

According to reports, the jury deliberated for less than three hours and reached a verdict at 6:41 p.m.

Following their deliberations, the jury reached a unanimous guilty verdict on all counts.

As jurors were individually asked to confirm their verdicts, Murdaugh appeared impassive in the courtroom.

ALSO READ: Alex Murdaugh Trial Sparks Reopening of Other Investigations

Speaking to the court, Circuit Court Judge Clifton Newman stated, “The jury has now deliberated the evidence for an extended period, and it is overwhelming.”

After the verdict was rendered, Chief Prosecutor Creighton Waters told the media, “Today, justice was served.”

“It makes no difference how much money you have or how much people believe you have… If you commit a crime, violate the law, or murder, justice will be served in South Carolina.”

As the sentencing was postponed until Friday at 9.30 am, Murdaugh was taken back into custody.

The minimum sentence for each murder charge is 30 years, and the maximum is life in prison.

Murdaugh was also found guilty of two counts of possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime, in addition to the murders.

Amanda Loveday, a spokesperson for the Murdaugh family, told The U.S. Sun that Murdaugh’s legal team will not comment on the verdict until Friday’s sentencing.

After the sentencing, the legal team will likely hold a press conference at which they will address the media.

The verdict was rendered just hours after a juror was removed and replaced.

According to Judge Newman, the juror, identified as Juror No. 785, improperly discussed the case with someone unaffiliated with the proceeding.

OPEN CONFESSION

Murdaugh admitted openly in a trial marred by the controversy that he lied to authorities about his whereabouts on the night of the murders on June 7, 2021.

The chief prosecutor, Creighton Waters, argued that Murdaugh committed the heinous crimes to divert attention from his financial and criminal transgressions, which drove him to become a “family destroyer.”

Waters argued that Murdaugh’s legal empire began to fall apart after his son Paul was involved in a fatal boat accident in 2019 that resulted in the death of 19-year-old Mallory Beach.

“That legacy was in jeopardy, and it threatened to reveal who he truly was, thereby destroying that portion of the legacy,” Waters told the jury.

In addition, he argued that the family was “watching him [Murdaugh] like a hawk” due to the disgraced attorney’s admitted opioid addiction.

Waters described in detail to the jury how Murdaugh used a shotgun to decapitate his son Paul and then a rifle to murder his wife Maggie.

“As a result of these mounting pressures, the defendant murdered Maggie and Paul,” Waters stated in court.

“The forensic timeline places him there, the use of his family’s weapons corroborates that, and his subsequent lies and criminal behavior confirm it.”

Attorney for the defense Jim Griffin criticized the state’s motivation, stating that it made little sense.

“Their theory is that he murdered his wife and son to divert attention from an imminent financial investigation; however, he puts himself in the middle of a murder investigation and a media firestorm. That is their motivation, said Griffin.

“I HAVE NOT SHOT MY WIFE OR SON”

During his testimony, a sobbing Murdaugh denied ever having harmed his family, stating, “I never, ever shot my wife or my son.

The since-disbarred attorney stated, “I would never intentionally do anything to harm either of them.”

Murdaugh had previously told authorities that he had fallen asleep in the main house, but he revealed in court that he had been at the dog kennels of the family’s hunting estate before the murders.

He attributed his “paranoia” to his years-long opioid addiction, for which he blamed withholding information.

“On June 7, I lacked clarity of mind. I don’t believe I had the capacity for reason. And I lied about my presence there. And I deeply regret doing so,” Murdaugh explained.

“As my addiction progressed, I found myself in situations or conditions in which I became paranoid when considering anything.

“That night, after discovering Mags and Paul, my partners repeatedly informed me that a sheriff was administering gunshot tests from my hands,”

Murdaugh continued, “All of these factors, coupled with my mistrust of SLED, induced paranoid thoughts in me.”

Between January and June of 2021, the 54-year-old admitted to taking up to sixty oxycodone pills per day, and sometimes more.

“Opiates gave me energy. Whatever I was doing, enhanced the experience. It increased my desire to do it longer. It initially made things better.”

TWO-SHOT SITUATION

Murdaugh speculated that two unknown assailants killed his son and wife in response to Paul’s high-profile boating accident.

Due to his son’s actions, he claimed that his family began receiving “vile” threats from social media users.

“The response on social media was vile,” Murdaugh stated. “It was so extreme. I believe that the wrong individual saw and read that today.

Paul Murdaugh was despised by the murderer or murderers, who harbored rage in their hearts.

State prosecutors argued that the defendant fabricated the two-shooter scenario to conceal his involvement.

Waters stated that after the murders, Murdaugh was not concerned about his surviving son Buster because he was “the only threat.”

“Why is Buster not threatened? Because he posed a threat to Maggie and Paul, explained Waters.

“Because he knows there is no vigilante on the loose, he never worried about it. He added, pointing to Murdaugh, “He is aware that he is the only threat.”

Griffin refuted the prosecution’s claims that his client, who was in Columbia at the time of the murders, was not concerned about Buster.

Murdaugh can be heard asking whether a police officer can be dispatched to protect Buster on body cam footage played by the defense.

Griffin also supported the two-shooter theory, stating, “there is no direct evidence of Alex’s involvement.”

Griffin contends that Murdaugh did not have sufficient time to commit the murders and conceal the evidence before driving to his mother’s house, based on the cell phone data of the suspect.

“How could he have murdered Maggie and Paul in a matter of minutes without leaving a trace?” he inquired.

“He must be a magician to make all of that evidence vanished.

“The most logical conclusion is that there were two shooters since there were two firearms,” the defense added.

FINAL PLEAS

State prosecutors stated in their closing arguments that Murdaugh was the only person with the motive, means, and opportunity to murder his wife and son that June evening.

That is why he lied, ladies and gentlemen,” Waters said.

“This defendant has deceived every single person who believed they were close to him.

“He has fooled everyone who thought they knew who he was.

Maggie and Paul were also duped by him, and they paid with their lives. Don’t fall for his ruse.”

Griffin was overcome with emotion as he made his final argument to the jury: “The law does not require you to view Alex Murdaugh as a monster. The law obliges you to consider him innocent.

“Justice requires two words in this case, and they are ‘not guilty.'”

“On behalf of Alex, Buster, Maggie, and my friend Paul, I respectfully request that you refrain from compounding a family tragedy with another,” he added.

JURY TOURS MURDAUGH ESTATE

Judge Clifton Newman ruled in favor of the defense to allow the jurors to visit the family’s expansive South Carolina property, known as Moselle, hours before the closing arguments.

The kennels where Maggie and Paul Murdaugh were fatally shot in June 2021 can be found on the vast estate comprising more than 1,700 acres, which has been the focus of the trial.

The jury spent approximately one hour examining the exterior of the residence, walking between the dog kennels and a nearby shed.

On rare occasions, juries have been permitted to visit crime scenes, most notably during the 1995 O.J. Simpson murder trial in Los Angeles.

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