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The Murdaugh Family Legacy of Lies and Deceit: Alex Murdaugh Sentenced to Two Life Sentences for Murder of Wife and Son

On Friday, March 3, 2023, Alex Murdaugh, 54, once a prominent South Carolina lawyer, was sentenced to two life sentences for the murder of his wife and youngest son in 2021.[0] After a nearly six-week-long trial, Murdaugh was found guilty on all four counts. He had maintained his innocence throughout the trial.[1]

The key evidence in the trial was a video taken by the late Paul Murdaugh which placed Alex at the scene of the crime and contradicted his claim that he had last seen Maggie and Paul alive an hour and a half before returning home.[2] In the video, Alex can be heard in the background calling for his dog, Bubba.

Judge Clifton Newman addressed Murdaugh at length, saying, “I know you have to see Paul and Maggie during the nighttime when you're attempting to go to sleep. I'm sure they come and visit you.”[3] He also said, “It might not have been you. It might have been the monster you become when you take 15, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60 opioid pills, and maybe you become another person. I have seen that before. The person standing before me was not the person who committed the crime, though it is the same individual.”[4]

On Friday afternoon, Murdaugh was transported from Walterboro to the Kirkland Correctional Institution in Columbia, a journey of around 90 minutes.[5] Murdaugh's latest booking photo shows him with a shaved head. It is standard within the prison system for newly admitted male inmates to receive a haircut.[6]

What we've learned from Alex Murdaugh murder trial is that opioid addiction can lead to extreme circumstances and that Paul Murdaugh, the victim, helped solve his own murder. Murdaugh has been charged with planning a suicide-for-hire scheme to benefit his son, Buster, who is still alive.[7]

The Murdaugh family had long been influential in South Carolina's legal system, starting with Alex Murdaugh's grandfather who was a solicitor in the 14th Circuit in the county.[7] A Murdaugh would occupy the position for the majority of the following 86 years.[8]

Alex Murdaugh's final mugshot shows him with a shaved head, a standard procedure for new male inmates. The Murdaugh family has been left with the memory of a prominent lawyer turned murderer and his legacy of lies and deceit.

0. “Murdaugh verdict was ‘best outcome’ for ‘Cousin Eddie’: attorney” NewsNation Now, 3 Mar. 2023, https://www.newsnationnow.com/banfield/alex-murdaugh-guilty-verdict-best-outcome-curtis-cousin-eddie-smith/

1. “How Alex Murdaugh's son helped solve his own murder and convict his father” WJRT, 4 Mar. 2023, https://www.abc12.com/news/how-alex-murdaughs-son-helped-solve-his-own-murder-and-convict-his-father/article_52fe3c94-0f04-5322-924e-7a3405a55d3f.html

2. “Murdaugh murders: Eddie Smith recalls botched Alex Murdaugh suicide attempt before convicted in deaths of Paul …” WABC-TV, 4 Mar. 2023, https://abc7ny.com/murdaugh-murders-alex-suicide-attempt-eddie-curtis-smith/12913119

3. “Alex Murdaugh's prison houses South Carolina’s most dangerous inmates” Fox News, 3 Mar. 2023, https://www.foxnews.com/us/alex-murdaughs-prison-houses-south-carolinas-most-dangerous-inmates

4. “Judge Gives ‘Monster' Alex Murdaugh Life Sentence—but Wishes It Was Death” The Daily Beast, 4 Mar. 2023, https://www.thedailybeast.com/alex-murdaugh-maintains-his-innocence-before-murder-sentencing

5. “Murdaugh booked into Columbia prison after guilty verdict, sentencing” Live 5 News WCSC, 3 Mar. 2023, https://www.live5news.com/2023/03/03/murdaugh-booked-into-columbia-prison-after-guilty-verdict-sentencing

6. “Alex Murdaugh officially in prison to begin serving life sentence” WLTX.com, 3 Mar. 2023, https://www.wltx.com/article/news/special-reports/alex-murdaugh/alex-murdaugh-in-prison-mugshot/101-80ec290c-ff31-4c0e-bea3-3a0e8841df52

7. “Alex Murdaugh's great-grandfathers had a suspicious death in the 1940s” Insider, 4 Mar. 2023, https://www.insider.com/alex-murdaughs-great-grandfathers-suspicious-death-sizable-payout-2023-3

8. “Another Suspicious Murdaugh Family Death Comes to Light — in 1940” PEOPLE, 3 Mar. 2023, https://people.com/crime/randolph-murdaugh-sr-family-death-1940