Paul Murdaugh was the youngest son of Alex and Maggie Murdaugh. Born in 1999 and raised in Hampton County, he was a junior at the University of South Carolina.
At the time of his death, the 22-year-old Murdaugh stood accused of three felony BUIs in a fatal boat crash that killed 19-year old Mallory Beach and injured 3 of his friends. Moments before the crash, he slapped and spit on his girlfriend and refused to let anyone else drive the boat, according to court depositions.
In addition to the criminal case, Beach’s mother – Renee Beach – filed a wrongful death suit in Hampton County, S.C. naming three members of the Murdaugh family among a list of defendants.
In addition to Richard Alexander Murdaugh, this lawsuit (.pdf) specifically named former solicitor Randolph Murdaugh III and Richard Alexander Murdaugh Jr. in connection with Mallory Beach’s death – claiming each of these men contributed in their own way to the alleged underage drinking the suit claimed led to the accident that killed her.
Murdaugh was scheduled to appear in court the week of the murders to supply financial information related to a wrongful death case stemming from that boat crash, which claimed the life of 19-year-old Mallory Beach of Hampton, S.C.
The boat crash case – which you can read more about here and here – is the moment the “House of Murdaugh,” a crumbling legal dynasty which enjoyed near-dictatorial power over a five-county region in the southernmost tip of South Carolina for decades, finally began to collapse.
According to prosecutors, Murdaugh was “in his office working on the disclosures in the boat case” on the day he is accused of murdering his wife and son.
Born April 14, 1999
Youngest son of Alex and Maggie Murdaugh
Murdered on June 7, 2021 at the family’s Colleton County estate
At the time of his death, the 22-year-old Murdaugh stood accused of three felony BUIs in a fatal boat crash