The murder trial of disgraced South Carolina attorney Alex Murdaugh is underway at the Colleton County Courthouse in Walterboro, a small town about 40 miles east of Charleston. The case dates back to June 2021, when Murdaugh’s wife and son were found shot dead at the family’s Islandton estate known as Moselle.
Murdaugh has pleaded not guilty to two counts of murder and two gun counts while committing a violent crime in connection with the deaths of his wife and son. Aside from the murder charges, 99 charges are also being filed against him for alleged financial crimes.
These are the protagonists in the murder process:
Now suspended, Murdaugh is a member of a prominent South Carolina lowland legal family. Three generations of his family served as attorneys for 87 years for the 14th Circuit, overseeing prosecutions throughout the area. On the wall of the courtroom had hung a portrait of his late grandfather, one of the lawyers; it was removed before trial. Murdaugh has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The wife of Alex Murdaugh, who was 52 when she was fatally shot on June 7, 2021 with the couple’s youngest son at the family’s estate on the Moselle.
The 22-year-old son of Alex Murdaugh, who was found shot dead with his mother on June 7, 2021 on the family estate on the Moselle. in connection with a 2019 boating accident that killed 19-year-old Mallory Beach, court records show. He had pleaded not guilty and the charges were dropped after his death.
Senior Assistant Deputy Attorney General and Chief Prosecutor of South Carolina. He has been involved in the case since 2021. The Attorney General’s Office is prosecuting the case because of the Murdaugh family’s close ties to the local law firm.
One of Alex Murdaugh’s lawyers, along with Dick Harpootlian. A former federal prosecutor, he now works as a state and federal prosecutor criminal lawyer located in Columbia, South Carolina.
The Judge of the South Carolina Circuit Court hear the case. He has been on the bench since 2000. Newman has presided over several proceedings in the Murdaugh case since 2021.
A former client of Alex Murdaugh. Murdaugh told authorities he conspired with Smith to kill Murdaugh as part of an insurance fraud scheme, according to court documents, ostensibly so Murdaugh’s surviving son, Buster, could collect on a $10 million life insurance policy. Smith admitted in 2021 to being present at the shooting and subsequent disposal of the firearm, according to an affidavit.
The surviving son of Alex Murdaugh. He was in court for opening statements – the first time he appeared in legal proceedings for his father – and is listed as a witness at the trial. His father’s plan to have Smith kill Murdaugh was “an effort on his part to do something to protect his child (Buster),” attorney Harpootlian said.
Alex Murdaugh’s younger brother. He is listed as a witness at trial and accompanied Buster Murdaugh to court this week.
The Murdaugh family’s longtime housekeeper who died in 2018 in what was described as a “trip and fall accident” at their home. Murdaugh is accused of embezzling funds intended for Satterfield’s family as part of a wrongful plea bargain.
An expert on bloodstain pattern analysis who analyzed the shirt Alex Murdaugh wore the night his wife and son were murdered. In a motion filed just before trial, the defense argues the court asked to forbid Bevel from testifying.