Murdaugh Murders Timeline: Investigations, Deaths and the Collapse of a Powerful South Carolina Family

Alex Murdaugh has been found guilty for the murders of his wife, Maggie and their son, Paul. Here's everything we know about the murders, the investigation and trial of Alex Murdaugh, as well as the cases allegedly connected to the Murdaugh family.

The killings of Maggie and Paul Murdaugh, a mother and son found fatally shot outside of their sprawling estate in 2021, were the undoing of a prominent South Carolina family known for their power and wealth. Maggie’s husband and Paul’s father, Alex Murdaugh, Alex Murdaugh, was found guilty on Thursday of their murders after a six-week trial that transfixed the country. Equally captivating for some interested in the case are the other incidents, dating back to 2015, allegedly connected to the Murdaugh family that came to light in the aftermath of the deaths of Maggie and Paul. 

Everything we know about the murders, the investigation and the trial of Alex Murdaugh, as well as the cases allegedly connected to the Murdaugh family and timeline in which all of these incidents occurred.

July 8, 2015

Stephen Smith, 19, is found dead in the middle of a rural road at 5 a.m., state authorities say. When officers arrive at the desolate road just before 5 a.m., they find Smith sprawled out in the middle of the street with his head bashed in. He is alone and his car is about two to three miles down the empty street, according to police records. His car is out of gas, and the gas cap is left open. The coroner finds his car keys, wallet and his cellphone in the pocket of his pants.

Investigators from the South Carolina Highway Patrol scour the scene and initially deemed it hit-and-run, according to documents obtained by Inside Edition Digital. Detectives speculate that a truck side-swiped Smith as he was walking down the roadway after his car had run out of gas.

"The gas tank door was open and the gas cap was hanging on the side of the vehicle," crime scene notes say. 

Running out of gas was often something Smith mistakenly did, his family tells Inside Edition Digital. But, they added, if he were stranded he would call his family for help and wait in the trees on the roadside, which is why they had trouble imagining him standing in the middle of the road this time.

Smith is found with injuries on his left arm, left hand and head. He had a gaping hole in his skull above his right eye. His right arm was also covered in blood. 

As night turned to morning, investigators on the scene begin questioning whether Smith's injuries were more consistent with a homicide, and not a hit-and-run as they initially thought. One police report indicates that there was "no evidence to suggest the victim was struck by a vehicle," according to a South Carolina Department of Public Safety incident report. Members of the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division Crime Scene are requested to the scene by Chief Billy Jarrell of the Hampton County Sheriff's Office to assist in what they thought could be a murder investigation.

An autopsy is performed by the Medical University of South Carolina the day of his death. Pathologist Dr. Erin Presnell determines Smith was struck by a car. His cause of death is determined to be due to blunt head trauma caused by a motor vehicle collision as Smith appeared to be walking on foot.

Investigator Todd Proctor writes that he spoke with Presnell and she said that the evidence was consistent with a hit-and-run "because he was found in the road," according to South Carolina Highway Patrol case notes. Proctor probes Presnell, asking if it could be possible that Smith was struck by someone with a baseball bat in a moving car. 

In records from the South Carolina Highway Patrol, Proctor writes that Presnell told him, "well I guess it's possible," and then added it was "his job to find out what struck him, not hers."

Stephen had been studying to be a nurse at the time of his murder and he was a beloved brother, son, nephew and friend. “No one cared about Stephen’s death,” his aunt tells Inside Edition Digital. “Stephen mattered, too.”

December 15, 2015

The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, or SLED, begins investigating an anonymous tip naming Paul and his brother Buster Murdaugh as possible persons of interest, according to SCHP documents.

Neither Murdaugh brother has ever been named suspects in the case, nor are they ever charged. No one has been charged in connection with Smith’s death.

His twin sister Stephanie later tells Inside Edition Digital that Stephen had been acting a bit on edge when she saw him earlier that afternoon. She thought he might have felt like he was being followed, she says.

September 28, 2016

Sandy Smith, Stephen's mother, writes a letter to the FBI with the opening sentence, "my family needs your help.” She also writes to the Attorney General's office pleading for assistance in her son's death. The case ultimately goes cold. 

May 29, 2017

Paul Murdaugh, 17 at the time, is charged with misdemeanor possession of alcohol on Memorial Day, two years before a boating accident that would leave his friend Mallory Beach dead. 

On the same day Paul is charged, he pays a $510 fine for a littering charge and a bench warrant against him for “failure to comply” was removed, the Island Packet reported.

February 2, 2018

Gloria Satterfield, a housekeeper for the Murdaugh family, allegedly suffers a fall while on the Murdaughs’ property. She is deemed non-responsive at the hospital.

