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33 views • March 3, 2023

Former South Carolina Attorney Sentenced to Life for Killing Wife and Son

NTD News
NTD News
Richard "Alex" Murdaugh, a former attorney in South Carolina, was sentenced to two consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole on Friday, a day after he was found guilty of killing his wife and son on their family estate in 2021. Prosecutors said Murdaugh's 52-year-old wife, Maggie, and 22-year-old son, Paul, were killed at close range near the dog kennels on their family estate on the evening of June 7, 2021. Before Judge Clifton Newman began sentencing proceedings, Murdaugh maintained that he was innocent when being offered the opportunity to make a final appeal. "I respect this court, but I'm innocent," Murdaugh said. "I would never, under any circumstances, hurt my wife Maggie and I would never ... hurt my son Paw Paw," referencing his son by his nickname. Newman responded that "it might not have been you," adding that it "might have been the monster" Murdaugh had become after a years-long addiction to opioids. "When you take 15, 20, 30, 40, 60, opioid pills, maybe you become another person, I've seen that before," Newman said. "The person standing before me was not the person who committed the crime, though it's the same individual." 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. They 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. Friday's sentencing hearing closes a six-week trial and one of the most high-profile criminal cases in the history of South Carolina. Prosecutor Creighton Waters said none of the victims of the crime—members of Murdaugh's family and the parents and relatives of his wife—wished to speak on behalf of the prosecution before sentencing. "The depravity, the callousness, the selfishness of these crimes are stunning. The lack of remorse and the effortless way in which he is, including here, sitting right over there in this witness stand—your honor, a man like that, a man like this man, should never be allowed to be among free, law-abiding citizens," Waters said.
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