Paul Murdaugh’s girlfriend has not only alleged that the murdered 22-year-old was abusive but that he also had a problem with alcohol prior to the deadly 2019 boat crash.
Morgan Doughty, 23, recalled an instance in which Paul kicked her before grabbing her by the throat and punching her.
“He got on top of me, and I just remember him screaming, ‘I told you to shut up.’ Just holding down my throat. I just remember then he punched me really hard in the knee,” she said.
Doughty also claimed that Paul’s parents, Alex and Maggie, regularly doled out alcohol despite them being minors.
“Whenever I came around the Murdaughs’, it was very normal for them to be drinking and have a lot of alcohol always stocked in the house,” she said.
Doughty levied the allegations in a three-part Netflix docuseries called, “Murdaugh Murders: A Southern Scandal.” She went on to claim that Paul had issues with alcohol prior to the 2019 boat crash that killed Mallory Beach. According to her, Paul was driving drunk in 2017 when he drove his truck into a ditch. Doughty said she tried to call 911 but Paul stopped her and had her call his father and Randolph, his grandfather.
Alex, Randolph, and Maggie allegedly arrived at the scene to get rid of guns and beer cans in the truck. They reportedly admonished Doughty for trying to call 911 as it could have led to legal trouble for Paul.
Months later, in 2019, Paul reportedly crashed his boat into Archer’s Creek Bridge in Beaufort County. Beach, 19, was ejected from the boat and killed; five other people aboard were injured. A fisherman discovered Beach’s body a week later. Paul was charged with felony boating under the influence in connection with Beach’s death, but he was killed before he could face trial.
During the documentary, Doughty also revealed that the Murdaughs’ housekeeper, Gloria Satterfield, found bags of pills belonging to Alex and alerted Paul. The same year, Satterfield suffered a fatal fall on the family’s property.
Paul and Maggie were found fatally shot on the family property in June 2021. Alex Murdaugh is on trial for their deaths, with prosecutors claiming he was motivated to kill his wife and son because he wanted to distract from various financial crimes.
Alex is believed to have acted alone in the 2021 slayings, allegedly shooting Maggie with a rifle and killing Paul with a shotgun on their Colleton County family property. He was reportedly filmed driving away from the lodge an hour before he called 911 to report their deaths. He allegedly carried out the double slaying after visiting his mother.
Last week, Colleton County detective Laura Rutland testified that there were no footprints located in the blood near Paul Murdaugh’s body even though Alex claimed he turned him over twice and checked his pulse.
Rutland also testified that she saw no blood on Alex — including on his shoes and hands. During cross-examination, Rutland would not say if, to her, Alex appeared to be the person who had just killed his son on their family’s property.
SLED agent Melinda Worley said she swabbed 10 different areas in Alex’s car and all of them returned presumptive positive results. She said she also photographed a 16-gauge shotgun shell located on the rear floorboard of his vehicle.
Prosecutors said cell phone data and forensic evidence tie Alex to the slayings. Meanwhile, Alex’s attorney, Dick Harpootlian, said the cell phone records were incomplete and asserted that Alex would be covered in blood if he killed his wife and son at close range. Harpootlian said no blood was found on Alex’s clothing, although testimony and a video shot by Paul Murdaugh indicated Murdaugh changed clothes between the time he had dinner with his family that night and when he called 911 to report finding their bodies.
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. In December 2022, 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.
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