Alex Murdaugh charged with murders of wife and son in South Carolina

Disgraced US lawyer previously admitted to plotting his own death

South Carolina lawyer Alex Murdaugh was charged with murder in connection with the 2021 deaths of his wife and son. AP
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A South Carolina lawyer previously charged with orchestrating a plot to have himself shot in an insurance scam has been indicted by a grand jury on charges of murdering his wife and youngest son in June last year.

Alex Murdaugh, already facing dozens of state charges including embezzlement, was indicted on Thursday on two counts of murder and two counts of possession of a weapon in connection with the murders, state attorney general Alan Wilson said.

Mr Murdaugh's wife Margaret and son Paul were killed on June 7, 2021, at the family’s property in Colleton County.

Mr Murdaugh was charged last September with insurance fraud in the scheme to have himself killed, which he survived. The shooting allegedly was designed so that his surviving son, Buster Murdaugh, could collect a $10 million insurance pay-out, police had said.

Mr Murdaugh in an affidavit admitted to plotting his own death, a state police agency said last September.

A state grand jury indicted him in November on 27 charges stemming from schemes to defraud law clients and associates as well as launder more than $4.8 million.

His lawyers released a statement on Thursday denying the murder charges and said they would file a motion for a speedy trial.

"He did not have anything to do with the murders of Maggie and Paul," his lawyers reportedly told CNN.

Mr Murdaugh, a scion of a South Carolina legal dynasty, in September was suspended from practising law.

Separately, Mr Murdaugh was accused of embezzling settlement funds related to his housekeeper, Gloria Satterfield, who died in 2018 after a "trip and fall" accident in the Murdaugh home, according to court records.

Updated: July 15, 2022, 3:50 PM