Where is Alex Murdaugh now? Murdaugh Murders suspect explained
Netflix's new true crime documentary looks at the story of the Murdaugh family, but where is murder suspect Alex Murdaugh now? Here's everything you need to know.
Netflix’s Murdaugh Murders: A Southern Scandal tells the story of “corruption, power and cover ups" in the Murdaugh Family.
As well the deaths of Mallory Beach and Gloria Satterfield, the three-part Netflix doc retraces the double murder of mother and son Maggie and Paul Murdaugh.
South Carolina lawyer and patriarch of the prominent family, Alex Murdaugh, was facing trial for the two deaths which occurred in June 2021.
He pleaded not guilty, but on Thursday 2nd March following a six-week trial, the jury’s verdict found him guilty of two counts of murder with his sentencing set for Friday 3rd March.
So, where is Alex now? Here’s everything you need to know about Alex Murdaugh – including the latest details on his court case and guilty verdict.
Who is Alex Murdaugh?
Alex Murdaugh is a former South Carolina lawyer who is currently on trial for the murders of his son, Paul Murdaugh, and his wife, Maggie Murdaugh.
He belongs to a once influential family, with three members of the Murdaugh clan all taking on the role of solicitor (AKA district attorney) in the 14th circuit solicitor's office between 1920 and 2006.
Alex Murdaugh had served as volunteer in the office, according to the New Yorker, and "retained close ties to local law enforcement". He also worked at the family law firm PMPED (Peters, Murdaugh, Parker, Eltzroth & Detrick), dealing with personal injury claims.
In July 2022, he was charged for the murder of his son and wife, who had been found dead in June 2021 at the kennels of their family's hunting lodge.
Murdaugh claimed to have discovered the bodies and stated that he had returned to find them after visiting his elderly mother.
Several months after the deaths of Paul and Maggie Murdaugh, Alex Murdaugh claimed to have been ambushed in a drive-by shooting in Hampton County. He was treated for a "superficial gunshot wound to the head" and one week later, on 13th September, he confessed to paying an alleged hitman to shoot and kill him.
He is said to have done so as part of an assisted suicide plot, the Independent reports, so that his son Buster would be able to claim life insurance money. Alex Murdaugh later told police that he had paid 62-year-old Curtis Smith, a former client, cousin and alleged drug dealer, to carry out the shooting.
Also according to the Independent, Murdaugh was released on bond on the condition that he enter a rehabilitation facility for his opioid addiction. He had entered rehab one day after the shooting and resigned from PMPED, with his law partners accusing him of stealing millions of dollars from the firm and his clients' settlements.
He has since been charged with over 100 counts of financial fraud, the Independent reports, alleging that he's stolen nearly $8.5 million (£7 million) from clients over the course of a decade – including a settlement over the death of the family's housekeeper Gloria Satterfield. She died in a mysterious trip and fall accident in February 2018 and Satterfield's sons claimed that they never received the money.
Where is Alex Murdaugh now?
Until yesterday (Thursday 2nd March), Murdaugh was standing trial for the murder of his son Paul Murdaugh and his wife Maggie Murdaugh.
Meanwhile, in January 2023, a judge approved a settlement in a wrongful death lawsuit brought by the family of Mallory Beach – a 19-year-old who died when a boat, allegedly driven by Paul Murdaugh, crashed in February 2019 – against the Murdaugh family.
The murder trial began on 23rd January 2023 in Colleton County Courthouse, South Carolina and since it commenced, the prosecution has argued that Murdaugh killed his wife and son to distract from the various scandals around him (via CNN), alleging that mobile phone records place him at the dog kennels minutes before the murders and that his voice features in a video filmed by Paul around the same time, according to the Independent.
However, the defence argued that the mobile phone records were incomplete and that Maggie Murdaugh's phone was thrown half a mile from the family estate at the same time that Murdaugh was at the property, the Independent also reports.
The publication also reported other claims to come out of the trial so far, including bodycam footage showing Murdaugh in a "clean" white shirt after claiming to have touched his wife and son's bodies, as well as audio from Murdaugh's police interview in which he can be heard saying either "I did him so bad" or "They did him so bad" in reference to his son.
Meanwhile, a special agent testified in court on Monday 30th January that the firearms in the Murdaugh home matched those used to kill Maggie and Paul. The defence placed doubt on the preservation of the crime scene by police, while a police officer testified that data was missing from Murdaugh's call log.
The caregiver for Murdaugh's mother Libby also testified that Alex Murdaugh was "fidgety" on the night of the murders and alleged that he later told her to tell authorities he had stayed at his parents' house for longer than he had. Gunshot residue was also found on a blue raincoat that the prosecution argues was hidden by Murdaugh in his parents' home after the murders.
An FBI electronics engineer testified that Murdaugh did visit his ill mother but only stayed for 21 minutes – shorter than he claimed – before arriving at his family's dog kennels at 10pm and calling 911 at 10:07pm, the Independent reports.
Meanwhile, the Murdaugh family housekeeper testified that Murdaugh asked her to clean the home the day after Paul and Maggie died and "tried to get their stories straight" about what clothes he was wearing before the killings. She also said that Maggie Murdaugh was concerned about the family's finances, while a police interview revealed inconsistencies in Murdaugh's alibi.
Last week, new car data placed Murdaugh at the spot where Maggie Murdaugh's phone was found, while new data suggested that just 17 seconds passed between Murdaugh arriving at the dog kennels and him calling 911.
However, the latest development came out on Wednesday 22nd February, with a defence witness claiming that the shooter in the murders was 5'2" and so could not be Murdaugh, who is 6'4".
Did Alex Murdaugh kill his wife and son?
After contemplating for almost three hours, the jury in the double murder trial of Alex Murdaugh found the 54-year-old guilty of murdering his wife Margaret and son Paul.
Alex was also found guilty of two counts of a possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime in the killings of his wife and son on 7th June 2021.
Judge Clifton Newman set sentencing for Friday at 9:30am (EST) in South Carolina’s Colleton County. Prosecutors have stated that they will seek life in prison without the possibility of parole for the murders, foregoing the death penalty.
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Alex’s only remaining son, Buster Murdaugh, could be seen crying as the verdict was read, during which Alex appeared to mouth the words “I love you” before being handcuffed.
The verdict came after a six-week trial which looked into the brutal crime, phone forensics, and Alex’s alleged extensive financial misconduct.
“Justice was done today,” lead prosecutor Creighton Waters said yesterday (Thursday 2nd March). “It doesn’t matter who your family is. It doesn’t matter how much money you have, or people think you have. It doesn’t matter… how prominent you are. If you do wrong, if you break the law, if you murder, then justice will be done in South Carolina.”
Murdaugh Murders: A Southern Scandal is available to stream on Netflix now. Check out more of our Documentaries coverage or visit our TV Guide and Streaming Guide to see what's on tonight.
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