Who’re the attorneys and decide within the Alex Murdaugh homicide trial?

Disgraced authorized scion Alex Murdaugh is at the moment on trial for the grisly double homicide of his spouse Maggie and son Paul, who had been discovered shot lifeless on the household’s sprawling property in Islandton, South Carolina, on 7 June 2021.

The husband and father – who comes from an extended line of outstanding attorneys in South Carolina – is accused of capturing Paul twice with a shotgun and Maggie 5 instances with an AR-15-style rifle.

Prosecutors declare that he was motivated by desperation to distract from his string of alleged monetary crimes which had been on the point of being uncovered.

For years, the Murdaughs reigned over the native justice system and mingled in highly effective circles.

Now, the brutal double murders have dropped at gentle a collection of scandals surrounding Mr Murdaugh together with unexplained deaths, a multi-million-dollar fraud scheme and a botched hitman plot – in a sprawling saga that touches many throughout the lowcountry.

Right here’s a number of the key gamers within the case:

Alex Murdaugh

Alex Murdaugh, 54, was as soon as a robust determine in Hampton County, South Carolina, the place his household has reigned over the native justice system for nearly a century.

Three generations of the household – his father, grandfather and great-grandfather – all served because the solicitor within the 14th Judicial Circuit solicitor’s workplace. His father Randy held the place till 2006 and was given the best civilian award the Order of the Palmetto by the South Carolina governor in 2018 for his work. Randy died simply three days after Maggie and Paul’s murders.

Because of the Murdaughs’ prominence within the judicial system within the lowcountry, the household held a repute for being highly effective and wielding their affect over issues.

Mr Murdaugh continued with the household custom working as an legal professional within the native prosecutor’s workplace and likewise at his personal legislation agency PMPED (the M standing for Murdaugh).

Alex Murdaugh smiles throughout testimony at his double homicide trial


He was married to spouse Maggie – whom he met at school – and the couple had two sons Buster and Paul.

After the murders of his spouse and son, it transpired that Mr Murdaugh had a two-decade-long opioid habit and he checked into rehab in September 2021.

In July 2022, he was charged with Maggie and Paul’s murders. The identical day, Mr Murdaugh was disbarred from working towards legislation in South Carolina by the state’s Supreme Court docket.

In addition to the homicide costs, he’s additionally dealing with round 100 different costs for a botched hitman plot and a multi-million-dollar fraud scheme – the place he’s accused of embezzling tens of millions of {dollars} from legislation agency shoppers.

Among the many victims are the sons of Gloria Satterfield, the household’s longtime housekeeper who died in a 2018 fall on the Murdaugh residence. An investigation has been reopened into her dying.

Mr Murdaugh can be dealing with a number of civil fits.

Paul Murdaugh

Paul Murdaugh, 22, was the youthful son of Alex and Maggie Murdaugh who, on the time of his dying, was dealing with trial over the dying of Mallory Seashore, 19.

On the night time of 24 February 2019, Paul was allegedly drunk driving the Murdaugh household’s boat with a number of of his associates on board.

The boat crashed into some rocks and threw the passengers overboard.

Seashore’s physique washed up on shore round every week later.

Paul Murdaugh pictured in mugshot for the boat crash

(South Carolina Lawyer Common’s workplace)

In April 2019, Paul was charged with three felonies over Seashore’s dying together with boating beneath the affect and was dealing with as much as 25 years in jail.

Paul was shot twice with a shotgun – as soon as within the chest and as soon as within the shoulder.

Investigators within the boat crash case had no alternative however to drop the fees when he died. Seashore’s household filed a wrongful dying lawsuit towards the Murdaughs – which was lastly settled in January 2023.

Maggie Murdaugh

Maggie was Alex Murdaugh’s spouse and the mom of their two sons Buster and Paul.

The 52-year-old met her husband after they had been each college students on the College of South Carolina.

She was shot 5 instances with an AR-15-style rifle on the night time of seven June 2021.

In accordance with testimony from the Murdaugh housekeeper Blanca Simpson, Maggie was involved with the household’s funds – and feared her husband was not being truthful along with her concerning the extent of their state of affairs.

Ms Simpson testified that Maggie had received upset and confided in her just a few months earlier than the murders, saying that the household was being sued for $30m within the boat crash lawsuit.

Alex and Maggie Murdaugh pictured collectively

(Regulation&Crime/Screenshot )

Maggie advised her that she felt “Alex was not being truthful to her concerning the lawsuit… she mentioned ‘he doesn’t inform me the whole lot’,” testified Ms Simpson.

Maggie’s sister Marian Proctor testified that Mr Murdaugh had an affair about 15 years in the past – and Maggie discovered about it.

Whereas it was years in the past and the couple labored by means of it, she mentioned it “bothered” Maggie and he or she had introduced it up once more across the time of the murders.

She additionally revealed that the household knew about Mr Murdaugh’s opioid abuse.

Buster Murdaugh

Buster Murdaugh is the eldest – and now solely surviving – son of Maggie and Alex Murdaugh.

The 26-year-old has stood by his father all through the rising variety of allegations towards him – even after his arrest for the murders of his brother and mom.

Buster was additionally accused of shopping for alcohol for Paul earlier than the 2019 deadly boat crash.

His title has additionally cropped up in reference to the mysterious dying of Stephen Smith – a 19-year-old who was discovered lifeless in conjunction with a highway in Hampton County in 2015.

