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Court sentences prominent lawyer to life imprisonment for killing wife, son



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A jury in Walterboro, South Carolina, United States of America (USA), on Friday sentenced a prominent South Carolina lawyer, Alex Murdaugh, to life imprisonment for killing his wife and son on their hunting estate.

The presiding Judge Clifton Newman had sentenced Murdaugh, a renowned member of an elite family of judges and attorneys, to consecutive life terms without parole for the June 7, 2021 murders of his son Paul and his wife Maggie.

Dismissing Murdaugh’s claims of innocence as “not credible,” the judge told the attorney he must “see Paul and Maggie during the night times when you’re attempting to go to sleep.” The Judge insisted, “I’m sure they come and visit you.” Murdaugh had responded: “All day and every night.”

The jury had deliberated for less than three hours before finding Murdaugh guilty on Thursday after a six-week televised trial.

The prosecution counsel had narrated that Murdaugh shot his wife and son after realizing his years of stealing millions of dollars from his law firm and from clients to feed his hidden opioid addiction was about to go public.

The 54-year-old Murdaugh had briefly addressed the court during the sentencing in a packed courtroom that included his surviving son, Buster, who testified in his defense.

“I’m innocent. I would never hurt my wife Maggie. And I would never hurt my son Paw Paw,” he said, using his son’s nickname.

“It might not have been you,” the judge responded. “It might have been the monster you become when you take 15, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60 opioid pills.”

Prosecutor Creighton Waters urged the judge to impose the maximum of life in prison on a man he called a “cunning manipulator.”

“The depravity, the callousness, the selfishness of these crimes, are stunning,” Waters said. “He violated the trust of so many, including his friends, his family, his partners, his profession, and most of all, Maggie and Paul.”

During the sentencing, the judge noted that Murdaugh’s family had “controlled justice in this community for over a century” and “many have received the death penalty — probably for lesser conduct” than in this case.

Murdaugh’s 22-year-old son Paul was killed with a shotgun and his 52-year-old wife Maggie with an assault rifle the family used to hunt wild pigs on their sprawling property.


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