Alex Murdaugh indicted on murder costs: A summary and timeline


For greater than a yr, a central query swirled across the deadly shootings of the spouse and son of disgraced South Carolina private harm lawyer Alex Murdaugh: Who killed them?

The unsolved slayings of Margaret, 52, and the couple’s youthful son, Paul, 22, in June 2021 shattered the stainless picture of the well-connected authorized household in South Carolina’s Lowcountry. Murdaugh, whose father, a grandfather and a great-grandfather had been every elected as prime prosecutors within the area in roles collectively spanning nearly 90 years, instantly denied culpability within the deaths.

Nonetheless, the slayings set off a weird chain of occasions that officers say included Murdaugh hiring a person to kill him so his older son might accumulate on his life insurance coverage coverage, and dozens of costs in opposition to Murdaugh accusing him of economic crimes.

From left, Paul, Margaret and Alex Murdaugh.

Investigators shared few particulars and named no suspects or individuals of curiosity within the slayings. However then on Thursday, a grand jury indicted Murdaugh on double murder costs in reference to the deaths of Margaret and Paul, authorities mentioned, capping a long-winding thriller marked by conflicting narratives and an internet of different questionable deaths that has but to be absolutely untangled.

This is a timeline of key moments within the case.

June 7, 2021

Murdaugh calls 911 at 10:07 p.m. to say he has discovered the lifeless our bodies of Margaret and Paul close to the household’s canine kennels on their looking lodge property in rural Colleton County.

“I have been gone,” Murdaugh, his voice quivering, tells a dispatcher. “I simply got here again.”

Authorities arrive on scene. (Legal professionals for Murdaugh later supplied an alibi, telling information shops that he had been spending time together with his mom, who has dementia, and her caregiver that day.)

An entrance gate to the estate in Islandton, S.C., where Alex Murdaugh's wife and son were found shot to death. (Travis Dove/The New York Times)

June 10, 2021

Murdaugh’s father, Randolph Murdaugh III, dies at his dwelling in Hampton County, South Carolina, at age 81 following varied well being illnesses. His demise, whereas in a roundabout way linked to the slayings, provides to the rising intrigue within the case.

June 14, 2021

A coroner reveals Margaret and Paul each suffered a number of gunshot wounds, with the estimated time of demise between 9:00 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.

Sept. 4, 2021

Murdaugh is injured in a roadside taking pictures in Hampton County, authorities say. His lawyer and pal, Jim Griffin, tells information shops that Murdaugh’s black Mercedes-Benz SUV had a flat tire and he pulled his automobile over when a pickup truck handed by, rotated and an individual inside opened hearth.

A stretch of Old Salkehatchie Highway in Varnville, S.C., on Sept. 26, 2021, not far from the spot where Alex Murdaugh was shot.  (Travis Dove/The New York Times)

Sept. 5, 2021

Authorities say Murdaugh’s harm is a “superficial” head wound and he had been flown to Memorial Well being College Medical Middle in Savannah, Georgia, for therapy.

Sept. 6, 2021

Murdaugh releases a public assertion saying he has resigned from his household’s regulation agency to enter rehab and that he “made loads of selections that I really remorse.” Hours later, his agency — Peters, Murdaugh, Parker, Eltzroth & Detrickhe — releases its personal assertion alleging Murdaugh had misappropriated firm funds.

Sept. 8, 2021

The South Carolina Supreme Court docket indefinitely suspends Murdaugh’s regulation license.

Sept. 14, 2021

Authorities present new particulars within the roadside taking pictures. They allege that Murdaugh organized for a person to kill him in order that his older son, Buster, might accumulate on a $10 million life insurance coverage coverage. The person — recognized as Curtis Edward Smith, 61 — is arrested on costs of assisted suicide, assault and battery of a excessive aggravated nature, pointing and presenting a firearm, insurance coverage fraud and conspiracy to commit insurance coverage fraud.

