West News Wire: Disgraced South Carolina attorney Alex Murdaugh was found guilty by a jury of killing his wife and younger son at the family’s home in 2021.

Following five weeks of testimony from more than 70 witnesses, including Alex Murdaugh himself, who denied the killings but admitted to misleading police and defrauding his clients, the jury rendered its decision after nearly three hours of deliberation on Thursday.

Two counts of murder and two counts of having a weapon while committing a violent crime each resulted in his conviction on all four counts.

For sentencing, the court will meet again on Friday at 9:30 a.m. local time, according to Judge Clifton Newman. For the murder charge, Alex Murdaugh could spend 30 years to life in jail.

Alex Murdaugh, 54, did not appear to display any emotion during the verdict reading. He was placed in handcuffs and silently escorted out of the courtroom.

The verdict proved that “no one in society is above the law,” South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson told reporters outside the courthouse following the verdict.

“It doesn’t matter how prominent you are if you do wrong, if you break the law, if you murder, then justice will be done in South Carolina,” lead prosecutor Creighton Waters told reporters.

The jury visited the family’s estate, Moselle, on Wednesday to see the crime scene ahead of deliberations. The bodies of Margaret Murdaugh, 52, and Paul Murdaugh, 22, were found dead from multiple gunshot wounds near the dog kennels at the family’s estate in June 2021, authorities said.

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Alex Murdaugh, who called 911 to report the discovery, was charged with their murders more than a year later.

Prosecutors claim that Alex Murdaugh, who comes from a legacy of prominent attorneys in the region, killed his wife and son to gain sympathy and distract from his financial wrongdoings.

Meanwhile, the defense has portrayed him as a loving husband and father, and argued that police ignored the possibility that anyone else could have killed them. While testifying, Alex Murdaugh blamed lying to investigators on his addiction to painkillers, which he said caused “paranoid thinking.”

During his nearly four-hour closing argument on Wednesday, Waters declared that Alex Murdaugh was the only person “who had the motive, who had the means, who had the opportunity to commit these crimes” and that his “guilty conduct after these crimes betrays him.”

Waters told the jurors that credibility is important and painted Murdaugh as someone good at lying who was used to anticipating how jurors read things.


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