Alex Murdaugh has been sentenced to two life terms in prison today, March 3, after being found guilty yesterday, March 2, of murdering his wife Maggie and son Paul.
Murdaugh was told in court on Friday that he has been sentenced to two terms of "the rest of your natural life" in prison, to be served consecutively.
Murdaugh, 54, was convicted on March 2 of killing his son Paul, 22, with a shotgun and his wife Maggie, 52, with an assault rifle near the dog kennels of his family's Colleton County estate in South Carolina on June 7, 2021.
Over the course of six weeks of hearings, the Walterboro court heard that Murdaugh murdered his wife and son to distract from his multi-million dollar financial crimes, which were about to go public.
"The evidence of guilt is overwhelming," Judge Clifton Newman said after reading the verdict, which the jury reached in under three hours.
The jury had heard how Murdaugh killed his wife and son after realizing that his years of swindling millions of dollars from his law firm and his clients to feed his opioid addiction was about to go public.
Murdaugh, who admitted to stealing from his clients and lying about his drug habit, has consistently denied killing his wife and son.
He took to the witness stand last week to attempt to convince the jury that someone angry over a 2019 boating accident involving Paul that resulted in the death of a 19-year-old woman could have killed his son out of revenge.
"I would never hurt Maggie, and I would never hurt Paul - ever - under any circumstances," Murdaugh told the court last week.
His attorney Jim Griffin said it was "totally illogical, irrational, and insane" that someone would kill their wife and son to hide their financial crimes.
Prosecuting attorney Creighton Waters told the court that Murdaugh is a "master liar" who stole money from a disabled client and the family of his former housekeeper, who died in an accident at his house in 2018.
Waters also said Murdaugh lied to investigators about being near the dog kennels on the night of the double murder.
However, in a Snapchat video filmed by Paul moments before his death, Murdaugh's voice can clearly be heard in the background.
Waters said Paul had recently discovered his father's drug addiction, while Murdaugh's law firm had confronted him about missing money on the day of the shootings.
Several witnesses also testified that Murdaugh had asked his wife Maggie to come to the family's Colleton County estate - known as Moselle - on the night of the murders.
The case against Murdaugh was entirely based on circumstantial evidence as no direct evidence, such as the murder weapons or blood on his clothing, was presented at trial.
The court also heard details of Murdaugh's failed scheme to plan his own murder three months after his wife and son were murdered. Murdaugh hired a hitman to kill him so that his eldest son Buster could claim a $10 million life insurance payout, but the hitman botched the shooting and only grazed his head with the bullet.
Investigators told the court that Murdaugh stole millions of dollars from his clients and his law firm, including $3.7 million in 2019 alone. Murdaugh admitted to widespread theft during the trial, while his attorneys revealed that his drug habit cost him upwards of $50,000 per week.
Prosecutors argued that these financial crimes gave Murdaugh a motive for the double murder, stating that he sought to gain sympathy and distract from his other crimes.