Sept. 15, 2021

An lawyer for Murdaugh, Richard Harpootlian, tells NBC’s “TODAY” present that his consumer was depressed and making an attempt to get off an opioid dependancy that continued to devour him within the wake of his spouse and son’s demise. Believing his insurance coverage coverage had a suicide clause, Harpootlian says Murdaugh enlisted a person to kill him throughout a “faux automotive breakdown.”

In the meantime, state investigators announce the opening of a felony investigation into the demise of a longtime Murdaugh housekeeper, Gloria Satterfield. She died in 2018 following what has been described as a “journey and fall accident” on the household dwelling. The choice is predicated on a request from the Hampton County coroner and on “data gathered” throughout a separate investigation involving Murdaugh.

Sept. 16, 2021

Murdaugh surrenders to authorities after he’s charged with insurance coverage fraud, conspiracy to commit insurance coverage fraud and submitting a false police report. He’s granted bond and a decide orders him to give up his passport however permits him to return to a drug rehabilitation middle.

Image: Alex Murdaugh Hampton County

Oct. 14, 2021

Murdaugh is arrested in Florida upon his launch from a drug rehab facility. Authorities cost him with two felony counts of acquiring property by false pretenses after an investigation into hundreds of thousands of {dollars} that went lacking from a settlement involving the demise of Satterfield. In keeping with her heirs, they obtained not one of the proceeds from a $4.3 million settlement they mentioned was orchestrated in secret by Murdaugh.

In the meantime, Smith seems on NBC’s “TODAY” present to dispute that he was a keen confederate within the September roadside taking pictures of Murdaugh. In his model of occasions, he says Murdaugh had a gun and it appeared he was going to shoot himself, which is when Smith says he intervened. The gun fired. As soon as Smith realized Murdaugh was OK, he mentioned he drove off.

What actually occurred the night time Alex Murdaugh was allegedly shot?

Oct. 14, 202102:27

Oct. 19, 2021

A South Carolina decide denies Murdaugh bond and orders him to endure a psychiatric analysis.

Nov. 19, 2021

The state’s investigation into Murdaugh’s enterprise dealings results in new indictments introduced in opposition to him totaling 27 counts, together with breach of belief with fraudulent intent, acquiring signature or property by false pretenses, cash laundering, pc crimes and forgery. “Altogether, Murdaugh is charged with respect to alleged schemes to defraud victims and thereafter launder” almost $4.9 million, the state lawyer normal’s workplace mentioned.

Dec. 9, 2021

The lawyer normal broadcasts extra costs, together with 9 counts of breach of belief with fraudulent intent, seven counts of pc crimes, 4 counts of cash laundering and one rely of forgery. In complete, Murdaugh faces 48 separate costs. The victims embrace household mates, an undocumented immigrant and a person in a automotive wreck, prosecutors say.

Dec. 13, 2021

A decide units Murdaugh’s bond at $7 million. Murdaugh, who’s being held in Richland County jail, additionally speaks publicly for the primary time in months, telling the court docket that he had been going via opiate withdrawal in September when he sought to have himself killed.

“My head is on straighter, I am considering clearer than I’ve in an extended, very long time,” Murdaugh says. “I need to take care of these costs appropriately and head-on.”

(Murdaugh doesn’t make bail.)

Jan. 21, 2022

A grand jury indicts Murdaugh on 23 new costs, together with breach of belief with fraudulent intent and pc crimes. Collectively, he faces 71 costs involving the theft of about $8.5 million over the course of 11 years.

Jan. 24, 2022

A authorized declare is filed in opposition to the estates of Margaret and Paul Murdaugh by the mom of Mallory Seashore, 19, who was killed in a ship crash in 2019. The boat was owned by Murdaugh and investigators have mentioned Paul had been steering in some unspecified time in the future through the night time of underage ingesting involving six individuals on board. The boat slammed right into a piling under a bridge, and the passengers, ages 18 to twenty, had been ejected.

Two survivors additionally be a part of the Seashore household’s authorized declare in an try to get cash they imagine they’re owed on account of the accident. Different associated lawsuits are pending.

