Alex Murdaugh sentenced to life in prison in US murder trial | Crime News

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A South Carolina judge sentences the lawyer to two consecutive life sentences for the murder of his wife and son.

A disgraced former lawyer convicted of killing his wife and son after a six-week trial that shocked the United States has been sentenced to two consecutive life sentences.

During the trial, Alex Murdaugh had pleaded not guilty to the June 7, 2021, shooting deaths at the family’s sprawling residential and farming complex in the US state of South Carolina.

Judge Clifton Newton suggested Friday that Murdaugh’s opioid addiction may have made him a “monster” and that “the person standing before me is not the perpetrator, although he is the same person.” “

Before handing down the sentence, Newton said the murders deserved the death penalty, but he “didn’t question at all” the prosecutors’ decision not to pursue that option.

Murdaugh maintained his innocence before his conviction.

“I respect this court, but I am innocent, and under no circumstances would I hurt my wife, Maggie, and I would never hurt my son Paw-Paw,” said Murdaugh, using the nickname he used for his son Paul.

Murdugh is part of a legal lineage. He was sentenced in the same courtroom on the circuit where his father, grandfather and great-grandfather tried cases as elected prosecutors for more than 80 years. His grandfather’s picture hung in the back of the room until the judge ordered it taken down for the trial.

Alex Murdoch
Alex Murdaugh testified in his own defense during his murder trial, saying he did not kill his wife and son [File:Grace Beahm Alford/pool via USA Today via Reuters]

Instead of the dress shirt and sports coat he wore during the six-week trial, Murdaugh, who has made millions suing big companies on behalf of people injured in accidents, arrived wearing court in a prison jumpsuit the day after he was convicted of two counts of murder.

A Colleton County jury deliberated for less than three hours before finding Murdaugh guilty of killing his 22-year-old son with a shotgun and his 52-year-old wife with a rifle.

Juror Craig Moyer told the American broadcaster ABC News that when the debate began, the jury took an immediate poll which came back with nine guilty votes. It did not take long to persuade the other three jurors to convict Murdoch.

The jury agreed with prosecutors that the key piece of evidence was video taped to his son’s cell phone for a year – video shot minutes before the murders at the same kennels near where the bodies were found.

The voices of the three Murdaughs can be heard on the video, although Alex Murdaugh had insisted for 20 months that he had not been at the kennels that night. When he took the stand in his own defense, the first thing he did was admit that he had lied to investigators about being at the kennels, saying he was paranoid about law enforcement. that he was an opioid addict with pills in his pocket at night to kill them.

“Good liar. But it’s not good enough,” Moyer said.

Prosecutors did not have the weapons to kill the mother and son or other direct evidence such as confessions or bloodshed. But they had a mountain of circumstantial evidence, including the video that placed Alex Murdaugh at the scene of the murder five minutes before his wife and son stopped using their cell phones forever. .

“As expected with appeals, I wouldn’t expect any kind of confession,” Newton said Friday.

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