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 to death on the family’s Islandton property, known as the Moselle.
Murdaugh pleaded not guilty to two counts of murder and two counts of possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime related to the death of his wife and son. Aside from the murder charges, he also faces 99 counts stemming from alleged financial crimes.
Here are the key players in the murder trial:
Now disbarred, Murdaugh is a member of a prominent legal family in the South Carolina Lowcountry. Three generations of his family over 87 years have served as attorneys for the 14th Circuit, which oversaw prosecutions throughout the area. A portrait of his late grandfather, one of the lawyers, hung on the courtroom wall; he was removed before trial. Murdaugh has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The wife of Alex Murdaugh, who was 52 when she was found shot to death with the couple’s youngest child on the family’s estate in Moselle on June 7, 2021.
The 22-year-old son of Alex Murdaugh, who was found shot to death with his mother on the family’s estate in Moselle on June 7, 2021. At the time, he was facing charges of boating under the influence of alcohol, causing serious damage bodily harm and causing death in connection with a 2019 boating accident that claimed the life of 19-year-old Mallory Beach, court records show. He pleaded not guilty and the charges were dropped after his death.
South Carolina, Senior Assistant to the Deputy Attorney General and Lead Prosecutor. He has been involved in the case since 2021. The state attorney general’s office is prosecuting the case due to the Murdaugh family’s close ties to the local attorney’s office.
One of Alex Murdaugh’s defense attorneys, along with Jim Griffin. Harpootlian is a South Carolina state senator and attorney whose practice in Columbia specializes in criminal defense.
One of Alex Murdaugh’s defense attorneys, along with Dick Harpootlian. A former federal prosecutor, he now works as a federal and state criminal defense attorney based in Columbia, South Carolina.
The South Carolina Circuit Court judge hearing the case. He has been on the court since 2000. Newman has presided over various proceedings in the Murdaugh case since 2021.
A former client of Alex Murdaugh’s. Murdaugh told authorities that he conspired with Smith to kill Murdaugh as part of an insurance fraud scheme, according to court documents, allegedly so Murdaugh’s surviving son Buster could collect a $10 million life insurance payout. . Smith admitted in 2021 to being present at the shooting and disposing of the firearm afterward, according to an affidavit.
Surviving son of Alex Murdaugh. He was in court for opening statements, the first time he has appeared in court proceedings on behalf of his father, and is listed as a witness at the trial. His father’s plan to have Smith kill Murdaugh was “an attempt on his part to do something to protect his (Buster’s) son,” Harpootlian, the attorney, said.
Alex Murdaugh’s younger brother. He is listed as a witness in the 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 misappropriating funds intended for the Satterfield family as part of a wrongful death settlement.
A bloodstain pattern analysis expert who analyzed the shirt Alex Murdaugh was wearing the night his wife and son were killed. In a motion filed just before trial, the defense asked the court to bar Bevel from testifying.