March 16, 2022

A grand jury indicts Murdaugh on 4 new costs associated to a scheme to defraud a number of insurance coverage firms and others involving his pal and one other lawyer, Cory Fleming. Fleming’s lawyer says in a press release that he’s “one more casualty of the host of crimes perpetrated by Alex Murdaugh.”

Could 4, 2022

Prosecutors announce that Murdaugh is dealing with 4 new costs associated to monetary crimes additionally involving Fleming and others.

June 3, 2022

State authorities say they’ve obtained permission from Satterfield’s household to exhume her physique as a part of an investigation into her demise. That investigation was the results of questions surrounding why her demise certificates famous that the style of demise was dominated “pure,” which a coroner has mentioned was inconsistent with accidents sustained in a “journey and fall accident.”

June 24, 2022

Smith is taken into custody on new costs, together with 4 counts of cash laundering, three counts of forgery and felony conspiracy.

June 28, 2022

A grand jury indicts Murdaugh and Smith with felony conspiracy and narcotics offenses. Smith can also be indicted on different drug costs. The lads are accused of conspiring to buy and distribute oxycodone in Colleton County from Oct. 7, 2013, to Sept. 7, 2021.


July 13, 2022

The South Carolina Supreme Court docket formally disbars Murdaugh, who’s dealing with 84 felony costs and 11 lawsuits.

July 14, 2022

A grand jury broadcasts an indictment in opposition to Murdaugh on double murder costs within the deaths of Margaret and Paul.

Two sources near the investigation say that authorities have cellphone video that they imagine not solely places Murdaugh on the scene of the slayings shortly earlier than they came about, but in addition contradicts a earlier timeline of occasions supplied on the day of the killings.

“It was very clear from day one which regulation enforcement and the Lawyer Basic prematurely concluded that Alex was chargeable for the murder of his spouse and son,” Murdaugh’s attorneys say in a press release. “However we all know that Alex didn’t have any motive in any way to murder them.”

July 20, 2022

Murdaugh pleads not responsible to the murder costs.

Aug. 19, 2022

A grand jury indicts Murdaugh on 9 extra felony counts associated to cash laundering and pc crimes. The indictment alleges Murdaugh stole cash from his agency in late 2020 and 2021 and that in 2017-18, he took benefit of an error by the agency’s accounting workplace, which despatched $121,358 to him for a mortgage reimbursement when that cash ought to have gone to his brother.

Murdaugh’s brother, Randy, can also be a associate within the agency; he has not been implicated in any of the alleged schemes.

Oct. 13, 2022

The state Lawyer Basic’s Workplace units Murdaugh’s trial date on the murder costs for Jan. 23 on the Colleton County Courthouse. The trial is predicted to final nearly three weeks.

Dec. 9, 2022

Throughout a pretrial listening to, state prosecutors declare Murdaugh killed his spouse and son to achieve sympathy and “escape the accountability” for his string of economic crimes. Murdaugh’s attorneys reject the state’s motive and questioned why he would “shift a monetary investigation away from himself as a way to keep away from scrutiny” solely to place himself “in the course of a murder investigation.”

Dec. 16, 2022

A grand jury indicts Murdaugh on 9 counts of tax evasion, alleging he did not pay nearly $487,000 in state earnings taxes whereas making almost $14 million over 9 years. With the newest indictment, the whole financial-related costs in opposition to Murdaugh are greater than 100.

Dec. 20, 2022

State prosecutors announce they may search life in jail with out parole in Murdaugh’s double murder trial, permitting him to keep away from the demise penalty if convicted.

Jan. 23

The double murder trial in opposition to Murdaugh opens on the Colleton County Courthouse with jury choice.

Jan. 25

In a gap assertion, state prosecutors contend Murdaugh killed his spouse and son at shut vary with a shotgun and an AR-style rifle, and that forensic proof would present his culpability. The protection in its opening assertion insists there are quite a few holes within the prosecution’s case, claiming it’s constructed on “theories” and “conjectures.” 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *