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Monday, February 26, 2024

USA. Richard “Alex” Murdaugh was convicted of killing his wife and son

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Richard “Alex” Murdaugh has been found guilty of killing his wife and son, Reuters news agency reported. The case of the once influential and well-known attorney was closely watched by the American public.

A 12-member jury found Murdaugh, 54, guilty of two counts of murdering his wife Maggie, 52, and his 22-year-old son. He was also convicted on firearm possession charges.

His lawyer filed a motion to quash the trial, but the judge rejected it. “The evidence of guilt is overwhelming,” said South Carolina District Court Judge Clifton Newman, referring to the attorney’s request.

Alex MurdaughJoshua Boucher/Tribune News Service/Getty Images

As reported by the Reuters news agency, Murdaugh did not show any emotions during the reading of the court’s verdict. After the court order was delivered, he was led out of the courtroom in handcuffs. The sentence that the convicted lawyer will receive is not yet known. Murdaugh faces up to 30 or even life in prison for each of the two murders.

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The convicted lawyer still pleads not guilty. During the trial, however, he confirmed that he had lied about his alibi before. He also pleaded guilty to a number of financial crimes. As the Reuters news agency points out, all this significantly reduced his credibility in the eyes of the jury.

A legal dynasty

The history of the Murdaugh family has been associated with the Lowcountry region for decades. It’s a quiet, farming part of South Carolina. In 1920, Randolph Murdaugh, Sr., was appointed U.S. Attorney for the 14th Judicial District, becoming the first member of his dynasty to hold that position. His son, Randolph Murdaugh Jr., succeeded his father and held the office for nearly 50 years before handing over the office to Randolph Murdaugh III, father of Alex Murdaugh. He held it until 2005.

Although the Murdaugh family lost their prosecutor’s office after nearly 90 years, the influence of the legal dynasty has not diminished. Alex and his younger brother Randy ran a law firm operating in several South Carolina counties for years. – We are no different from others. We’ve just been operating here as lawyers for many years,” Randy Murdaugh told ABC News. “I hear about ‘dynasty’, about ‘power’, but we are ordinary people,” he added.

Their main field of activity was non-pecuniary damage cases, in which they managed to win large settlements for their clients. “They could have gotten a verdict that was dramatically out of the norm. When I’m talking about going beyond the norm [mam na myśli – red.]that they were able to turn a $100,000 case into a million-dollar settlement,” said Joe McCulloch, an American lawyer quoted by the BBC.

Work made Alex Murdaugh rich. Millions of dollars flowed into the family’s account, financing a luxurious lifestyle. But behind the success that seemed Alex’s right from birth, hid his secrets – an addiction to opioids and years of theft, embezzlement and fraud.

In June 2021, emergency dispatchers in Colleton County southwest of Charleston received a call from Alex Murdaugh. The distraught man informed them that he had arrived at his estate in Islandton, a small hamlet between Walterboro and Varnville, where he had found the bodies of his wife Maggie and son Paul lying on the ground by the doghouses. Maggie Murdaugh, 52, was shot multiple times with a semi-automatic weapon. Paul, 22, was shot at least twice.

Main photo source: Joshua Boucher/Tribune News Service/Getty Images



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