Paul Murdaugh, the 22-year-old son of a prominent South Carolina family shot dead alongside his mother earlier this month, had been awaiting trial on charges related to the death of a woman killed in a boat crash in 2019.
Mallory Beach, 19, was thrown from the boat when it crashed into bridge pilings early in the morning on February 24, 2019. Her body was found a week later.
Police investigating the incident said there were six underage people in the boat that night, all “grossly intoxicated,” as CrimeOnline previously reported.
Murdaugh was indicted in April on charges of boating under the influence causing death and two counts of boating under the influence causing great bodily injury and pleaded not guilty, WJCL reported. The charges were dropped after he and his mother, Maggie Murdaugh, were found shot to death at their hunting lodge on June 7.
Beach’s family, however, filed a wrongful death suit in March 2019 against a Beaufort County bar and convenience store as well as two homeowners the suit says served the six underage drinkers alcohol that night. The suit has since been amended to name only Paul Murdaugh’s father and brother and Parker’s convenience store.
A mediation in the civil lawsuit failed on June 4, and depositions were filed two weeks ago.
Anthony Cook’s deposition says that the six friends attended an oyster roast on Paukie Island on February 23, 2019, traveling there by boat. Adults at the party asked the group not to take the boat back because of the foggy conditions, with some offering to drive them home. Paul Murdaugh, however, insisted on driving his boat back, and the group left at around midnight.
According to the deposition, Cook, one of the group, offered to call an Uber for the group, knowing that Paul was drunk. But the rest of the group refused, choosing to ride back with the intoxicated Murdaugh.
The group argued over stopping for one last drink after leaving the oyster roast, with those wanted to stop — Murdaugh and another man — eventually winning the argument. The group stopped off at a bar in Beaufort, where Murdaugh and his friend went into a bar while the other four waited.
When they returned, the group continued to argue. Murdaugh got behind the wheel and pushed the boat full throttle, leading to the crash.
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[Featured image: Mallory Beach/Facebook]