Paul Murdaugh, Mother Found Shot to Death Near South Carolina Home
Murdaugh, 22, and his mother are dead nearly two years after a fatal boating crash that killed 19-year-old Mallory Beach. Her parents filed a wrongful death lawsuit against him and criminal charges were also pending at the time of his death this week.
Paul Murdaugh, a 22-year-old man who was charged in the wrongful death of a young woman nearly two years ago, and his mother, Maggie, were both killed in a double homicide outside of their South Carolina home on Monday, according to officials.
Both bodies were discovered by Alex Murdaugh, who is Paul's father and husband of Maggie Murdaugh, 52. Alex told police that he was not home at the time of the shooting, which authorities say took place between 9 and 9:30 p.m. Monday.
Sources told the Island Packet that one of the victims was shot with what they believe was an assault rifle and the other with a shotgun.
The Colleton County Coroners office confirmed the deaths of both Paul and his mother Maggie and that they were killed in an apparent homicide, according to the State.
Attorney Richards McCrae wrote a statement on behalf of a state trial lawyer's group of which Alex Murdaugh is a member.
"Former SCAJ President ... Alex Murdaugh lost two members of his immediate family in what appears to be a heinous act of violence," McCrae wrote about the killing, according to the Island Packet. "While there is an ongoing investigation and it would be improper to speculate any further, please keep Alex, his family, as well as his law partners and their families, in your thoughts and prayers as they go through this extremely difficult and painful time."
Two years ago, Murdaugh was indicted in the death of 19-year-old Mallory Beach, who drowned after a boat he was driving crashed into bridge pilings leading to Parris Island. The girl's body was found a week later.
A group of six friends, including Beach and Murdaugh, attended an oyster roast on Paukie Island in February 2019 where the group was drinking, WIS10 reported.
Adults at the party had reportedly asked that the teens not take the boat back due to foggy and misty weather. While they were offered to be driven home instead, the group decided to take the boat, according to testimony.
Witnesses said that Murdaugh was intoxicated at the party and had insisted to drive the group back, according to court depositions from his cousin and friend.
The group got into an "argument" while aboard Murdaugh's boat about wanting to get home while others wanted to keep drinking, according to a witness testimony, which alleges that Murdaugh had become aggressive and "slapped" his then-girlfriend.
Murdaugh then allegedly went to the steering wheel and the boat accelerated "full throttle," according to testimony.
"We went from a two-mile-per-hour idle to the bow of the boat sticking up in the air," Murdaugh's cousin said in his testimony.
All six of the occupants were ejected from the boat. Five of them were able to make their way back to shore, but Mallory was nowhere to be found, according to testimony.
Seven days later her body resurfaced.
Murdaugh pleaded not guilty to three felony counts of boating under the influence causing death and bodily injury and was released on a $50,000 recognizance bond, The Augusta Chronicle reported. But last year Mallory's mother filed a civil lawsuit against the Murdaugh family and the convenience store chain that allegedly sold minors alcohol the evening of her daughter's death.
The Beach family released a statement Tuesday afternoon through their attorney which says, "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," the statement said.
An attorney general spokesperson said once there is a certifiable death certificate they will officially dismiss the criminal charges against Paul Murdaugh.
Autopsies are scheduled for Thursday.
For 85 years the Murdaugh family has served as a legal powerhouse in the state. Three generations of Murdaughs have served as the 14th Circuit Solicitor in the southern part of the state. A solicitor is otherwise referred to as a District Attorney in other jurisdictions throughout the country.
The 14th Circuit Solicitor covers five counties throughout South Carolina including Allendale, Beaufort, Colleton, Hampton, and Jasper, and prosecutes nearly 5,000 cases per year, according to the Island Packet.
The Colleton County Sheriff's Office is investigating the homicides.
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