Murdaugh Murder Trial


NBC News: Alex Murdaugh Found Guilty of Murder

Photo of Alex, Paul and Margaret Murdaugh

In 2019, South Carolina was horrified by the death of 19-year-old Mallory Beach, who was killed in a boating accident. It was late at night after a party, and a friend group of six teens had been drinking heavily. Paul Murdaugh, son of Alex Murdaugh, was the one that insisted on driving the boat even though he was highly intoxicated. The boat crashed, leading to the disappearance and eventual death of Mallory. Coroners determined that she had died from blunt force trauma to the head and drowning after being flung from the boat.


Paul Murdaugh was a young man in a family who owned the best law firm in town. The Murdaugh family was the law, sometimes even above the law. After the boat incident, Alex Murdaugh’s only concern was that his son was found innocent. According to Style Caster, “Paul was charged with three felony counts of boating under the influence, including causing the death of Mallory and seriously injuring two other passengers.” Paul was out on bail but sadly would never live to see his trial time in court as he and his mother were murdered on June 7, 2021. 


At 10:07 p.m. June 7, 2021, Alex Murdaugh calls the police to file a report that he has found the bodies of his wife and son near their dog kennels. They were dead before the police arrived due to being shot multiple times each. This was the beginning of a long road for Murdaugh, as he went on to have several run-ins with the law until the South Carolina Supreme Court finally had enough. He was charged with 84 criminal charges and 11 lawsuits. 


Before the death of his wife and son, even before his son’s involvement in Beach’s death, the Murdaugh family was no stranger to terrible things. On Feb. 26, 2018, the family’s maid, Gloria Satterfield, died due to allegedly tripping over the family dogs and falling down the front steps of the house. And Stephen Smith was found dead in the middle of a road in 2015. His death was eventually connected to the Murdaugh family as it was accused that Buster Murdaugh and some friends may have been the ones to cause his death.


According to NBC News, between June 7, 2021 and July 13, 2022, Murdaugh claimed to have been injured in a roadside shooting and had a superficial head wound. On Sept. 8, Murdaugh’s law license was suspended and on Sept. 14, it was found that Murdaugh had hired a man to kill him. So his older son, Buster Murdaugh, could collect on his $10 million life insurance policy. The man who was hired, found to be Curtis Edward Smith, was arrested for charges of assisted suicide, assault and battery, insurance fraud and conspiracy to commit insurance fraud. Over several months, Murdaugh was arrested several times and charged with multiple things such as insurance fraud. On July 14, a grand jury announced that Murdaugh is facing double murder charges in the death of his wife and son, Margaret and Paul Murdaugh. 


March 2, 2023, Murdaugh is found guilty in his trial of double homicide. He is punished with two consecutive life sentences for the two lives that he took.