After weeks of testimonies, witness statements, and evidence review, jury members in the Murdaugh Murders trial have rendered their verdict — and it’s one few saw coming.
Since January 2023, disgraced South Carolina attorney Alex Murdaugh has been on trial for the brutal killings of his wife, Maggie Murdaugh, and his youngest son, Paul Murdaugh. Prosecutors made the case that Alex murdered the pair in cold blood in an effort to delay court cases related to a fatal boating accident that Paul was involved in years prior, and to cover up the fact that he’d been stealing millions from the clients at his family’s law firm. At one point, Murdaugh even took the stand, admitting he’d lied to investigators about his whereabouts on the night of the murder and purposefully misled South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) agents about the timeline of events.
Still, those covering the case were skeptical that the emphasis on Murdaugh’s many financial crimes — including stealing the million-dollar life insurance settlement of his longtime housekeeper Gloria Satterfield, who died under mysterious circumstances on his property — was enough to convince jury members he was capable of murdering his wife and child.
What Was The Verdict In The Murdaugh Murders Trial?
After closing arguments, courtroom experts expected the 12-person jury to deliberate for a period of a few days before a verdict was reached. Some speculated we wouldn’t know the outcome of the trial until next week. But, after just three hours of reviewing the evidence, the jury returned (via NPR) with a guilty verdict, with all 12 members confirming they believed Murdaugh killed both Maggie and Paul using two types of firearms, dispelling the theory that two shooters were present on the night of the murders.
How Long Was Alex Murdaugh Sentenced For?
Less than 24 hours after the jury rendered its verdict, Judge Clifton Newman sentenced Murdaugh to two consecutive life sentences for the murders of his wife and son. Murdaugh was given the opportunity to address the court where he continued to plead his innocence saying, “I would never hurt my wife Maggie, and I would never hurt my son, Paw-Paw,” but Newman was not moved by his statement. Instead, the judge rendered a scathing statement against Murdaugh saying he had become a “monster,” and had all but ruined his family’s legacy.
“Where will it end?” Newman questioned. “It’s already ended for many. Within your own soul, you have to deal with that. 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.”
Murdaugh’s defense team has said they plan to appeal the verdict while fighting the 99 other counts of embezzlement, money laundering, and evading taxes raised against him by former clients and the state.