The Murdaugh family is a prominent legal family from the region of the lowcountry in South Carolina, United States. From 1920 until the year 2006, three members of the family served consecutively as solicitors (i.e. district attorney) who were in charge of prosecuting all criminal cases within the 14th circuit district of South Carolina and causing locals to name the district of five counties “Murdaugh Country”. The family also established an internationally renowned legal firm for civil litigants that was based in Hampton, South Carolina.
In the year 2019, amid claims of special treatment, a number of relatives of The Murdaugh family were involved in a fatal accident on a boat. In 2021 two family members were killed, and another was accused of fraud of the funds.
Between 1920 and in 2006, three members from the Murdaugh family served as solicitors for a five-county region of the lowcountry of South Carolina. 1. It is in South Carolina the solicitor, like district attorneys in other US jurisdictions, is responsible for prosecuting all criminal cases within the area of jurisdiction. This district is responsible for Allendale, Colleton, Hampton, Beaufort, and Jasper counties. It is the sole judiciary circuit that covers five counties
The Murdaughs were described by NPR in the NPR newscast as “one of South Carolina’s most famous legal families”,[5 the Murdaughs were the subject of the front cover of a 1988 issue of Carolina Lawyer. In the words of writer Kathleen Parker, the jurisdiction of the 14th circuit district was referred to in the region as “Murdaugh Country”, where the justice system was thought of to be “rigged” and local attorneys would seek to settle cases instead of going to trial. 4. Because of the Murdaugh family’s long-running control over the solicitor’s office that possessed enormous political and judicial power for nearly 100 years.
Randolph Murdaugh Sr. was born in Varnville. He completed law school in the University of South Carolina (USC). Following the completion of his studies, Murdaugh Sr. founded the first law firm of a single man located in Hampton, South Carolina, approximately 65 miles to the inland of Charleston in the year 1910. In 1920, Murdaugh was made solicitor of the 14th judicial circuit . He held that position until 1940 at which point he died in a crash between his automobile and the train. In addition, he was the editor of an independent daily newspaper in the area, The Hampton County Herald.
Murdaugh Sr. had his successor succeed him, his son Randolph “Buster” Murdaugh Jr. He was in office from 1940 until 1986. In his forty-two years as a politician, Buster ran opposed only twice. Buster was known as a result of “his love of chewing tobacco, his courtroom prowess and his flair for acting out murders before spellbound juries”. 8] Based on the research of Prof. John Blume of Cornell Law School, Buster was rebuked numerous times by the state supreme court over final arguments in a variety of execution cases. In 1956, Buster was indicted by the federal grand jury for allegedly telling the bootlegger to relocate a still in a nearby county to avoid police. the jury acquitted him. Buster retired in 1986. Buster quit in the year 1986, and passed away in 1998.
