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Disgraced South Carolina attorney Alex Murdaugh has been indicted for the murders of his wife and son.
South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the latest grand jury indictments Thursday in a joint statement with South Carolina Law Enforcement Division Chief Mark Keel, 13 months after Maggie Murdaugh, 52, and her youngest son Paul, 22, were found shot to death on the family’s Colleton County hunting compound.
“Over the last 13 months, SLED agents and our partners have worked day in and day out to build a case against the person responsible for the murders of Maggie and Paul and to exclude those who were not. At no point did agents lose focus on this investigation. From the beginning I have been clear, the priority was to ensure justice was served. Today is one more step in a long process for justice for Maggie and Paul,” Keel said.
Murdaugh—who is already facing more than 80 criminal counts for a series of alleged financial crimes and drug trafficking—was indicted by a Colleton County grand jury on two counts of murder and two counts of possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime in the deaths of his wife and son.
Wilson declined to comment on the specifics of what they believe links Murdaugh to the crimes, citing his desire to protect the integrity of the ongoing investigation; however, indictments released by authorities confirmed that the victims had been killed with different weapons.
Maggie was killed with a rifle while her youngest son was killed with a shotgun, according to the indictment.
Alex Murdaugh had been the one to place the frantic call to 911 on the night of June 7, 2021, telling the dispatcher as he sobbed and pleaded for help that he had arrived home and discovered the dead bodies of his wife and son near dog kennels on the property.
“It’s bad,” he said, according to a recording previously obtained by Oxygen.com.
As the months progressed, investigators remained tight-lipped about the investigation and no arrests were made, although Murdaugh’s own attorneys acknowledged he was a person of interest in the slayings.
Murdaugh, who continues to maintain his innocence, told authorities he had an alibi for the night Maggie and Paul were killed and had been visiting his mother before returning home to make the grisly discovery.
A source close to the investigation told CNN that investigators began to doubt Murdaugh’s story after allegedly finding blood spatter on his clothing that placed him at the scene of the crime.
According to the source, the blood splatter suggested that Murdaugh had been in close range of at least one of the victims at the time of their death.
Investigators also allegedly recovered time-stamped video and audio from Paul Murdaugh’s phone of Alex Murdaugh talking with his wife around the time of the double homicide, seemingly challenging the timing of his whereabouts that night.
While the footage did not visually show Murdaugh, it picked up a conversation he was having with his wife at the time.
Murdaugh, however, has continued to insist he did not kill his family members.
“Alex wants his family, friends and everyone to know that he did not have anything to do with the murders of Maggie and Paul,” his attorneys Dick Harpootlian and Jim Griffin said in a statement to Oxygen.com Thursday. “He loved them more than anything in the world.”
They went on to suggest that investigators had been singularly focused on Murdaugh throughout the investigation.
“It was very clear from day one that law enforcement and the Attorney General prematurely concluded that Alex was responsible for the murder of his wife and son. But we know that Alex did not have any motive whatsoever to murder them,” they said. “We are immediately filing a motion for a speedy trial, we are requesting that the Attorney General turn over all evidence within 30 days as required by law and we demand to have a trial within 60 days of receiving that evidence.”
The murder charges are just one of a myriad of criminal allegations against Murdaugh, a once prominent attorney who hailed from a prestigious legal family.
He is currently facing more than 80 criminal charges connected to alleged schemes to defraud his legal clients, law firm and others of more than $8.4 million.
Murdaugh is also facing charges connected to a botched plan to take his own life in September and leave his surviving son Buster with $10 million in life insurance benefits. Investigators have alleged that he recruited his former client, Curtis Edward Smith, to shoot him in the head alongside the road once the investigation into his financial affairs began to heat up, but Murdaugh survived the attempt. Smith has previously denied the allegations.
Murdaugh was also indicted last month alongside Smith for charges of drug trafficking and criminal conspiracy.
Earlier this week, Murdaugh was formally disbarred by The Supreme Court of South Carolina after he admitted in various court proceedings and filings that he had “engaged in financial misconduct involving theft of money from his former law firm; that he solicited his own murder to defraud his life insurance carrier; and that is he liable for the theft of $4,305,000 in settlement funds,” the court wrote in its decision.
Murdaugh is currently behind bars on a $7 million bond connected to the previous allegations against him.
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