February 26, 2018

Gloria Satterfield succumbs to the injuries she sustained in the fall she suffered at the Murdaugh home, according to the Netflix documentary series “Murdaugh Murders: A Southern Scandal.”

May 2018

Paul is sentenced to attend an alcohol diversion program for the misdemeanor possession of alcohol charge. Paul’s father and another local attorney represent him in the charges. The jury trial was rescheduled five times ahead of his sentencing date, and his charges will later be dismissed after the completion of the program, according to Island Packet.

February 24, 2019

Paul and five friends are drinking near their South Carolina town. Paul drives his friends back on his dad’s 17-foot boat, but in an alleged drunken outburst, Paul accelerates before crashing the boat into a bridge near Parris Island. All six onboard are ejected.

Five of the boat’s occupants make it to shore safely, but 19-year-old Mallory Beach is nowhere to be found. A week later, her body is discovered near the crash site.

Paul is eventually charged with three felony counts of boating under the influence causing injury or death. He pleads not guilty and is released on $50,000 personal recognizance bond. 

“[Paul] needs to rot in f***ing prison,” Mallory’s boyfriend Anthony tells authorities in a deposition, Island Packet reported. “He ain’t going to get in no f***ing trouble.”

Paul will be dead before he can stand trial in the case.

Late April, 2021

Maggie Murdaugh, 52, allegedly meets with a divorce attorney, a law enforcement source tells People Magazine. She reportedly drove one hour from the family’s Charleston home for a consultation to discuss her options for ending her marriage with Alex, People Magazine reported.

A spokesperson for the family, however, denies the possibility, saying they had “a very loving relationship,” according a statement to press.

Maggie would be murdered six weeks after this meeting.

June 7, 2021: The Day of Paul and Maggie’s Murders

Between 9-9:30 p.m. 

Paul Murdaugh, 22, and his mother Maggie are fatally shot outside of their family's hunting lodge in Colleton County, authorities say. Paul suffers multiple gunshot wounds to the head and torso.  Maggie has been shot with an assault rifle.

10:07 p.m.

Alex Murdaugh calls 911 saying he has discovered the bodies of his son and wife. Alex Murdaugh says he was not home at the time of the shootings.

Alex Murdaugh’s brothers, John Marvin Murdaugh and Randolph “Randy” Murdaugh IV, arrive at the home shortly after, they said in an interview with ABC News days after Paul and Maggie’s deaths. John and Randy later say “there’s no possible way [Alex] could have anything to do with this” and that Paul had received “bothersome” online threats from strangers following the 2019 boat crash.

11:47 p.m.

Local authorities arrive on the scene, and the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division arrives 20 minutes later. SLED are the lead investigators of the case. Crime scene personnel work into the early hours of the following morning collecting evidence to submit to forensics, SLED says in a press release.

June 8, 2021

7 a.m.

The Coroner's office confirms that Maggie and Paul Murdaugh died from gunshot wounds in an apparent homicide. SLED and the Colleton County Sheriff's Office both investigate the double-murder at the family's sprawling estate. A SLED spokesperson tells the State that he had no knowledge of anyone arrested related to the crime. Based on the evidence, he said he did not believe there was any danger to the public.

11:31 a.m.

A statement is released by the family's law firm, Peters Murdaugh Parker Eltzroth and Detrick, on Facebook. The statement confirms the identities of those killed as Paul and Maggie Murdaugh. 

“The Murdaugh family and PMPED wish to thank everyone for the many calls and condolences in the aftermath of the deaths of Maggie and Paul Murdaugh,” the statement reads. “We ask for your continued patience and prayers through this tragic time."

Early afternoon

A spokesperson for the South Carolina Attorney General's Office writes in an email about the boating accident case to the Island Packet and other outlets that the office, "obviously cannot proceed with the prosecution, so once we have a death certificate or other acceptable proof, we'll officially dismiss the charges" against Paul. 

Before 4 p.m.

An attorney representing the family of Mallory Beach says in a statement, “The Beach family extends its deepest and warmest sympathies to the Murdaugh family during this terrible time. Having suffered the devastating loss of their own daughter, the family prays that the Murdaughs can find some level of peace from this tragic loss. They would like the family and the community to know that their thoughts and continued prayers are with the Murdaughs. It is their most sincere hope that someone will come forward and cooperate with authorities so that the perpetrator of these senseless crimes can be brought to justice.”