Buster was succeeding to the office of solicitor by son Randolph Murdaugh III, who was elected in 1986. He was unopposed in every election , and was in office until 2006. 4 Randolph III was married to Elizabeth Alexander in 2013 and had four children. Three sons included, Randolph IV (called Randy) and Richard Alexander (called Alex) and Richard Alexander (also known as Alex), both of whom joined the family business; and John Marvin. 2. In the year 2019, Randolph III was awarded the Order of the Palmetto, the state’s highest civilian honor from the Governor Henry McMaster. The governor retired in 2006 and passed away of natural causes on the 10th of June
Death of Mallory Beach
Paul Terry Murdaugh (b. 1999) Alex’s younger son, was arrested for three felonies following his mother’s death Mallory Beach in the course of a boating incident in February of 2019. He was not subjected to a field sobriety exam and was not taken to jail for booking and was never handcuffed. The result was speculation that he might have been given particular treatment due to his connections to his family. Paul’s blood alcohol level was .286 which is 3 times higher than the legislative limit to operate an automobile, however, the judge refused an attorney’s request to be monitored for alcohol. In the days following the incident, the 14th district attorney Isaac Stone III, called “Duffie”, recused himself from the investigation. Beach’s family has claimed in court papers they believed that Alex along with Buster Murdaugh were implicated in serving alcohol to the teen Paul. 20.21. As of September 2021, police from the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) were looking into allegations that police were in a position to refuse to arrest Paul
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Murders of Paul and Maggie Murdaugh
On the 7th of June 2021 Alex found the remains of his son Paul and his wife of 52 years Maggie close to the dog kennels in the family’s hunting lodge located in Islandton, South Carolina. The two had been killed multiple times with various weapons. [2424 Alex was the one who called 9-1-1 shortly after 10pm told 9-1-1 that he’d been at home with his terminally ill dad, Randolph III, and mother, who suffers from dementia during the shootings
In the month of October 2021, it was found out it was revealed that Alex had been “always” a person of curiosity, i.e. suspect, with the police (SLED) investigating him right from the beginning. In October of 2021, SLED did not release any information regarding the investigation. 26. An South Carolina lawmaker described SLED chief Mark Keel as a “straight arrow” who is determined to ensure that his case is secure, “He knows he’s up against the good old men who will kill him if he gets even the tiniest error.
Killing of Stephen Smith
In the summer of in 2021 SLED declared that it would be conducting a reopening investigation into the death of Stephen Smith, who had been discovered dead of blunt force trauma on a roadway within Hampton County, based on the information discovered in the probe concerning the murders of Maggie and Paul
Death of Gloria Satterfield
The 15th of September, 2021 authorities announced that they would be opening an inquiry into the deaths of Gloria Satterfield, who worked as Alex’s housekeeper. The death was reported as being a “trip and fall”, however, no coroner’s office was notified or autopsy performed as well as the certificate of death contradictorily declared it to be due to “natural causes”. A coroner had testified that the description of that her death in the document in the form of “natural” was improper
The two sons of Satterfield received a settlement amounting to approximately $500,000, however by 2021 , they did not receive any amount. In the settlement process they were Satterfield children were represented in court by Cory Fleming, a lawyer who they didn’t realize had long-term ties to Alex and did not take part in negotiations and was not a signatory to an agreement
An arrest and allegation of mishandling funds
On September 3rd, Alex resigned from PMPED following allegations of improper handling of funds. 3 According to The New York Times, the amount involved was “in the millions
On the 14th of October in 2021, Alex was detained when he was being released from the rehabilitation center at Orlando at the direction of SLED. South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) in connection with two felonies of obtaining property through false pretenses. The charges are related to the investigation into the misappropriation of settlement funds following the death of Gloria Satterfield
Insurance fraud scheme for assisted suicide
On September 15th, SLED announced Alex’s former client Curtis Edward Smith – who was also Alex’s main source of an addiction to oxycodone was indicted because he conspired along with Alex for his death during the shooting on the road so that his son Buster was to receive the insurance payout of $10 million. Smith was accused of assisted suicide as well as aggravated assault and battery as well as insurance fraud. Alex Smith, who was suffering with “massive depression” and wanting to commit suicide, confessed to inventing the assisted suicide as a murder plot
Assets are frozen
On September 11, Alex gave broad powers of attorney to his son Buster which included the ability to dispose of his property that Buster was able to do. Buster was later observed at the Las Vegas casino. On November 1st, a judge ordered Murdaugh’s assets to be frozen. Murdaugh properties to be placed in a freezer. Buster and Alex attempted to challenge the order because they did not have cash to cover food costs as well as medical insurance or utilities
Other crimes, including embezzlement and theft.
On the 19th of November 2021, Alex Murdaugh was indicted on 27 counts of embezzlement, as well as other offenses. The charges comprise fraud, breach of trust intention, money laundering, computer crimes, and forgery. On December 11 Additional twenty-one criminal cases were brought in connection with an alleged scheme to defraud people of more than $6.5 million.
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