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The case of the heir to a dynasty of lawyers accused of killing his wife and son in South Carolina is causing fascination in the US.

In Walterboro, a small rural town located in South Carolina (USA), almost never happens anything extraordinary or scandalous. Its residents are not used to hearing plots of cold-blooded murder or accusations of financial scams and drug use.

Much less when it involves one of their most prominent families.

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That is why the people are shocked before the trial against the lawyer alex murdaughaccused of murder his wife and youngest sonas well as defrauding millions of dollars from his family’s law firm, which has operated in the state since 1910.

The trial that has been going on for four weeks has caused fascination among the American public and media.

Murdaugh also faces charges of robbery, lying to police and allegedly planning his own murder to defraud an insurance firm.

The case is also complex because members of the defendant’s family have held positions for decades public the county in which they liveso they were widely known among the community, but also among the authorities of the region.

Alex Murdaugh, The 67-year-old testified Thursday at the trial, denying the murder charges against him.

“I did not shoot my wife or my son at any time,” he said from the dais, acknowledging an opioid addiction.

Dozens of people not only from South Carolina, but also from other states in the country, have come to court to follow the trial live.

The accusations

Maggie Murdaugh, 52, and her son Paul, 22, were shot dead on June 7, 2021 in a kennel located on the family’s 1,700-acre hunting estate, called the Moselle.

Alex Murdaugh alleges that the day of the crime the family spent a “normal” night. He allegedly had dinner with the two victims and then went to take a nap. When he woke up, the defendant says that he did not find his son and wife. He then decided to visit his mother, who suffers from dementia.

After returning to the family hunting lodge, she decided to look for Paul and Maggie at the kennels. It was there, she said, that he discovered they had both been brutally shot to death and called 911.

But the prosecution claims that there are inconsistencies in the lawyer’s statements and points out that the location of his phone data contradicts his version of events. Even the public prosecutor has presented a video taken by his murdered son in which Murdaugh’s voice is heard at the crime scene before the murders.


Murdaugh, prosecutors allege, was stealing millions of dollars from his family’s business in a scheme that spanned a decade.

The murders, they argue, were a desperate attempt to win public sympathy and prevent their financial misdeeds from coming to light.

However, according to the New York Timesthe State has not presented conclusive evidence linking Murdaugh to the crimes because there is no murder weapon, witnesses to what happened, or blood on his clothing.

The bodies of Maggie and Paul were found in the kennel on the family estate.

The bodies of Maggie and Paul were found in the kennel on the family estate.

Meanwhile, the defendant maintains that his wife and son were murdered because the latter was involved in a boat accident in 2019 in which the teenager Mallory Beach died while the young man was driving drunk.

A top lawyer who planned his murder

Alex Murdaugh comes from a powerful dynasty of South Carolina lawyers.

For 86 years, someone in the Murdaugh family has served as the Attorney General for the 14th Judicial Circuit in Hampton County.

The defendant was a prominent and respected lawyer in the city, but that began to unravel in 2021, after the murders of which he is accused.

Later that year, his law firm announced that he had resigned from the firm, allegedly for embezzlement.

Hours later, Murdaugh called 911 and said he had been shot in the head while changing a tire on his car on the side of a road.

Alex Murdaugh during the trial.  (GRACE BEAHM ALFORD/THE POST AND COURIER/POOL)

Alex Murdaugh during the trial. (GRACE BEAHM ALFORD/THE POST AND COURIER/POOL)

But later he recognized that had organized the attack against him so that her 25-year-old son Buster could collect your life insurance. He also admitted to battling an opiate addiction and starting a rehab program.

In the months that followed, his law license was suspended and he was charged with insurance fraud. He also faced separate charges of financial fraud, stemming from allegations that he stole millions in client legal settlements.

Then, in July 2022, he was accused of killing his wife and son. For these charges he could face up to 30 years in prison.

The trial captivates Waterloo

Every morning around 06:00 AM, a crowd begins to gather outside the Colleton County Courthouse to attend the trial.

The case has captivated South Carolina and the entire country.

“It’s the only thing that happens in Walterboro, the only thing that has ever happened in Walterboro,” Cassie Headden said as she waited in line.

Buster, Alex's eldest son, has attended the trial and testified on his father's behalf.  (JOSHUA BOUCHER/THE STATE/POOL COPYRIGHT)

Buster, Alex’s eldest son, has attended the trial and testified on his father’s behalf. (JOSHUA BOUCHER/THE STATE/POOL COPYRIGHT)

Attendees say they are fascinated by both the alleged crimes and the famous southern family’s dramatic fall from grace.

“They ruled this area for years and years, and now it’s all starting to fall apart, at least it seems that way,” said Wally Pregnall, who traveled from Charleston to witness the trial.

Others have come from all over the country – California, Idaho, Wisconsin or Maine – turning this small town in the southern part of the state into a true tourist destination.

Regulars carried snacks and water in clear plastic bags, the only type of bag allowed in court, and carried coats and scarves to keep warm inside the air-conditioned courtroom.

Some bring notebooks, scribbling through the proceedings, having voluntarily given up their mobile phones, which are off-limits to spectators.

“We’ve joked that if John Grisham had written this novel, people would have said he’s gone, because it’s just too unbelievable,” said Walt Flowers, also of Charleston.

Source: Elcomercio

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