A civil lawsuit filed last year by the young girl's mother, Renee Beach, is still pending against the convenience store that allegedly sold alcohol to the minors on the evening of Mallory’s death.

in December 2022, the convenience store has its request to be tried separately from Alex Murdaugh and several of his family members in the wrongful death lawsuit filed by the family of Mallory Beach. In response, PK Shere, the attorney representing Parker's Corporation and owner Greg Parker said to WPDE: "We are obviously disappointed in today’s decision, but ultimately, we look forward to presenting our case at trial and exonerating” the store worker and Parker’s. Parker's attorneys have also said that neither the store employee nor the corporation are responsible for the boat crash. Criminal investigators for South Carolina state police found no wrongdoing by the store worker, Parker's attorneys say. The trial for the civil lawsuit was scheduled for early January 2023, but was postponed indefinitely in deference to Alex Murdaugh's murder trial.

Also on June 8, 2021, Maggie’s cell phone is also discovered on the side of a nearby road. While Paul’s cell phone was found near his body, a family member had to use the phone’s GPS feature in order to track it down, according to The Slate.

June 9, 2021


A one-sentence incident report from the Colleton County Sheriff's Office is released. "On June 7, 2021 at approximately 2226 hours I responded to 4147 Moselle Rd in Colleton County in reference to two gunshot victims found by the caller,” the statement says. 

The Sheriff's office reportedly denies a request to release the 911 recordings from the night of the shooting, the Island Packet reports.

June 10, 2021

Morning hours

Autopsies for Paul and Maggie Murdaugh are scheduled at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston. A hearing for the 2019 boat crash is postponed "due to the murders," Beach family attorney Mark Tinsley writes to Inside Edition Digital.

3:10 p.m.

The Attorney General's office confirms that they are still investigating the 2019 boat crash despite Paul Murdaugh's untimely death, according to the Island Packet. The agency will not publicly release the case files on the investigation at this time.

5 p.m.

Investigators say it is possible Paul Murdaugh was targeted by the killer and his mother, Maggie, was murdered by happenstance. Sources say that Paul was shot in the head and upper body with a shotgun and his mother was shot with an assault rifle.

6 p.m.

Randolph "Buster" Murdaugh III, a former state solicitor, Alex’s father and Paul's grandfather, dies at 81 years old, just three days after his grandson and daughter-in-law were found shot, the Island Packet reports. His death is unrelated to the murders.

The late Randolph served as the 14th Circuit Solicitor for nearly 48 years, between 1987 and 2005, according to reports. He rejoined the family law firm in 2006, which his father started more than 100 years prior.

He is described by his sons Randy and John in an interview with ABC News to be “a wonderful person” who had been “sick” for a while.”

June 11, 2021

Funeral services for Paul and Maggie are held Friday at noon. Hundreds of community members show an outpouring of support.

Paul is remembered in his obituary as a person with "a love for the outdoors.” "[He] particularly enjoyed hunting at their lodge in Moselle with his father Alex, and brother, Buster." 

His mother, Maggie, is remembered as a "gentle presence" and for having "a heart of pure generosity."

June 13, 2021

Funeral services for Randolph Murdaugh III are held at the Hampton Cemetery at 2 p.m.

June 14, 2021

Autopsy results released Monday reveal that Paul and Maggie were shot multiple times, according to the Colleton County coroner. The coroner's office and SLED have refused to discuss the investigation beyond what is publicly available.

A spokesperson for the Attorney General's office responded to inquiries from Inside Edition Digital confirming an investigation into Paul Murdaugh is ongoing. “We had every intention of moving forward with Paul Murdaugh’s prosecution,” spokesperson Robert Kittle wrote in an email Monday to the Island Packet. “While the charges against him will be dismissed, the case has not been closed because the investigation is not finished.”

June 15, 2021

The Beach family's attorney, Mark Tinsley, says in a statement to Inside Edition Digital that “The Beaches have every confidence and are hopeful that the Attorney General’s office will continue to investigate and prosecute any improprieties related to any attempts by any member of law enforcement to influence the original criminal investigation related to the boat crash. As such, they support the Attorney General’s decision in how they determine to move forward."

June 18, 2021

SLED officials confirm they carried out a search of Paul’s apartment near the University of South Carolina, where he was a student, earlier in the week, The State reports. Authorities earlier obtained a search warrant from the state judge, but did not comment about what investigators were looking for, or what they had found, according to The State.

June 23, 2021 

New details in the Paul and Maggie Murdaugh double-murder lead the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division to open the hit-and-run cold case death of 19-year-old Stephen Smith. "Based on the information gathered during the murder [investigation] of Maggie and Paul Murdaugh," the SLED will be investigating the death of Stephen Smith, a spokesperson tells Inside Edition Digital.

"I'm excited about this new investigation, but a little hesitant, too," Stephen's twin sister, Stephanie Smith, tells Inside Edition Digital. "I won't get my hopes up because it can always go cold like it did last time."

