Alex Murdaugh, 54, is accused of killing his wife, 52-year-old Maggie Murdaugh, and younger son, 22-year-old Paul Murdaugh, near the dog kennels on the family’s hunting property, known locally as Moselle. He has pleaded not guilty to those charges and is awaiting trial in Colleton County in January 2023.
Murdaugh was born on May 27, 1968 to Randolph Murdaugh III and his wife, Libby. He graduated from Wade Hampton High School and continued his studies at the University of South Carolina where he received a B.A. in English and nSpeech Communications and his law degree in 1994.
He married Margaret “Maggie” Kennedy Branstetter in 1993 and they had two sons, Buster and Paul.
After graduating from law school, he practiced for a short time at Moss & Kuhn in Beaufort before joining PMPED in Hampton.
On June 7, 2021, Maggie and Paul Murdaugh were killed at Moselle – the family’s sprawling 1,700-acre hunting property next to the Salkehatchie River on the border of Colleton and Hampton counties. Paul Murdaugh was hit by a pair of shotgun blasts – one to the head, the other to the arm and chest. Maggie Murdaugh was killed by multiple shots from a semi-automatic rifle at or around the time her son was killed. At least two of Maggie Murdaugh’s gunshot wounds were reportedly inflicted as she was laying on the ground – consistent with initial reports we received of “execution-style” slayings.
The bodies were “discovered” by Alex Murdaugh, who called 9-1-1 at approximately 10:07 p.m. EDT on the night in question.
Murdaugh reportedly provided investigators with an “ironclad” alibi for his whereabouts at the time of the shootings, and his attorneys told me at the outset of the murder investigation that he was “not a suspect” and had been “cooperating fully” with SLED.
Curiously, police never indicated they were searching for a suspect related to the homicides – and immediately reassured Lowcountry residents there was no “danger to the community.”
Meanwhile, the Palmetto State’s venerable legal community – of which the Murdaugh family has long been a pillar – recoiled at the notion one of their own could have had anything to do with the killings.
More recently, though, Murdaugh defenders have been forced to come to grips with what one source described as a “mountain of evidence” against the attorney. As FITSNews exclusively reported in April, high-velocity impact spatter was found on Murdaugh’s clothes, placing him at the scene of the murders when at least one of the victims was killed. Last month, we reported on audio and video evidence obtained by investigators which called into question statements provided by Murdaugh to investigators.
FITSNews has also reported that Maggie Murdaugh appears to have been lured to Moselle that night by her husband under the guise of visiting his dying father.
Murdaugh has been indicted by the statewide grand jury on 97 criminal counts alleging he defrauded multiple victims out of nearly $8.5 million. Two others have been indicted in connection with Murdaugh’s alleged financial crimes. These are just the state charges, too. A federal investigation into the Murdaugh empire is also underway – although no charges have been made public related to that probe.
Murdaugh has also been indicted – along with co-conspirator Curtis “Eddie” Smith – in connection with a plot to stage his own murder, ostensibly so his son could collect a $10 million life insurance policy. The charges related to that plot – which unfolded last September – are the only pending charges against Murdaugh which were not handled by the statewide grand jury. They were heard in Hampton County instead.
Murdaugh is currently incarcerated at the Alvin S. Glenn detention center in Richland County. He is being held on a $7 million surety bond imposed by S.C. circuit court judge Alison Lee.
Born May 27, 1968 to Randolph Murdaugh III and his wife, Libby
Graduated from University of South Carolina’s law school in 1994
Married Margaret “Maggie” Kennedy Branstetter in 1993