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Members of a prominent South Carolina legal family are confident “justice will be served” after a mother and son were found shot to death at their home last week.
Maggie Murdaugh, 52, and her 22-year-old son Paul Murdaugh were found dead the evening of June 7 at the family’s hunting lodge near Islandton, S.C. Colleton County Coroner Richard Harvey told Oxygen.com the mother and son were both shot to death.
“Both died of multiple gunshot wounds and both are being handled as homicides,” he said, referring all additional questions to the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, who is handling the investigation.
Harvey also told the Island Packet that both victims died between 9 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. on June 7.
The bodies of the victims were discovered near some dog kennels on the property, NBC News reports.
Tangie Peeples Ohmer, a friend of the family, told Fox News that she spoke to a member of the Murdaugh family on Sunday who said they “felt confident that justice would be served,” in the case.
A source close to the investigation told The Island Packet that investigators are exploring the possibility that Paul — who had been facing three felonies in connection with a 2019 boat crash that killed 19-year-old Mallory Beach — may have been the intended target in the shooting.
Paul was indicted in April of 2019 with two counts of operation of a moving water device under the influence of alcohol or drugs resulting in great bodily injury and one count of operation of a moving water device under the influence of alcohol or drugs resulting in death in connection with Beach’s death.
Paul had allegedly been operating the boat on Feb. 24, 2019 “under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or a combination,” when the boat crashed and the teenager was killed, according to the indictment, obtained by Oxygen.com.
Anthony Cook, Paul’s cousin and Mallory’s boyfriend at the time, testified during a deposition in a civil case filed against Paul by Beach’s family, that on the night of the fatal crash an intoxicated Paul drove the boat in circles as others on board asked to go home, according to court documents obtained by The Daily Mail.
“Paul for some reason acted like he was on drugs or something,” Cook said of Paul’s alleged behavior that night. “He started taking his clothes off during one of the arguments, and it is like 40 degrees outside.”
According to Cook, Paul had also slapped or pushed his girlfriend.
After Beach called him “stupid” and asked to go home, Cook testified that the boat quickly took off.
“We went from a 2-mph idle to the bow of the boat sticking up in the air,” Cook said of the ensuing crash that killed Beach.
Robert Kittle, the communications director for the South Carolina Attorney General’s Office, told Oxygen.com that the criminal charges against Paul will be dismissed as soon as authorities receive official documentation of his death.
The criminal investigation into the boating accident “is still open,” he said.
Authorities have been tight-lipped about the details of the homicide investigation or whether authorities believe Maggie and Paul’s death was related to the earlier boating crash.
Oxygen.com reached out to South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, but did not receive a response.
Just three days after the double homicide, the family’s patriarch Randolph Murdaugh III—a prestigious member of the legal community who had once served as the solicitor of the 14th Circuit—died in his home at the age of 81, NBC News reports.
He was the grandfather and father-in-law to the victims. Maggie’s husband, Alex Murdaugh, is also an established attorney in the community.
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