Take a fresh look at your lifestyle.

US court slams lawyer life sentences without parole for killing son, wife

Murdaugh’s fall from grace ends in life sentence for murder

0 94

Get real time updates directly on you device, subscribe now.

One of the last pieces of a legal dynasty that doled out justice in rural South Carolina for decades crumbled Friday as lawyer Alex Murdaugh was sentenced to spend the rest of his life in prison for the murder of his wife and son at their sprawling estate.

In the quiet Lowcountry that Murdaugh’s family had dominated since the days of Jim Crow, a judge talked to Murdaugh in a way that few probably have — not in his days playing college football, making millions as a high-powered attorney or gaining favor because of his name — and reminded Murdaugh that he had to remove the portrait of the defendant’s grandfather from its place of honor in that same courtroom to ensure a fair trial.

At sentencing, Murdaugh maintained his innocence, just as he did when he testified in his own defense during the six-week trial.

But Circuit Court Judge Clifton Newman wanted to know if he saw the mangled bodies of Maggie and Paul Murdaugh as he tried to sleep or thought about how he disgraced his family’s three-generation reputation for justice through lying, stealing and — eventually — murder.

“As I tell you again, I respect this court. But I am innocent. I would never under any circumstances hurt my wife Maggie and I would never under any circumstances hurt my son Paul-Paul,” Murdaugh responded.

“And it might not have been you. It might have been the monster you become,” Newman said.

Murdaugh faced the judge in the Colleton County courtroom on the circuit where his father, grandfather and great-grandfather tried cases as the elected prosecutor for more than 80 years.

Murdaugh’s family founded the area’s most powerful law firm a century ago in neighboring Hampton County.

For decades, that meant that practically anyone who ended up in court — whatever side of the law they found themselves on — would have a Murdaugh either watching their back or staring them down.

Prosecutor Creighton Waters noted that stare each day in court.

“I looked in his eyes. He liked to stare me down as he would walk by me during this trial. And I could see the real Alex Murdaugh when he looked at me,” Waters said.

Prosecutors decided not to seek the death penalty in this case, and Newman handed down the harshest possible sentence he could — consecutive life sentences without parole.

“Over the past century, your family — including you — have been prosecuting people here in this courtroom, and many have received the death penalty, probably for lesser conduct,” the judge said.

Waters said none of the victims of the crime — members of Murdaugh’s family and the parents and relatives of his wife — wished to speak on behalf of the prosecution before sentencing.

Murdaugh’s brother and surviving son sat behind him in the courtroom every day.

“After six weeks of trial, they came away more convinced he did not do this. They are steadfastly in his camp,” defense attorney Jim Griffin said after the hearing.

The jury deliberated for less than three hours Thursday before finding Murdaugh guilty of killing his 22-year-old son with two shotgun blasts and his 52-year-old wife with four or five rifle shots.

Juror Craig Moyer told ABC News that when deliberations began, the jury immediately took a poll that came back with nine guilty votes. It didn’t take long to convince the other three.

The juror agreed with prosecutors that the key piece of evidence was a video locked on his son’s cellphone for a year — video shot minutes before the killings at the same kennels near where the bodies would be found.

The voices of all three Murdaughs can be heard on the video, though Alex Murdaugh had insisted for 20 months that he hadn’t been at the kennels that night.

When he took the stand in his own defense, the first thing he did was admit he had lied to investigators about being at the kennels, saying he was paranoid of law enforcement because he was addicted to opioids and had pills in his pocket the night of the killings.

“A good liar. But not good enough,” Moyer said. Read more.

(AP)

 

©Copyright 2023 News Band 

(If you would like to receive CURRENT NEWS updates from News Band on WhatsApp, join here; for Telegram, join here. If the group is full, kindly send WhatsApp/Telegram message to +234 905 038 2526. You can also send eyewitness accounts/reports/articles to elstimmy@gmail.com. Follow us on twitter @News Band; like our Facebook page: News Band.)

Get real time updates directly on you device, subscribe now.