A jury in South Carolina has reached a verdict over the case of disgraced former lawyer Alex Murdaugh.
After a deliberation of three hours, a jury found Murdaugh guilty of killing his wife and son in 2021. The 54-year-old was sentenced to life without parole for the two murders.
The former lawyer had belonged to a prominent South Carolina legal family, he took the stand in his own defence and over two days of testimony denied that he had anything to do with his wife and son’s murder. It was only discovered he was at the murder scene thanks to video taken by his son shortly before the killings, where Murdaugh’s voice could clearly be heard.
The build-up to dramatic real-life story has been told by Netflix in their new docuseries called the Murdaugh Murders: A Southern Scandal, which explores the events leading up to the killings. So, who was Alex Murdaugh, Buster and Mallory Beach? Here’s everything you need to know.
Who is Alex Murdaugh?
Alex Murdaugh is a former South Carolina lawyer who has been convicted of the murder of his wife and son. He came from a prominent law family, practising in the firm founded by his great-grandfather.
The 54-year-old admitted in trial that he has stolen millions of dollars from his clients and had lied to police investigators about being at the family dog kennels where the shootings of his wife and son took place.
Reported by PA, he blamed a distrust on police due to a decades-long opiod addiction, testifying: “Oh, what a tangled web we weave. Once I told a lie — I told my family — I had to keep lying.” Murdaugh was sentenced to life without parole on Friday 3 March.
What has he been found guilty of?
Murdaugh has been convicted of killing his wife and son in 2021. Following a six week trial, the jury took less than three hours to deliberate finding him guilty of two counts of murder.
Investigators said he shot his 22-year-old son Paul twice with a shotgun and his 52-year-old wife Maggie four or five times with a rifle outside the family dog kennels on their rural Colleton County property on 7 June 2021.
The former lawyer who was sentences to life without parole, also faces about 100 charges for crimes related to illicit business practices and allegations of insurance fraud.
Who was Maggie Murdaugh?
Maggie was married to Alex, with the pair meeting when they were both students at the University of South Carolina. The 52-year-old was originally from Wilmington, North Carolina and shared two sons with her husband, Buster and Paul.
Who was Paul Murdaugh?
Paul, nicknamed “Paw Paw” by his father, was the youngest son of Murdaugh and his wife Maggie. A student of the University of South Carolina, at the time of his death the 22-year-old was facing three charges relating to a 2019 boat crash that resulted in the death of Mallory Beach. It was alleged that he drove the boat under the influence, he had pleaded not guilty but died before his upcoming trial.
Who was Mallory Beach?
19-year-old Mallory Beach had been in the boat with Paul Murdaugh and friends on February 23, 2019 when it crashed, the group had been going home from an oyster roast. Beach was close friends with Paul’s girlfriend Morgan and also studied at the University of South Carolina. She was thrown overboard from the boat and died, her body was recovered days later.
Speaking to E, her father Phillip Beach described her as “always a people person.” Adding that: “she could be a lady when she needed to be a lady and she could be a tomboy, so to speak. She loved hunting and fishing.”
Who is Buster Murdaugh?
Buster is the only surviving son of Alex and Maggie Murdaugh. The 26-year-old stood by his father throughout the trial, testifying in his defence, he described that losing his mother and brother had left him “destroyed” and “heartbroken”.
Who is Gloria Satterfield?
Satterfield was the family’s housekeeper and had worked in their home for 20 years. The 57-year-old died in 2018, with the Murdaughs reporting she had tripped over the family dog and fallen down the stairs at the front of the house.
According to Greenville News, following her death, Alex Murdaugh allegedly arranged for her sons to sue him so they could collect a $4.3 million insurance settlement, however, her sons reportedly never received the money. In June 2022, South Carolina law enforcement officials were given permission by the Satterfield family to exhume Gloria’s remains to investigate her cause of death.