Alex Murdaugh, a former prominent lawyer, reached the peak of his downfall as he received a life sentence without the possibility of parole on Friday for the murder of his wife and son, AP News reports. During the sentencing, Judge Clifton Newman offered Murdaugh the opportunity to speak, after which the South Carolina attorney maintained his innocence, even as he was sentenced to serve two consecutive life terms.
“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 said.
On Thursday, a South Carolina jury found Alex Murdaugh, 54, guilty of two counts of shooting his wife Maggie, 52, and youngest son Paul, 22, at their family estate on June 7, 2021. In addition, he was found guilty of two associated firearms offenses, Reuters reported.
“The depravity, the callousness, the selfishness of these crimes are stunning. The lack of remorse and the effortless way in which he is, including here, sitting right over there on this witness stand — your honor, a man like that, a man like this man, should never be allowed to be among free, law-abiding citizens,” Prosecutor Creighton Waters told Judge Newman.
Newman, who is responsible for handing down the sentence, told the jury that he agreed with their decision. Following a five-week testimony, the jury spent only three hours deliberating before arriving at their verdict, Reuters reported.
“The evidence of guilt is overwhelming,” Judge Newman said, as Reuters reported.
“No one, but no one, is above the law,” South Carolina attorney general Alan Wilson said, as cited by The Guardian. “Our justice system gave voice to Maggie and Paul, who were brutally mowed down by someone they loved and trusted.”
On Friday morning, Juror Craig Moyer stated that during the deliberation process, two jurors initially held the belief that Alex Murdaugh was innocent, while another juror was uncertain. However, after discussing the case for 45 minutes to an hour, the panel eventually reached a consensus on the guilty verdict.
Moyer, who had maintained this view all along, was in agreement with the decision.
“He was a good liar, but not good enough,” the juror stated.
“I heard his voice clearly, and everyone else could, too,” Moyer said. “He didn’t cry. All he did was blow snot. I saw his eyes. If you look at everything it’s all plain and clear.”
Numerous questions remain unanswered in the wake of this case. The South Carolina state authorities are continuing their inquiry into the deaths of housekeeper Gloria Satterfield in 2018 and Stephen Smith three years before Maggie and Paul’s murder, The Guardian reports.
Before the case was presented to the jury, they were presented with disturbing testimony regarding the crime scene and examined whether one attacker could have perpetrated both killings, taking into account the estimated angles of the fatal shots. The jurors were also given the opportunity to visit the crime scene.