September 3, 2021

Alex’s family law firm, PMPED, or Peters, Murdaugh, Parker, Eltzroth and Detrick, accuses Alex of misappropriating company funds in the millions. The firm claims they worked with a forensic accounting firm and notified the police and the South Carolina bar, before approaching him with the accusation. Alex and the firm eventually come to an agreement he should resign.

September 4, 2021

Just one day after leaving the family law firm, Alex Murdaugh is shot in the head. He says he was driving down Old Salkehatchie Road near Varnville when he pulled over to change a flat tire, and that while pulled over, a truck then drove past Alex, circled back and fired a single shot, which hit him in his head. SLED confirms he suffered a “superficial gunshot wound to the head.”

Alex dials 911 around 1:30 p.m. and loses vision when he was transported to the hospital. He is released the following day and immediately checks himself into rehab.

In a statement released to WCSC through his lawyer, Dick Harpootlian, Alex also announces his resignation from the firm, saying "the murders of my wife and son have caused an incredibly difficult time in my life. I have made a lot of decisions that I truly regret. I'm resigning from my law firm and entering rehab after a long battle that has been exacerbated by these murders. I am immensely sorry to everyone I've hurt including my family, friends and colleagues. I ask for prayers as I rehabilitate myself and my relationships."

September 6, 2021

Alex Murdaugh’s law firm says that he was made to resign from the powerful firm over claims he had misused funds the day before he was shot in the head. 

Leaders of PMPED alleges they came to an agreement he would resign the day before he had been shot, claiming Murdaugh had misappropriated office funds in the millions, The New York Times reported.

The firm, which Alex’s great-grandfather founded more than a century ago, says they discussed the allegations with Alex Friday after having worked with a forensic accounting firm and notifying the police and the South Carolina Bar. Murdaugh and the firm came to an agreement that he should resign, the Times reported. The firm did not say how much money had been missing, but the amount was in the millions, according to the Times.

Murdaugh’s lawyer tells the Times his client had expressed his “regret and sorrow.”

September 15, 2021

Alex Murdaugh claims through his attorney that he staged his own shooting. “He called this guy who met him on the side of the road, agreed to shoot him in the head and this fake car break down,” Harpootlian says. 

Harpootlian says Alex set-up the shooting in a desperate attempt to help his remaining son, Buster. Alex had a $10 million life insurance policy in his name, and overlooked a clause that said the policy would not be paid out if he took his own life, his lawyer says.

Harpootlian also says Alex fell into a deep opioid addiction following the murder of his son and wife. The “vast majority” of the money the family law firm accused Alex of misappropriating were “used to buy drugs,” Harpootlian says. 

On the same day, SLED begins a new criminal investigation into the death of the Murdaugh family housekeeper Gloria Satterfield by the request of the Hampton County Coroner’s office. She died in 2018 of “injuries sustained in a trip and fall accident,” despite her death certificate stating the cause of her death was “natural,” coroner Angela Topper tells authorities.

Satterfield’s family had pursued a wrongful death lawsuit in common pleas court against Murdaugh at the time of her death, according to authorities, and her sons allege that they never received the $500,000 settlement for her death that they were owed, according to the Daily Beast.

Their attorney also says the original wrongful death settlement was guided by Murdaugh.

September 16, 2021

Alex turns himself in after an arrest warrant for alleged insurance fraud is issued. His lawyer says he admitted to orchestrating the shooting for a $10 million insurance payout because "he didn’t want law enforcement spending more time on this fake crime instead of focusing on solving the murders of Maggie and Paul.”

September 20, 2021

Connor Cook, one of Paul’s friends, files a lawsuit against Alex, alleging that he “and others were orchestrating a campaign to blame Cook for the 2019 boat crash that killed Mallory Beach,” according to Island Packet. Cook and his girlfriend had been on the boat when it crashed, along with Cook’s cousin, Anthony Cook, who was Mallory’s boyfriend at the time of her death.

October 6, 2021

Gloria Satterfield’s sons, Tony Satterfield and Brian Harriott, file a lawsuit against Alex Murdaugh, alleging he diverted more than $3.5 million in death settlement money to a fraudulent account, according to The State, citing a suit filed in court that included photos of checks showing the dollar amount. The brothers allege they received nothing from the $4.3 million settlement they were owed and claim instead that Alex had the funds sent to a fake P.O. box, The State reports. 

October 9, 2021

Alex is once again arrested as he is released from a rehabilitation facility in Orlando, Florida. This time, he faces two counts of obtaining property by false pretenses stemming from the wrongful death settlement of his former housekeeper, Gloria Satterfield.

October 13, 2021

In a bombshell interview, Alex’s lawyer Jim Griffin reveals for the first time that Alex was named a person of interest in the double homicide. In an interview with Fox Carolina News, Griffin says that SLED named Alex a person of interest the day after his wife and son were murdered, and had “never eliminated him as a person of interest.” 

