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LIVE FEED – ‘Murdaugh Murders’ Trial: Alex Murdaugh Sentencing Hearing

Life sentences looming?


Convicted killer Alex Murdaugh will stand before South Carolina circuit court judge Clifton Newman on Friday and receive his fate – which is widely expected to be a pair of consecutive life sentences (without the possibility of parole) on the murder charges and additional years on the two weapons charges.

Having been found guilty of the savage slayings of his wife and younger son on Thursday evening, the disbarred, disgraced Palmetto State attorney – decked out in prison garb and shackled at the hands and feet – will look markedly different than he has in court over the past six weeks.

During his trial, Murdaugh had appeared in neatly pressed shirts, slacks and sport coats.

Not anymore …

After six weeks of testimony, a Colleton County reportedly took less than an hour to find Murdaugh guilty of brutally murdering his wife, 52-year-old Maggie Murdaugh, and youngest son, 22-year-old Paul Murdaugh on June 7, 2021 at Moselle – the family’s 1,700-acre hunting property straddling the Salkehatchie River on the border of Colleton and Hampton counties.

“I’m sorry,” Murdaugh mouthed to his surviving son, Buster Murdaugh, as he was handcuffed and led out of the courtroom. “I love you. I love you.”




Murdaugh’s attorneys have thirty days to appeal his convictions, and his sister Lynn Goettee noted on social media that we should expect a “lengthy appeals process.”

While that process unfolds, Murdaugh will be transferred at some point over the next few days from the custody of the Colleton County sheriff’s office into the custody of the S.C. Department of Corrections (SCDC).

What will that process look like? In South Carolina, all new male inmates are taken to Kirkland reception and evaluation center – which is located approximately seven miles northwest of Columbia, S.C.

Kirkland is a maximum-security prison which is part of the Broad River Road Correctional Institution. The facility “receives, assesses, classifies and assigns all male offenders age 17 and above sentenced to 91 days or more.”

According to my sources, Murdaugh will be housed in a secure unit at Kirkland and evaluated to determine where his best placement within the SCDC system will be. That decision will be made based on a number of factors including a medical examination, mental health assessment and other tests.

(Click to view)

Alex Murdaugh is found guilty on all counts of the murder of his wife and son at the Colleton County Courthouse on Thursday, March 2, 2023. Joshua Boucher/The State/Pool

The scion of an influential South Carolina legal dynasty, Murdaugh once led the Palmetto State’s powerful trial lawyers’ lobby. Today, he is at the center of a maze of alleged criminality known as the ‘Murdaugh Murders’ crime and corruption saga.

To be clear: Murdaugh’s conviction on murder charges does NOT mean this story is over. Far from it.

The 54-year-old is also staring down a multitude of alleged financial crimes (many of which he admitted to on the stand last week) as well as drug charges and allegations of obstruction of justice tied to a fatal 2019 boat crash involving his late son. Additionally, he is facing fraud charges tied to a bizarre, botched suicide attempt on Labor Day weekend in 2021.

All of these are state charges. Murdaugh has yet to be charged federally – although our sources say that is likely to change very soon. Murdaugh is also expected to be slapped with additional state charges, as well.

Oh, and to top it all off he was charged last week with a misdemeanor contraband offense by Colleton County deputies.



11:49 a.m. EST – Will Dick Harpootlian and Jim Griffin use the leak of the sealed autopsy photos as a grounds for appeal? The defense has scheduled a press conference at Noon.

10:08 a.m. EST – Judge Newman says that an order has been issued maintaining the confidentiality of the jurors except for a video of the defendant leaving the courtroom. The jurors have the right to continue to maintain their confidentiality, but are not obligated to do so.

Alex Murdaugh is sentenced to two consecutive life sentences for the murder of his wife and son by Judge Clifton Newman at the Colleton County Courthouse on Friday, March 3, 2023. Joshua Boucher/The State/Pool

10:06 a.m. EST – Judge Newman, “Mr. Murdaugh, I sentence you for the term of the rest of your natural life for the murder of Paul, who you probably loved so much. I sentence you to prison for murdering him for the rest of your natural life.”

10:01 a.m. EST – Judge Newman says without any delay, they will begin to schedule other matters relating to Murdaugh’s cases. He says they may have worn their welcome out in Colleton County, but says there are other cases that deserve to be heard. Judge Newman says he can imagine that day on June 7, 2021 when a lawyer has confessed that he stole $500,000 and he has a tiger like Mark Tinsley on his tail pursuing discovery. And has a father, for the most part, on his death bed. Judge Newman says, “It was an ordinary day. Not credible. Not believable.”

9:58 a.m. EST – Judge Newman tells Murdaugh he had such a lovely family, including him. Murdaugh now has an opportunity to make a final appeal as an ex-lawyer and it is surprising that he is waiving his right at this time. He is not compelled to do so. Murdaugh repeats that statement that he would never hurt Maggie or Paul. Judge Newman says, “Maybe it wasn’t you. Maybe it was the monster inside you.”

