Alex Murdaugh found guilty of murdering wife, son

March 2 (UPI) -- Alex Murdaugh has been found guilty of murdering his wife and son after the jury at his trial deliberated for just three hours.

Murdaugh, a 54-year-old attorney, was convicted of killing his wife, Maggie, and adult son Paul in June 2021, CNN and CBS News reported.


His sentencing hearing has been scheduled for 9:30 a.m. EST on Friday.

The minimum sentence for each murder conviction is 30 years in prison, and prosecutors have signaled they will not seek the death penalty and instead seek life in prison without the possibility of parole, The New York Times reported.

Murdaugh's older son, Buster, reportedly sat in the courtroom with a hand over his mouth as his father's verdict was read, according to the Times. Buster Murdaugh had testified on his father's behalf at the trial.

The elder Murdaugh was later seen being led from the building in handcuffs and put into the back of a police van by sheriff's deputies.


Earlier in the day, a juror in the double murder trial was removed after the judge said she had discussed the case outside the courtroom.

Circuit Court Judge Clifton Newman said he had a complaint from a member of the public that the juror had "improper conversations with parties not associated with the case."

She denied having any discussions about the case in the chambers at the Colleton County Courthouse in Walterboro, S.C., but three witnesses on Wednesday said they had heard her discussing her opinion of the case.

"In order to preserve the integrity of the process and the interests of both the state and the defense in a fair trial, that juror will be removed and replaced by another juror," Newman told the court, according to ABC News.

Newman, however, denied a motion from Murdaugh for a mistrial, CNN reported. The judge cited an "overwhelming amount of testimony and evidence" in that decision.

"Circumstantial evidence, direct evidence, all of the evidence pointed to only one conclusion, and that's the conclusion that you all reached," Newman said before dismissing the jurors.

"So I applaud you all for, as a group, and as a unit and individually, evaluating the evidence and coming to a proper conclusion as you saw the law, as you saw the facts."


Murdaugh took the stand in his own defense and denied killing his wife and son, who prosecutors said he killed in a bid to distract from allegations of financial crimes he had committed.

He is expected to face a second trial on nearly 100 charges for various financial crimes including fraud, money laundering and tax evasion.

Murdaugh was about to be indicted at the time of the murders, accused of stealing nearly $9 million from people close to him. He has already admitted to lying to police about his decades-long opioid addiction and financial fraud.

"They were happy to hear Alex admit, 'Yes, I lied and yes I stole.' But, that's not enough," Justin Bamberg, a lawyer representing the alleged financial crime victims, told CNN after the verdict.

"Every single person who's been victimized by Alex has wanted one thing: Complete accountability."

Prosecutors in the murder trial did not have the murder weapon but built their case on Murdaugh's timeline of his whereabouts when the murders took place, which they contended did not add up.

"Today's verdict proves that no one, no one -- no matter who you are in society -- is above the law," Attorney General Alan Wilson said to the court after the verdict was read.


Defense experts presented the possibility that both Paul, 22, and Margaret were killed by unknown assailants in an execution-style killing.

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