Buster has been listed as a possible witness for the defence.

Buster Murdaugh together with his girlfriend throughout his father’s double homicide trial


He has supported his father in court docket day-after-day for the reason that begin of the trial however his apparently dangerous behaviour has cropped up within the courtroom.

In court docket on the week of 6 February, Buster appeared to “flip the fowl” at legal professional Mark Tinsley as he took the witness stand concerning the boat crash lawsuit that he introduced towards Mr Murdaugh.

Choose Clifton Newman has reportedly issued a number of warnings to a number of members of the Murdaugh household about their behaviour in court docket and so they have been moved to the again of the courtroom.

Sources advised FITS Information that when Buster was requested to maneuver to the again of the courtroom, he allegedly kicked over a water bottle in anger.

The decide has warned that he and different relations could possibly be faraway from court docket altogether.

Curtis Smith

Curtis “Cousin Eddie” Smith is Mr Murdaugh’s alleged co-conspirator in a wild botched hitman plot.

The 62-year-old trucker – a former authorized consumer, distant cousin and alleged drug supplier of Mr Murdaugh – was allegedly paid by Mr Murdaugh to shoot him lifeless in order that Buster may get a $10m life insurance coverage windfall.

The saga unfolded on 4 September 2021 – three months on from Maggie and Paul’s murders and in the future after Mr Murdaugh’s legislation agency PMPED accused him of stealing tens of millions of {dollars} from shoppers.

Mr Murdaugh known as 911 to say he had been shot in a drive-by capturing whereas altering a tyre on his automobile alongside a highway in Hampton County.

Curtis Smith pictured in his mugshot

(Colleton County Sheriffs Workplace)

He was handled at a hospital for what police known as a “superficial gunshot wound to the pinnacle,” however his story rapidly unravelled and he confessed to the assisted suicide plot with Mr Smith.

Mr Smith has been charged over the incident.

He was later hit with costs of serving to Mr Murdaugh with a drug and cash laundering ring, with authorities alleging he receieved $2.4m in stolen checks from Mr Murdaugh – a few of it used to to purchase Mr Murdaugh opiates to feed his habit.

In October 2022, Mr Murdaugh’s attorneys claimed that Mr Smith failed a lie detector check when requested concerning the murders of Maggie and Paul.

Mr Smith has been subpoenaed as a possible state witness within the homicide trial.

Russel Laffitte

Russell Laffitte is the previous Palmetto State Financial institution CEO.

In November, he was convicted of monetary fraud costs in connection to Mr Murdaugh’s alleged white collar fraud schemes.

His conviction got here on the premise that he was the co-defendant of Mr Murdaugh in his sprawling multi-million-dollar fraud scheme.

Former Palmetto State Financial institution CEO Russell Laffitte in mugshot

(Kershaw County Detention Middle)

Dick Harpootlian

Dick Harpootlian, 74, is certainly one of Mr Murdaugh’s lead defence attorneys in his homicide trial.

Previous to representing Mr Murdaugh, he has had an extended profession as a prosecutor.

He has prosecuted a number of high-profile instances together with the corruption trial of former College of South Carolina President Jim Holderman and the homicide trial of serial killer Donald “Pee Wee” Gaskins.

In addition to being a outstanding lawyer, Mr Harpootlian can be a state senator, representing South Carolina’s twentieth district.

Jim Griffin

Jim Griffin, 60, is Mr Murdaugh’s different lead defence attorneys in his homicide trial.

Mr Griffin has additionally had an extended profession centered predominantly on working as defence legal professional in white-collar crime instances.

Alex Murdaugh, Maggie Fox, Dick Harpootlian and Jim Griffin discuss whereas on a break through the trial


In addition to the homicide case, each Mr Harpootlian and Mr Griffin are representing Mr Murdaugh in his slew of different costs together with his monetary fraud trial.

The duo – who like Mr Murdaugh attended College of South Carolina Faculty of Regulation – was additionally beforehand employed to signify Paul within the boat crash case.

Creighton Waters

Creighton Waters is the lead prosecutor within the homicide case towards Mr Murdaugh.

Because the chief prosecutor for the state’s grand jury, he has labored for the South Carolina Lawyer Common’s Workplace for greater than 24 years.

His case towards Mr Murdaugh is centred on the speculation that the disgraced legal professional killed his spouse and son to distract from his string of alleged scandals and monetary crimes that had been on the point of being uncovered.

Prosecutor Creighton Waters questions witness Chris Wilson through the trial


Choose Clifton Newman

South Carolina Circuit Courts Choose Clifton Newman is the decide presiding over the high-profile homicide trial.

He was first elected to the court docket by the South Carolina Common Meeting in 2000 and was re-elected in 2021, together with his time period attributable to finish in 2027.

All through the trial, the decide has largely sided with the prosecution in a collection of motions and objections – together with permitting the state to convey proof of Mr Murdaugh’s monetary crimes as a doable motive for the murders.

Choose Clifton Newman presides over Alex Murdaugh’s double homicide trial


Nevertheless, he has additionally awarded some massive wins to the defence – together with ruling that a number of witnesses can not convey proof concerning the roadside capturing incident and that Maggie’s sister couldn’t testify about Mr Murdaugh’s alleged affair a number of years in the past.

The decide then did a u-turn on the roadside capturing testimony on 15 February, after the defence introduced the incident up – paving the way in which for the state to additionally enter proof.

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