Former South Carolina lawyer Richard “Alex” Murdaugh was sentenced Friday to 2 consecutive life sentences after being convicted of murdering his spouse and son.
Maggie Murdaugh, 52, and Paul Murdaugh, 22, had been killed close to canine kennels on the household’s dwelling in June 2021. After listening to greater than 5 weeks of testimony from over 75 witnesses — together with Murdaugh himself — and visiting the crime scene, a jury took lower than three hours Thursday to seek out Murdaugh, 54, responsible of two counts of homicide and two counts of possession of a weapon within the dedication of a violent crime.
Previous to sentencing, Choose Clifton Newman mentioned he didn’t query the prosecution’s determination to not pursue the demise penalty on this case, however mirrored on the truth that Murdaugh’s household has prosecuted individuals who might have acquired the demise penalty for lesser crimes.
“Within the homicide of your spouse Maggie Murdaugh, I sentence you for a time period for the remainder of your pure life,” Newman mentioned. “For the homicide of Paul Murdaugh, who you most likely liked a lot, I sentence you to jail for murdering him, for the remainder of your pure life.”
Murdaugh’s attorneys say they intend to attraction
Alex Murdaugh’s protection attorneys Richard Harpootlian and Jim Griffin advised reporters Friday they intend to file an attraction. The attorneys mentioned the strongest grounds for attraction are the decide’s determination to confess proof associated to Murdaugh’s alleged monetary crimes.
“And we really feel strongly that if we lose in the state courts we’ll have success in federal court docket,” Griffin mentioned.
Harpootlian mentioned the alleged monetary crimes proof “stripped away” Murdaugh’s credibility. He added the proof that Murdaugh stole and lied wasn’t about motive, however Murdaugh’s character.
“So because of this, our choices had been restricted … He at all times needed to take the stand,” he mentioned. “However as soon as that info was in, I imply he needed to take the stand to elucidate the kennel video, the lie, if you’ll.”
Harpootlian once more criticized proof that was offered to the grand jury and the investigation performed by the South Carolina Legislation Enforcement Division.
“It was a comedy of error by way of forensics on this,” he mentioned.
When requested why Murdaugh’s son Buster didn’t converse throughout sentencing, Griffin mentioned it will not have made a distinction in Murdaugh’s sentence. Griffin mentioned Murdaugh’s household “steadfastly” helps him.
South Carolina Legislation Enforcement Division chief: ‘Right this moment isn’t the top’
At some point after Murdaugh’s protection lawyer criticized regulation enforcement’s investigation of the murders in his closing argument, the chief of the South Carolina Legislation Enforcement Division mentioned his brokers “labored tirelessly for the previous 21 months to make sure justice was served for Maggie and Paul.”
“It’s all performed below fixed scrutiny, fixed stress,” Mark Keel mentioned.
Murdaugh has been charged with greater than 100 different counts associated to alleged crimes together with cash laundering, tax evasion, and drug trafficking which might carry a penalty of greater than seven centuries of jail time.
“Right this moment isn’t the top,” Keel mentioned. “It’s the subsequent step in a protracted highway to justice for each one that has been victimized by Alex Murdaugh.”
Choose Clifton Newman criticizes Murdaugh’s testimony as not credible
Newman mentioned he might think about the “looming storm” lead prosecutor Creighton Waters described Murdaugh confronted the day of the murders. He mentioned Murdaugh’s testimony, during which Murdaugh mentioned he was not involved about being confronted for stealing cash and an upcoming listening to within the case related to a 2019 deadly boat crash involving Paul, was not credible or plausible.
“So in the event you made any such arguments as a lawyer, you’ll lose each case,” Newman mentioned.
Choose references Murdaugh’s opioid habit
When Murdaugh later mentioned he was harmless, Newman referenced Murdaugh’s opioid habit.
“And it may not have been you,” Newman mentioned. “It might need been the monster you grow to be once you take 15, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60 opioid tablets. Possibly you grow to be one other individual.”
Murdaugh addresses the court docket: ‘I am harmless’
None of Maggie or Paul’s relations delivered a sufferer affect assertion, however Murdaugh briefly addressed the court docket earlier than he was sentenced.
“I am harmless. I might by no means harm my spouse Maggie and I might by no means harm my son ‘Pau Pau,'” Murdaugh mentioned, referring to his son by a nickname that he used throughout his testimony.
Choose says ‘appeals are most likely anticipated’
Newman mentioned it was “particularly heartbreaking” for him to see Murdaugh go within the media from being a grieving father and husband to the individual convicted for his or her homicide, from lawyer to witness.
Newman mentioned Murdaugh “engaged in such duplicitous conduct” earlier than he was indicted, on the witness stand and within the courtroom.
“And clearly as appeals are most likely anticipated or completely anticipated, I might not anticipate a confession of any sort,” Newman mentioned.
Prosecutor after verdict: ‘Justice was performed’
Waters mentioned in his closing argument Wednesday the state’s circumstantial proof confirmed Murdaugh had the means, motive and alternative to commit the crime and his lies after the killings confirmed his guilt. Waters mentioned Murdaugh, a member of a distinguished authorized dynasty that ran a prosecutors workplace in Hampton County for greater than 80 years, killed his household to forestall his alleged monetary crimes from being uncovered and ruining his household’s legacy and his profitable regulation apply.
“Justice was performed at the moment,” Waters mentioned a information convention after the decision. “It doesn’t matter who your loved ones is. It doesn’t matter how a lot cash you may have … If you happen to do incorrect, in the event you break the regulation, in the event you homicide, then justice can be performed in South Carolina.”
Murdaugh repeatedly denied killing his household when he took the stand in his personal protection final week, however admitted to mendacity to investigators about his whereabouts the night time of the murders. Murdaugh initially advised police he was not on the household’s canine kennels earlier than discovering the our bodies there, however his voice was captured on a video taken on his son’s cellphone minutes earlier than prosecutors imagine the killings occurred.
Murdaugh additionally admitted stealing thousands and thousands from his purchasers and regulation agency in addition to making an attempt to orchestrate his personal demise in what investigators known as a botched life insurance coverage fraud scheme.
Murdaugh’s attorneys criticize prosecution’s proof
In the meantime, Murdaugh’s attorneys criticized the prosecution’s lack of direct proof and principle of motive and argued regulation enforcement didn’t correctly examine the case and fabricated proof towards Murdaugh.
Contributing: Michael DeWitt, Jr., Greenville Information
This text initially appeared on USA TODAY: Alex Murdaugh sentencing: Ex-attorney sentenced to life in jail
Supply By https://r.search.yahoo.com/_ylt=AwrO6QWYSAJk_MgHBrvQtDMD;_ylu=Y29sbwNncTEEcG9zAzEEdnRpZAMEc2VjA3Ny/RV=2/RE=1677900056/RO=10/RU=httpspercent3Apercent2Fpercent2Fnews.yahoo.compercent2Fformer-south-carolina-attorney-alex-144327767.htmlpercent3Ffrpercent3Dsycsrp_catchall/RK=2/RS=71FRhw15IdlQeEs3pXlsZ0RHvX8-