October 14, 2021

Curtis Smith, 61, who was arrested and charged with assisted suicide, conspiracy to commit insurance fraud and insurance fraud for allegedly shooting Alex in his orchestrated suicide scheme, denies any wrongdoing and shares a different account of what happened that day.

"I didn't shoot him," Smith tells The Today Show, denying that he shot Murdaugh. "I'm innocent. If I'd have shot him, he'd be dead. He's alive." He also claims no one was shot. “There was no blood on me. There was no blood on him,” Smith said.

December 9, 2021

Maggie’s sister, Marian Proctor, renounces her right to handle Maggie’s estate. Alex’s brother, John Marvin Murdaugh, is appointed the personal representative of her estate. 

December 13, 2021

In a virtual hearing, Circuit Judge Alison Renee Lee says Alex Murdaugh must post the full bond, set at $7 million, in order to be placed on house arrest, adding that if he proceeds with this option, he will be placed on electronic monitoring, be subject to random drug tests and receive counseling, according to NBC News. 

December 31, 2021

Before she and her son were shot dead on their South Carolina property in June, Maggie Murdaugh left her land to her husband Alex Murdaugh in her will, NBC News reports after obtaining a copy of her last will and testament. 

The will listed Maggie Murdaugh's sister, Marian Proctor, as the person to handle the estate, but her name was crossed out in pen and Randolph Murdaugh III, Maggie Murdaugh's father-in-law, was handwritten above it, according to NBC.  

Randolph Murdaugh III, who was ill, died three days after Maggie and Paul Murdaugh were found dead, his law firm said at the time.  

Alex Murdaugh's attorney Jim Griffin told The Island Packet it was not clear why Proctor's name was replaced with his client's father's, but he did not believe the will was motive for his client to be involved in Maggie Murdaugh's killing. 

Alex's brother John Marvin Murdaugh was appointed the personal representative for Maggie Murdaugh's estate on Dec. 9, records obtained by NBC show. That same day, Marian Proctor renounced her right to handle her sister's estate. She reportedly said in an affidavit she did not receive any money in handing it over. 

John Marvin Murdaugh told NBC members of Maggie Murdaugh's immediate family said the handwriting on the will was hers and that he believed the change was made during her lifetime, but the reason for the change was unclear. 

May 2022

SLED announces it is continuing to investigate the circumstances of Satterfield's death.

June 4, 2022

SLED and a lawyer for the Satterfield family announces in a statement the body of Gloria Satterfield, the housekeeper who died in 2019, will be exhumed

“This is a complex process that will take weeks, not days,” a statement from SLED says. “This investigation is still active and ongoing."

Satterfield family attorney Eric Bland says SLED requested permission to exhume the body of the Murdaugh family’s longtime housekeeper, and the Satterfield family has given its permission.

June 28, 2022 

Alex Murdaugh and Curtis Smith are indicted on criminal conspiracy and drug charges for allegedly running a drug ring in Colleton County from 2013 to 2021. Smith is also indicted on other drug charges. The men are accused of conspiring to purchase and distribute oxycodone in Colleton County from Oct. 7, 2013, to Sept. 7, 2021. Smith tells the court he looks forward to clearing his name. 

July 13, 2022

Alex Murdaugh is formally disbarred by the South Carolina Supreme Court.

July 14, 2022: Alex Murdaugh Is Charged With the Murders of Maggie and Paul Murdaugh 

Alex Murdaugh is charged with murder in the 2021 deaths of his wife and son, authorities in South Carolina announce.  In the murder indictment, he was also charged with possession of a weapon during a violent crime.

“Over the last 13 months, SLED [South Carolina Law Enforcement Division] agents and our partners have worked day in and day out to build a case against the person responsible for the murders of Maggie and Paul and to exclude those who were not. At no point did agents lose focus on this investigation. From the beginning I have been clear, the priority was to ensure justice was served. Today is one more step in a long process for justice for Maggie and Paul,” SLED Chief Mark Keel said in a statement.

Murdaugh says he is innocent of the killings, which he will maintain throughout his trial, stating he did not murder his wife or son.

October 2022

Alex Murdaugh and Curtis Edward Smith, the man who he alleges shot him in the head on the side of Old Salkehatchie Road, appear to turn on each other. Alex’s lawyers allege that the results of a polygraph test Smith took showed he lied when asked whether he murdered Maggie and Paul, according to a filed motion to compel. 

Smith’s attorney, Aimee Zmroczek, denies the claim and says Smith didn’t do anything wrong. “Smith continues to be a victim of Alex Murdaugh and his deeds,” she says.

