Too often forgotten in this tragic tale is Mallory Beach — the victim. Beach was well-known and adored in the Hampton and Beaufort communities where she lived and worked. She was described by friends as bubbly and kind with a bright future ahead of her.
The 19-year-old Hampton, S.C. native died tragically when a 17-foot center console fishing boat slammed into a pylon near the Archer’s Creek bridge just north of the Marine Corps Recruit Depot (MCRD) at Parris Island in Beaufort County, S.C.
Her body was found a week later – five miles away from the crash site – with the local coroner identifying the cause of death as blunt force trauma and drowning.
All of the surviving passengers on the boat were described by local law enforcement as being “grossly intoxicated” in the aftermath of the crash. Also, all of them were underage at the time the accident occurred.
Paul Murdaugh of Hampton, S.C. was charged by the grand jury with one count of boating under the influence resulting in death and two counts of boating under the influence causing great bodily injury. These charges were dropped following his murder on June 7, 2021.
Tinsley filed a wrongful death suit in Beaufort County on behalf of Mallory Beach’s family on March 29, 2019, then moved the case to Hampton County weeks later. On January 6, 2020, a motion was filed in the wrongful death lawsuit requesting a change of venue from Hampton County — a place that has been called “a judicial hell hole” — back to where it was originally filed in Beaufort County.
Richard Alexander Murdaugh, who owns the boat in the crash, was accused in the lawsuit of failing to supervise his son when he knew or should have known his son was illegally using a license to buy and consume alcohol.”
Richard Alexander Murdaugh Jr. was accused of allowing his younger brother (Paul) to use his driver’s license to purchase alcohol at Parker’s gas station. The alcohol was later shared with the five other boaters, according to the suit.
Alex Murdaugh was accused of withholding documents relating to his financials from Tinsley in the wrongful death lawsuit. Tinsley filed a motion to compel and that motion was set to be heard on June 10, 2021 – just 3 days after Paul and Maggie Murdaugh were murdered.
Born April 18, 1999
Died February 24, 2019 as a result of a boat crash in a boat allegedly driven by Paul Murdaugh