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Alex Murdaugh's Roadside Shooting Gave Him Significant Head Trauma, Attorney Says

The police report into beleaguered widower Alex Murdaugh's roadside shooting was inaccurate — he had "an entry and exit wound, a skull fracture, and minor brain bleeding in two places," his lawyer said.

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The police incident report regarding beleaguered South Carolina legal dynasty scion Alex Murdaugh’s Labor Day weekend roadside shooting is inaccurate, omits the scale of his injury, and fails to mention that a good Samaritan aided him after he was shot, his attorney has reportedly said. 

On Saturday afternoon, Murdaugh, 53, was hospitalized with a gunshot wound to the head. The Hampton County Sheriff’s Office released a 3-page incident report on the shooting on Thursday, which was scant on information on exactly what happened along Old Salkehatchie Road but indicated that Murdaugh did not suffer a “visible injury” and was not using alcohol or drugs. 

Reports indicated Murdaugh, who called the police on June 7 to report his wife and son had been shot to death at their massive property, was changing a tire on his car just before 2 p.m. when he said he was shot by unidentified suspects. On Friday, press outlets reported his attorney, Jim Griffin, said that the incident report is inaccurate and Murdaugh had "an entry and exit wound, a skull fracture, and minor brain bleeding in two places."

"When the deputies arrived, Alex Murdaugh was not at the scene. He was picked up by a good Samaritan who drove him toward the hospital,” Griffin told People. "They ultimately met up with the ambulance on the highway, where he was examined and because of the extent of his injuries, the EMTs call for him to be airlifted to the hospital. He had significant head trauma and there was blood at the scene, which is indicated by the evidence cones placed in the roadway. I understand that most of the cones mark blood.”

Griffin suggested while speaking to the press that Hampton County police ticked the “no" box under "visible injury” on their report because Murdaugh was not at the scene when they arrived.

Griffin also told the news outlet that Murdaugh’s gunshot wound was not self-inflicted.

An email and call placed to Griffin by Oxygen.com on Friday to enquire about the inconsistencies in the report and Murdaugh and his surviving son's whereabouts were not immediately returned.

While speaking with local news outlet the Island Packet. Hampton County Sheriff T.C. Smalls said that a "computer error” likely led to the incorrect box being ticked on the report.

"He did have an injury," Smalls reportedly said. "That probably was a mistake.”

The Hampton County Sheriff’s Office has now revised the report to reflect Murdaugh had an "other major injury” and now indicates that it’s unknown whether Murdaugh was using alcohol or drugs at the time.

For months, Murdaugh has been a central figure in a shocking double murder case after he reported his wife, Margaret Murdaugh, 52, and their son, 22-year-old son. Paul Murdaugh, had been shot and killed on their property. Last week, he resigned from his law firm, Peters, Murdaugh, Parker, Eltzroth and Detrick PA, amid an ongoing embezzlement scandal and then announced that he will be entering rehab, reportedly for opioid addiction. 

At that point, Murdaugh issued an apology to “everyone I’ve hurt, including my family, friends and colleagues.”

The Murdaugh double murder and its ongoing aftermath have put a national spotlight on a series of deadly incidents involving the family and accusations of cover-up attempts over the past several years. The Murdaughs has deep connections in South Carolina's lowcountry, with multiple family members working in leadership roles as prosecutors in the 14th judicial circuit over generations, as well as the private firm from which Murdaugh has just resigned; his brother, Randolph Murdaugh, remains at the firm.

At the time of his death, Paul Murdaugh was facing three felony counts, including boating under the influence, after a February 2019 incident in which 19-year-old Mallory Beach was thrown from the boat he was operating and died. Last month, the 2020 deposition of Connor Cook, Paul Murdaugh's friend who was injured in the crash, was made public. In the deposition, Cook stated that while he was in the hospital being treated for a broken jaw, Alex Murdaugh approached him in a corridor, at which point Cook was allegedly told by him to “keep my mouth shut and tell them I didn't know who was driving” the boat at the time of the accident.

While being deposed, Cook indicated that unsubstantiated rumors about the Murdaughs led him to comply with his friend’s father’s request.

Those rumors have intensified after it was widely reported that Alex Murdaugh had settled a wrongful death claim in the 2019 death of the family's housekeeper, 57-year-old Gloria Satterfield, who died after what court documents call a “trip and fall” in Hampton county. Murdaugh's insurer paid out a sum of $500,000 for personal liability and $5,000 in a medical payment, according to the settlement document

Meanwhile, in June, the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division announced it has opened an investigation into the 2015 death of teenager Stephen Smith, who was found dead on the side of the road about 10 miles from the Murdaugh compound in 2015. SLED spokesman Tommy Crosby said the decision to open the case was “based upon information gathered during the course of the double murder investigation of Paul and Maggie Murdaugh."

No evidence has emerged that links any members of the Murdaugh family to Smith or Satterfield’s deaths. The investigation into the deaths of the Murdaughs is ongoing, as is litigation related to the death of Beach.

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