Alex Murdoff is guilty of murdering his wife and son

Alex Murdoff is guilty of murdering his wife and son

Alex MurdoffA disgraced South Carolina lawyer accused of murdering his wife and son in a bid to gain clemency and threatening to ruin his reputation to distract from financial crimes was found guilty Thursday of their murders.

after Talked for three hoursA jury of seven men and five women found Murduff, 54, guilty of two counts of murder in the June 2021 fatal shootings of Margaret, 52, and their youngest son Paul, 22. He faces up to life in prison without the possibility of a 30-year sentence. Parole

The jury convicted him of two counts of possession of a weapon during a violent crime, which carries an additional five years in prison.

Moordoff blinked repeatedly but was petrified as he stood in court as the guilty verdicts were read. Each judge was then asked if the verdicts were correct and said yes.

Sentencing was adjourned until 9:30 a.m. on Friday.

Murdoff’s lawyers moved for a mistrial after the verdict was read. The motion was denied by the judge, who said the verdict was a matter for the jury and that there was enough evidence to convict Murdoff.

“The evidence of guilt is overwhelming, and I deny the motion,” state Circuit Judge Clifton Newman said.

Newman later thanked the jurors and said their verdicts were supported by the evidence.

He said, “All the evidence points to only one conclusion. That’s the conclusion you all have reached.”

The relatively brief deliberations followed a lengthy trial that began in late January and included nearly six weeks of testimony from 75 witnesses, including Murdaugh.

In closing arguments earlier Thursday, the defense portrayed Murduff, who was fired last year in the wake of the charges, as a family man with a loving relationship with his wife and children.

Defense attorney Jim Griffin insisted the state had no direct evidence he pulled the trigger before calling 911 on the evening of June 7, 2021, saying he found the bodies of his wife and son near a kennel at their hunting estate in rural Colleton County.

Investigators testified that Paul was hit twice with a shotgun, while Margaret was shot multiple times with an AR-style rifle. No weapons were found. Agents said they used shell casings from the family’s firearms to match the murder weapon.

Photo: Alex Murdoff (Chris Carlson/AP)

The prosecution built a Elaborate cases based on circumstantial evidence To convince jurors that Murdoff was guilty, he used electronic data and video obtained from the victims’ cellphones to suggest that only he had the motive, means and opportunity to kill his wife and son.

According to prosecutors, Murdoff had been defrauding clients for years and used the money, in part, to Addiction to pain medication.

Murdoch was also under pressure from a case involving Paul, who was on trial at the time of his death Three felony counts of boating under the influence Related to a 2019 boating accident that killed a teenage passenger.

During the state’s closing arguments Wednesday, lead prosecutor Creighton Waters said Murdoff had a lot to lose if the financial losses were revealed, but the deaths of his wife and son immediately halted the law firm’s investigation and put the boating accident case on hold for his benefit.

One of the state’s key pieces of evidence was video taken from Paul’s cellphone of the kennels, in which three voices — Paul’s, Margaret’s and Murdoff’s — were heard talking about a dog just before 8:50 p.m.

Marduff repeatedly told investigators he was sleeping and then went to visit his mother, who has Alzheimer’s disease, before returning home to find his wife and son dead.

When asked why his voice is heard in the video, Murduff admitted on the stand last week Lied about his whereabouts before the murder because of his drug addiction and general paranoia.

But Waters said in closing arguments that it disproved the belief that another killer or killers knew how to go onto the family’s property when Murdaugh wasn’t there and use the family’s firearm and kill his wife and son.

After the verdict, Waters said the guilty verdict brought justice for Maggie and Paul Murdoff, and he thanked the jurors.

“We had no doubt that if we had the opportunity to present our case in a court of law, they would see that Alex Murdoff was trying to pull it off — and they did,” Waters said.

The trial attracted intense coverage for a case classified as the first Unsolved double murderBut it soon unraveled amid widespread complaints Financial fraudA The hired hitman plot And drug addictionAnd it revived the search among other curious Death is associated with the Murdagh family.

Moordoff’s defense team did not immediately comment on the verdict.

This article was originally published

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