Live Updates: Alex Murdaugh Trial Opening Statements

Alex Murdaugh sits with his legal team as jury selection continues before his trial at the Colleton County Courthouse in Walterboro, South Carolina, on January 24. (Joshua Boucher/Pool/The State/AP)

Alex Murdaugh is a member of one of the most powerful family dynasties on the South Carolina coast.

Three generations before him served as Attorneys for the 14th Circuit, leading prosecutions for Allendale, Beaufort, Colleton, Hampton and Jasper counties in the state.

Murdaugh worked at the Peters, Murdaugh, Parker, Eltzroth & Detrick (PMPED) law firm, according to the firm. He was married to Margaret Murdaugh and they had two sons: Buster and Paul.

On June 7, 2021, Murdaugh called 911 to report that he had found his wife and son Paul shot to death in front of their home in Islandton, a community about an hour from Hilton Head Island, the Division of Law Enforcement said. of South Carolina (SLED).

Less than three months after the double homicide, he was shot in the head.

In the week after his shooting, his law firm announced that Murdaugh resigned after discovering he had “embezzled funds.”

The state Supreme Court suspended his license to practice law in South Carolina. Murdaugh also announced that he planned to begin unspecified rehabilitation treatment, saying in a statement through his lawyer that the murders of his wife and son “caused an incredibly difficult time in my life” and exacerbated a “long battle.”

On September 13, nine days after his shooting, Murdaugh admitted to authorities that he had arranged for a former client to kill him as part of a suicide fraud scheme, according to an affidavit to support the charges against the alleged gunman.

In a statement obtained in September 2021, two of his attorneys, Jim Griffin and Dick Harpootlian, said that Alex Murdaugh’s life “has been ravaged by an addiction to opioids” and earlier that month, “it became clear that Alex believed that ending his life was his only option. Today, he knows that’s not true.”

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