WALTERBORO, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina legal professional Alex Murdaugh shall be again in a courtroom Friday, this time going through the decide as a convicted murderer taking a look at 30 years to life in jail for killing his spouse and son.
Prosecutors indicated in earlier court docket filings that they’ll ask for a life sentence to lastly maintain Murdaugh answerable for what they are saying are a long time of mendacity, stealing and utilizing his household’s appreciable clout of their tiny county to his benefit. Any sentence would don’t have any probability of parole.
As Alex Murdaugh stands earlier than a decide to study his destiny, he’ll be in identical courtroom on the circuit his father, grandfather and great-grandfather tried instances because the elected prosecutor for greater than 80 years. His grandfather’s portrait hung behind the room till the decide ordered it taken down for the trial.
As an alternative of the gown shirt and sport coat he wore by way of the six-week trial, the legal professional who made tens of millions suing large firms on behalf of individuals injured in wrecks arrived at court docket in a jail jumpsuit the day after he was convicted of two counts of homicide.
The Colleton County jury deliberated for lower than three hours earlier than discovering Murdaugh guilty of killing his 22-year-old son Paul with a shotgun and his 52-year-old spouse Maggie with a rifle on June 7, 2021.
Juror Craig Moyer informed ABC News that when deliberations started, the jury instantly took a ballot and there have been 9 responsible votes. It did not take lengthy to persuade the opposite three.
The juror agreed with prosecutors that the important thing piece of proof was a video locked on his son’s cellphone for a 12 months — video shot minutes earlier than the killings on the identical kennels close to the place the our bodies could be discovered.
The voices of all three Murdaughs might be heard on the video, although Alex Murdaugh had insisted for 20 months that he hadn’t been on the kennels that evening. When he took the stand in his personal protection, the very first thing he did was admit he had lied to investigators about being on the kennels, saying he was paranoid of regulation enforcement as a result of he was an opioid addict with tablets in his pocket the evening of the killings.
“ liar. However not adequate,” Moyer stated.
Prosecutors didn’t have the weapons used to kill the Murdaughs or different direct proof like confessions or blood spatter. However they’d a mountain of circumstantial evidence, together with the video placing Murdaugh on the scene of the killings 5 minutes earlier than his spouse and son stopped utilizing their cellphones perpetually.
It is unclear who will converse at Friday’s sentencing listening to. Murdaugh’s surviving son, Buster, and one in every of his brothers testified for the protection and have been behind him daily of the trial.
Murdaugh’s sister-in-law testified they had been all shut. Alex Murdaugh went on trip with them within the months after the killings.
By greater than 75 witnesses and practically 800 items of proof, jurors heard about betrayed mates and purchasers, Murdaugh’s failed attempt to stage his own death in an insurance fraud scheme, a deadly boat crash by which his son was implicated, the housekeeper who died in a fall within the Murdaugh house and the grisly scene of the killings.
The now-disbarred legal professional admitted stealing millions of dollars from the household agency and purchasers, saying he wanted the cash to fund his drug behavior. Earlier than he was charged with homicide, Murdaugh was in jail awaiting trial on about 100 other charges starting from insurance coverage fraud to tax evasion.
The Murdaughs dominated the authorized scene in neighboring Hampton County for a century. One other brother stays within the giant regulation agency the household based a century in the past.
When he took the stand final week, Murdaugh appeared to cry as he denied many times that he killed his spouse. However juror Moyer stated he noticed by way of yet one more lie.
“He by no means cried. All he did was blow snot,” Moyer stated. “No tears. I noticed his eyes. I used to be this near him.”
Discover extra AP protection of the case: https://apnews.com/hub/alex-murdaugh
___ Collins reported from Columbia, South Carolina.