Alex Murdaugh is sentenced to two consecutive life sentences for the murder of his wife and son by Judge Clifton Newman at the Colleton County Courthouse on Friday, March 3, 2023. Joshua Boucher/The State/Pool

9:53 a.m. EST – Judge Newman says this case qualifies for the death penalty by definition of the crime. He doesn’t question the decision of the State not to pursue the death penalty, but as he sits in the courtroom and reflects on the fact that over the last century, his family, including him and is reminded that many of them have received the death penalty for lesser conduct. Judge Newman asks Murdaugh, “When is it going to end?” He continues, “Perhaps you believe it does not matter. That there is nothing to mitigate the sentence of the crimes that were committed.” Judge Newman reminds Murdaugh the notice of alibi was filed in November and in the last minute and days of the trial, he admitted to being there. Judge Newman says when I ask where it will end, “Within your own soul you are going to have to deal with that.” He hopes Murdaugh reflects on the last time he looked Paul and Maggie in the eyes.

9:50 a.m. EST – Judge Newman says he has been assigned to preside over 99 other cases, but he will not make comment regarding those pending matters. He tells Murdaugh that as a member of the legal community, he has practiced law before him and they have seen each other on various occasions over the years. It was especially heartbreaking for Judge Newman to see Murdaugh go from being a grieving partner to the person who was indicted and convicted of killing him. He states Murdaugh has engaged in duplicitous conduct in the courtroom and on the witness stand.

Alex Murdaugh is sentenced to two consecutive life sentences for the murder of his wife and son by Judge Clifton Newman at the Colleton County Courthouse on Friday, March 3, 2023. Joshua Boucher/The State/Pool

9:48 a.m. EST – Judge Newman says this has been a very troubling case for him and for the State. He continues, “You have a wife who was killed and murdered. A son savagely murdered. A lawyer, a person from a respected family who has controlled justice for over a century. A person whose grandfather’s portrait hanged at the back of the courthouse that I had to have ordered to remove to ensure a fair trial for the State and the defense.”

9:47 a.m. EST – SLED Chief Mark Keel speaks and says he is proud of his staff and they are here to see justice served. Griffin and Harpootlian have no comment, but Murdaugh would like to address the court. Murdaugh says, “I’m innocent and I would never hurt my wife, Maggie and I would never hurt Paul Paul.”

9:45 a.m. EST – Waters says he would like Judge Newman to give Alex Murdaugh the maximum sentence. The victim advocate says that none of the victims are willing to speak and they want to be sensitive to them.

9:44 a.m. EST – Waters tells Judge Newman that Paul and Maggie were both cut down in the prime of their lives. Both of them were unaware of who Murdaugh really was. Waters says, “I’ve looked in his eyes and I could see the real Alex Murdaugh when he looked at me.”

9:41 a.m. EST – Court has resumed. Judge Newman has taken the stand. Creighton Waters has handed the sentencing sheets to Clerk of Court Rebecca Hill. The State has no victim impact statements at this time. Waters states Murdaugh is a “cunning manipulator.” He states Murdaugh violated the trust of his family, friends, law partners, and most of all, Maggie and Paul.

9:05 a.m. EST – Alex Murdaugh has arrived at the Colleton County Courthouse for his sentencing hearing.

Alex Murdaugh
Alex Murdaugh arrives at the Colleton County Courthouse for his sentencing hearing on March 3, 2023.
Brett Flashnick/FITSNews

8:15 a.m. EST – Lead prosecutor Creighton Waters speaks with Good Morning America …



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Beanball March 3, 2023 at 8:49 am

Somebody give the judge a good warm up for his pitching arm, and a nice, thick book for the actual throwing.

DeNeil Geddings March 3, 2023 at 9:23 am

So I see the conviction did nothing to quell the family’s arrogance and belief that they ARE the law.

Ralph Hightower March 3, 2023 at 10:24 am

The only time that Murdaugh told the truth was when Murdaugh said that he lied.

Clemson McDaniel III March 3, 2023 at 11:02 am

Congratulations to Creighton Waters, prosecution team and I stand corrected also to SLED. This is MOB material. 14 million missing still on a supposed opioid addiction. SLED knows, FBI knows and most South Carolina citizens know that the local MOB, Dixie Mafia, good ol boys are still alive and well in our State. They might hide funds when the heats on, like they did during Carolina Investors case and many other cases, but the public and especially FitsNews, Mandy Matney, documentarians and many others are on to them now. Please no more business as usual passing down solicitors positions, Judges vacancies to nepotistic rule that has poisoned this States justice system. Please look at recent cases along these family lines throughout this State as the putrid smell of corruption reeks for lady justice.

Thomas March 3, 2023 at 11:10 am

So happy this is over. Now can we shine light on the fucking General Assembly? That new Speaker? SC Senate Leadership? No One Is Reporting On The State House When In Session (NOIROTSH). THAT is the impetus of why I visit this website. You all figure it..I’m done with it

Back to Basics March 3, 2023 at 12:31 pm

I think that’s the most legitimate complaint about this site at this point. I get that the Murdaugh thing is popular and probably does warrant the focus, but a lot of other things have been severely neglected as a result.

Alec will never see the outside of a prison as a free man. Let’s focus on things that are actively going to affect South Carolinians.

9" March 3, 2023 at 1:54 pm


stephen henry March 4, 2023 at 12:47 pm

John Marvin’s choice of shirts on sentencing day confirmed beyond reasonable doubt that he is a disrespectful, clueless. and certifiably mentally-challenged human being. In other words, a Murdaugh to the core.


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