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Disgraced South Carolina attorney Alex Murdaugh has pleaded not guilty to murdering his wife and youngest son.
Murdaugh appeared in court Wednesday in shackles with a shaved head to enter the plea at a bond hearing in Colleton County after being indicted last week by a grand jury for the murders of his wife Maggie and son Paul, according to WHNS.
When asked how he pleaded to the charges, Murdaugh—who donned a white shirt and khaki pants—responded “not guilty.”
Murdaugh’s defense attorney Dick Harpootlian agreed to no bond in the case, acknowledging that his client was already being held on a $7 million bond in connection to a series of alleged financial crimes and cannot afford that amount as it is, according to The Associated Press.
According to Harpootlian, Murdaugh continues to maintain his innocence and hopes to receive a speedy trial because he believes his family’s killers are still at large and wants to clear his name so the investigation can continue.
Prosecutor Creighton Waters said the state is also ready to move forward, but noted that all the evidence uncovered during the year-long investigation points directly to Murdaugh as the killer.
Both sides agreed to keep details of the case secret in an effort to preserve the integrity of the case and reduce the risk of polluting a potential jury pool.
They noted the intense media attention that has surrounded the case since Maggie, 52, and Paul, 22, were found shot to death on the family’s Colleton County hunting compound on June 7, 2021.
Alex Murdaugh placed a seemingly anguished call to 911 that night, telling the dispatcher that he had come home to discover the bodies near the dog kennels on the family’s property.
“It’s bad,” he sobbed in audio previously obtained by Oxygen.com.
While investigators have released few details about the shocking double homicide, an indictment released last week confirmed that Maggie had been shot to death with a rifle while her son Paul was killed with a shotgun.
Murdaugh has continued to insist, through his attorneys, that he did not kill his wife and son.
“Alex wants his family, friends and everyone to know that he did not have anything to do with the murders of Maggie and Paul,” attorneys Dick Harpootlian and Jim Griffin said in a statement to Oxygen.com last week. “He loved them more than anything in the world.”
Murdaugh, who was recently disbarred by the state’s supreme court, is also 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.
He’s also facing charges connected to a botched suicide plan to take his own life in September and drug trafficking.
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