The State of South Carolina v. Richard Alexander Murdaugh 

January 25, 2023

The trial of Alex Murdaugh in the murders of his wife, Maggie, and their 22-year-old son, Paul, begins with instructions from the judge and opening statements from the prosecution and defense. 

January 26, 2023

Prosecutors start the day by calling Sgt. Daniel Greene to the stand. Sgt. Greene was on duty the night of June 7, 2021 when the call came in to the Colleton County Sheriff's Office about two victims who had been shot.

Upon arriving at the scene, Sgt. Greene testifies that he saw "no blood" on Murdaugh, as well as "no tears."

Murdaugh sheds tears, however, throughout the proceedings that day.  "Alex Murdaugh was very emotional today, more so than yesterday during opening statements," reports Chanley Shay Painter, a legal correspondent for Court TV. "At one point he seemed to hang his head and sob uncontrollably."

Murdaugh's surviving son, Buster, sits in the courtroom as well, and can be seen being comforted by his uncle John Marvin.Painter reports that Marvin "had his arm around Buster" and would occasionally "rub his shoulders" throughout the day.

Prosecutors allege that Murdaugh’s motives were financial, claiming he had been defrauding clients out of millions of dollars, embezzling funds from the family firm, and facing a potentially pricey lawsuit in the wake of a fatal boat crash involving son Paul. Murdaugh, prosecutors allege, killed his wife and son to gain sympathy because his financial wrongdoing was going to be exposed. In court documents obtained by Inside Edition Digital, prosecutors describe Murdaugh as “an allegedly crooked lawyer and drug user who borrowed and stole wherever he could to stay afloat and one step ahead of detection.”

Prosecutors claim that Murdaugh had been asked to account for missing funds at the family firm on the day of the murders. At the same time, he was also being asked to turn over a detailed accounting of his finances in a wrongful death lawsuit against his son Paul, who had been accused of drunkenly crashing a boat resulting in the death of a young woman. 

The defense claims that these murders were pinned on their client from the start and accuse law enforcement of failing to properly investigate the crime or consider other possible suspects. Murdaugh claims that he had been visiting his mother at the time of the murders and returned to find the bodies of his wife and son.

January 31, 2023

Prosecutors play video of the second interview police had with Murdaugh after his wife, Maggie, and son Paul were found dead. The video shown in court includes the moment when police detailed one of the most gruesome crime scene photos to Murdaugh, prosecutors say in court.

After hearing about this photo, Murdaugh made a comment to police. What that comment was is now a big topic of debate, and in court video is played by both the prosecution and defense. 

Prosecutors claims that Murdaugh said: "It’s just so bad. I did him so bad." That is what the officer who was there that night for the police interview, senior special agent Jeff Croft of the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, testifies that he heard as well on the video and in person. 

That is also what Croft testifies to hearing in a slowed-down version of the tape played by the defense.

The defense argues that in the video, including the slowed-down version, Murdaugh said: "It’s just so bad. They did him so bad."

February 1, 2023

Prosecutors show a Snapchat video to the jury that they say shows Alex Murdaugh was with his wife and son minutes before the pair were fatally shot in 2021. The video was taken by Paul Murdaugh at the kennels on the family’s property, prosecutors say. 

Three voices can be heard in the video, which prosecutors say are Paul, Maggie and Alex. A SLED investigator says the video was taken at 8:44 p.m. the night of the murders. 

Paul’s friends Rogan Gibson and Will Loving testifies in court that he is certain the third voice in the video is Alex. 

February 8, 2023

The trial is abruptly halted and the Colleton County Courthouse is evacuated over a bomb threat. A witness had been in the middle of testifying when the judge cleared out the court. 

Alex is escorted into a transport van during the evacuation with a jacket over his hands, which are presumably handcuffed. The van then speeds away with a patrol vehicle following closely behind, and another patrol vehicle ahead of it. 

Ahead of the evacuation, a paralegal with the family law firm reads an apologetic text she was sent by Alex while he was in drug rehab. “I have an awful lot to try to make right when I get out of here. The worst part is knowing that I did the most damage to those I loved the most,” she says.

February 9, 2023

Buster, who was observing the testimony, is accused of putting up his middle finger to a witness while testifying against his father. The defense, however, denies that that happened.

Alex’s sister Lynn also reportedly gets in trouble in court by allegedly trying to pass her brother a copy of the book “The Judge’s List” by John Grisham. The book is considered contraband by court officials and it was confiscated, according to reports.

February 14, 2023

Never-before-seen video of Alex Murdaugh from the night his wife and son were found dead is shown in court.

Murdaugh appears distraught as he sobs and loudly moans in police body camera footage that is played at his murder trial. In the video, he can be heard speaking with his brother on the phone from the grounds of the family's South Carolina hunting lodge, where his wife and son's bodies were found.

