Disgraced lawyer Alex Murdaugh convicted of murder in shootings of wife, son

Walterboro: Disgraced South Carolina lawyer Alex Murdaugh has been convicted of murder in the shooting deaths of his wife and son in a case that chronicled the unravelling of a powerful Southern family with tales of privilege, greed and addiction.

In a case that has gripped America’s attention for nearly two years, the 12-person jury deliberated for less than three hours before finding Murdaugh guilty of two counts of murder at the end of a six-week trial.

Alex Murdaugh cries as prosecutor Creighton Waters describes the murder of Murdaugh’s wife and son during closing arguments in Murdaugh’s double murder trial .Credit:AP

Murdaugh, 54, faces 30 years to life in prison without parole when he is sentenced, which in South Carolina is typically right after the verdict but can be delayed if a judge chooses.

The scion of an influential legal family in an area west of Charleston, had pleaded not guilty, though he admitted lying about his alibi and to an array of financial crimes in confessions that dented his credibility with the jury.

The case has drawn intense media coverage given the family’s immense political power in and around Colleton County, where the trial took place.

For decades until 2006, family members served as the leading prosecutor in the area, and Murdaugh was a prominent personal injury attorney in the Deep South state.

Throughout the trial, prosecutors sought to portray Murdaugh as a serial liar and argued that only he had the means and the opportunity to commit the murders.

Prosecutors said he gunned down his wife and son to distract from a litany of financial crimes, including the theft of millions of dollars from his law partners and clients – money used to feed a years-long addiction to opioids and support an expensive lifestyle.

More to come

AP, Reuters

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