South Carolina prosecutors alleged that jailed ex-attorney Alex Murdaugh tried to claim his wife and son’s slayings last year were related to a fatal 2019 boating accident involving his late son.
Murdaugh, 64, was charged in July with killing Maggie and Paul Murdaugh, 52 and 22, who were found fatally shot at the family’s lodge in Colleton County in July 2021. In a new state filing obtained by the Daily Mail, prosecutors wrote that Alex immediately claimed that their murders were connected to Paul’s drunk boating accident, which led to the death of Mallory Beach, 19.
In 2019, Beach was ejected from a boat and killed when Paul reportedly crashed his boat into Archer’s Creek Bridge in Beaufort County. A fisherman discovered Beach’s body a week later after the deadly crash that injured five others.
Paul was charged with felony boating under the influence in connection with Beach’s death, but he was murdered before he could face trial.
Despite Alex’s claims, prosecutors concluded Alex killed his wife and son last year to distract from mounting accusations that the former lawyer stole $9 million from clients and his family law firm.
Alex is believed to have acted alone in the slayings, allegedly shooting Maggie with a rifle and killing Paul with a rifle. He was reportedly filmed driving away from the lodge an hour before he called 911 to report their deaths.
In September 2021, months after Paul and Maggie’s slayings, Alex suffered superficial head wounds when he allegedly had former client Curtis Smith, 61, shoot him in the head so his surviving son, Buster, would receive a $10 million insurance payout. A day before the shooting, Alex was forced out of his family law firm amid allegations he misappropriated funds.
Two days after the apparent botched suicide, Alex announced he was entering rehabilitation for drugs. Shortly thereafter, he was charged with insurance fraud in connection with the September 2021 suicide-for-hire plot and released on bail.
However, in October 2021, Alex was rearrested upon leaving a rehabilitation center in Florida for allegedly stealing $4.3 million from the estate of his former housekeeper, Gloria Satterfield, who suffered a fatal fall on his property in February 2018. In that case, he was accused of stealing insurance payouts that were intended for Satterfield’s family. Authorities plan to exhume her body amid an ongoing investigation regarding her death.
In addition to the murder charges, Alex faces more than 100 criminal counts related to fraud. In June 2022, Alex and Smith were indicted for allegedly purchasing and distributing oxycodone in multiple counties. Earlier this month, Alex was indicted for tax evasion for allegedly failing to claim the $6 million he allegedly earned through illegal acts between 2011 and 2019.
Alex was charged with Maggie and Paul’s murders days after he was formally disbarred by the South Carolina Supreme Court. He remains jailed on $7 million bail. His murder trial is expected to begin in late January.
For the latest true crime and justice news, subscribe to the ‘Crime Stories with Nancy Grace’ podcast. Listen to the latest episode:
[Featured image: Alex Murdaugh/Hampton County Sheriff’s Office]