Murdaugh tells one officer that he had been riding around with son Paul in his pickup truck for two hours earlier that day. The bodycam footage captures Murdaugh just minutes after he called 911 to report son Paul and wife Maggie had been shot near the family's kennel. 

Murdaugh, who is accused of murdering both Maggie and Paul, claimed that he was visiting with his mother when the crime took place, according to court records submitted ahead of the trial. When he is informed by an officer that someone has checked on the bodies, he says: "And they're dead?" 

Maggie’s sister Marion Proctor, who was originally named in Maggie’s will, breaks her silence and takes the stand. In an emotional testimony, Proctor recalls speaking with Alex in the moments after Maggie and Paul’s deaths, and says she was reassured by Alex that Maggie did not suffer.

She also speaks about an affair she believes Alex had years ago, and says Maggie and Alex were able to repair the relationship but Maggie continued to bring it up. 

A pathologist also testifies and shares grim details about how Maggie and Paul were killed.

February 16, 2023

The prosecutor in the Alex Murdaugh murder trial gets down on the courtroom floor in a demonstration where an expert described how the execution of the suspect's wife, Maggie, may have occurred.

At the same time, the crime scene expert uses his pointer to show how the killer — alleged to be her husband, Alex — delivered the final, fatal bullet while standing just a few feet behind Maggie Murdaugh. Prosecutors claim that Maggie was shot several times before she died, and allegedly had to witness her son's murder.

"Everybody was adjusting their seat to get a better look because it was just so dynamic," Matt Johnson of CourtTV tells Inside Edition. "This courtroom absolutely stopped in South Carolina, because you have the prosecution lying on the ground, actually demonstrating how Maggie may have been executed."

New information about the murder of the suspect's son, Paul Murdaugh, is also discussed.

The first shot fired at the boy was not fatal, but the second traveled through his head.

"His brain was ejected out of the top of the right side of his head and actually arrived at the autopsy in a separate bucket," prosecutor Creighton Waters says.

February 21, 2023

Buster Murdough takes the stand in his father's murder trial and walks through the night he learned the terrible news that his mom and brother had been shot to death. The 26-year-old son of Alex Murdaugh appears in court as a witness for the defense and recalls the conversation he had with his father on the night of the shootings.

"He asked me if I was sitting down, and I was like, 'Yeah,'" Buster testifies. "Then he sounded odd and then he told me that that my mom and brother had been shot. I kind of just sat there for a minute. I was in shock."

Buster testifies that he immediately drove to his parents' house, where he encountered his father for the first time. He is asked to describe his father's demeanor at the time by the defense and he responds: "His demeanor is he was destroyed. He was heartbroken."

Buster says that he gave his father "a hug" at that moment.

He goes on to describe his family as incredibly close, saying they would take trips together and that disagreements were always handled "civilly."

Buster's testimony had been eagerly awaited by many in the South Carolina courtroom according to Court TV's Matt Johnson. "This is the moment that this gallery and also this jury have been waiting for," Johnson tells Inside Edition. "He gets up on the stand and the gallery and the jury is just on pins and needles, on every moment, and everything that he testifies about."

The defense also plays the police interview conducted three days after the shootings, in which prosecutors claim Alex Murdaugh says "I did him so bad" in reference to his son's death. Buster disputes this and says that his father was saying: "They did him so bad."

He says that his father used the same expression on the night of the shootings when he saw him at the family's home. Alex Murdaugh beams at his son during parts of his testimony.

February 22, 2023

Buster Murdaugh makes headlines the day after supporting his father by taking the stand for the defense.

“Today" legal correspondent Lisa Green says that Buster appearing on the stand may have been a more powerful message than anything he said during his testimony.

"I know a lot of people think he wasn't that emotional," Green told Savannah Guthrie. "I think for the jury that's going to matter much less than the fact that this son who's lost his mother and his only brother supports his father."

Also on Feb. 22, the true crime docuseries "Murdaugh Murders: A Southern Scandal" premieres on Netflix. Directed by Julia Willoughby Nason and Jenner Furst, the three-part series examines how "shocking tragedies shatter a tight-knit South Carolina community and expose the horrifying secrets of its most powerful family." 

In it, Morgan Doughty, Paul Murdaugh's girlfriend, says the couple's relationship was turbulent, and speaks about his family and Paul's father, Alex. "It was just very normal for them to be drinking and just having a lot of alcohol like always stocked in the house," Morgan says of the Murdaugh family. 

She also says that the drinking had a negative impact on her relationship with Paul. "Alcohol definitely changed Paul," Morgan says at one point in the series. "We called Paul 'Timmy' when he was drunk."

