Jury selection begins Monday in the trial of disgraced South Carolina legal scion Alex Murdaugh, accused in the June 2021 murders of his wife Maggie and younger son Paul on the family’s hunting estate, Moselle.
A judge decided Monday morning that no live feed would be available for jury selection, WCBD reported.
Prosecutors say Murdaugh killed Maggie and Paul to hide and distract from the billowing fraud and financial crimes that were uncovered in the course of the murder investigation. Separate from the murder charges, Murdaugh faces dozens of counts related to his alleged embezzlement of millions of dollars from both clients and his law firm, which was founded by his great-great grandfather more than a century ago, as CrimeOnline has reported.
The trial on those charges, however, will have to wait.
Prosecutors and investigators have been tightlipped about their case, although court filings have revealed some ideas about what evidence they intend to present. There’s purportedly a Snapchat video sent by Paul Murdaugh to his friends about an hour before he was killed and a T-shirt Alex Murdaugh was wearing that may have had blood spatter and not contact tranfer on it, indicating he was there at the time of the shootings.
Murdaugh has pleaded not guilty, and his attorneys released a statement on the eve of the trial saying they are “fully prepared to challenge the State’s allegations, and to demonstrate the weaknesses in the State’s case,” according to WTOC.
“Alex looks forward to this opportunity to clear his name of these heinous charges so that the Attorney General can finally begin looking for the actual killer or killers of Alex’s beloved wife and son,” the attorneys wrote.
Just how “beloved” Murdaugh considered his wife and son at the time of their deaths may also be part of the trial. There have been reports that Maggie and Alex were having trouble in their marriage, that Maggie may have been seeking a divorce, and that the couple was living separately. Maggie texted a friend on her way to Moselle — to meet Alex — on the night of the murders that he was acting “fish” and was “up to something.”
Paul was awaiting trial for his role in a drunk boating crash that killed one of his friends, Mallory Beach. After the murders, investigators learned that Alex Murdaugh may have interfered in the boating investigation in an attempt to steer blame away from his son. Murdaugh’s other son, Buster, and Maggie Murdaugh’s estate recently settled a wrongful death lawsuit from Beach’s family, leaving Alex Murdaugh and the convenience store that sold alcohol to Paul Murdaugh, who was using his mother’s credit card and his older brother’s identification.
Alex Murdaugh was also charged in a “suicide for hire” scheme — he allegedly hired a former client to kill him so Buster Murdaugh could claim a hefty life insurance payout.
For the latest true crime and justice news, subscribe to the ‘Crime Stories with Nancy Grace’ podcast.
[Featured image: Alex Murdaugh/handout]