February 24, 2023

During his second day of testimony, Alex Murdaugh is pummeled by the prosecutor, who portrays the accused murderer as a drug addict, a thief and a liar. The prosecutor hones in on a video, which the prosecution says shows that the disgraced lawyer had been with his son Paul and wife Maggie just minutes before the two were shot to death.

Murdaugh had initially told police he last saw his family hours before their murders.

"You have to sit in this courtroom and hear your family and your friends, one after the other, come in and testify that you were on that kennel video. So you, like you've done so many times over the course of your life, had to back up and make a new story that kind of fit with the facts that can't be denied, isn't that true, sir?" Prosecutor Creighton Waters asks Murdaugh at one point on the stand.

Murdaugh denies this, but the prosecutor accuses Murdaugh of "manufacturing an alibi."

Murdaugh in turn delivers a lengthy response, saying: "I never manufactured any alibi in any way shape or form. Because I did not and would not hurt my wife and my child. So I know for a fact that I never ever, ever created an alibi."

Murdaugh claims his addiction to painkillers made him paranoid and said that is why he lied to cops about his whereabouts that night. He says that there were days he took more than 60 pills, which were a combination of oxycodone and OxyContin.

Opinion is mixed on Murdaugh's testimony, with many finding his decision to start referring to his son Paul a "Paw Paw" on the stand as contrived since he has never used that name before for his son.

March 1, 2023

The jurors are given an in-person tour of the Murdaugh family lodge, where they stayed about 30 minutes. Alex Murdaugh is not allowed to accompany them, and any personnel escorting the jurors are not permitted to speak with the jury members, nor allow anyone else to speak with jury members during the tour. 

March 2, 2023

A juror is tossed off the panel after the judge says she discussed the case with others. 

“Intentionally or unintentionally, you’ve had some discussion with some folks not on the jury, which is going to require me to remove you from the jury,” the judge tells the woman, who is required to leave immediately with all of her personal belongings. 

Just before the defense begins its final statement, alternate juror No. 254 is seated, just in time for Alex Murdaugh’s attorney to plead for him to be acquitted. Now that the case is going to the jury, attention is focused on the anonymous panel, which will determine Alex Murdaugh’s fate.

Murdaugh’s lawyer Jim Griffin presents his closing arguments, ridiculing the suggestion that his client killed his wife and son to gain sympathy and distract from his alleged financial crimes that were about to be exposed. 

“The state’s theory is, there was a storm a-coming. The clouds are arising, and because of that, he does what every rational person would do … go kill your wife and son,” Griffin says. “Totally illogical, irrational and insane; those are the words I wrote down.”

He shows the jury a previously unseen photo of Murdaugh after a botched suicide attempt, saying, “When Alex is at financial collapse, he doesn’t go kill somebody else. He tries to end it himself.” 

“On behalf of Alex, on behalf of Buster, on behalf of Maggie and on behalf of my friend Paul, I respectfully ask you do not compound a family tragedy with another,” he continues. “Thank you.” 

March 2, 2023: Alex Murdaugh Is Found Guilty of Murder

Alex Murdaugh is convicted of murdering his wife, Maggie Murdaugh, and their 22-year-old son, Paul Murdaugh, in 2021.

Murdaugh sat emotionless as he was found guilty of murder, two counts of possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime.

The jury reached a unanimous verdict in the case after deliberating for less than three hours.

March 3, 2023: Life in Prison 

Alex Murdaugh is sentenced to serve two consecutive life sentences in prison for the murders of his wife and son.

During the sentencing, South Carolina’s Chief Prosecutor Creighton Waters requests the max sentencing, two consecutive life sentences, calling Murdaugh a “cunning manipulator” who should not walk among the public.

“I’m innocent. I would never hurt my wife Maggie and I would never hurt my son," Murdaugh’s says to the judge before being sentenced. 

None of the victims' relatives choose to speak during the sentencing. 

Later in the day, Alex Murdaugh's defense attorneys say they plan to quickly file an appeal of their client's double-murder conviction. Attorneys Jim Griffin and Dick Harpootlian tell reporters at a press conference Friday they believe they can get Murdaugh’s life sentence overturned on appeal. They question Judge Clifton Newman's decision to allow prosecutors to present evidence of Murdaugh's alleged financial crimes during his murder trial. 

The jury "heard everything that would be in an HBO or Netflix documentary," Griffin says, according to the State. Griffin says they will take their appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, if necessary.

Murdaugh will be transported from Walterboro to a South Carolina Department of Corrections facility in Columbia, Griffin says. After a 30-day evaluation period, he will be assigned to the corrections institute where he could spend the rest of his life, the State reported.

This is a breaking story. Come back for updated coverage.

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