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Alex Murdaugh found guilty of murder by jury of his peers

Alex Murdaugh and his attorneys

Alex Murdaugh and his legal team speak after Judge Clifton Newman charges the jury in his trial for murder at the Colleton County Courthouse on Thursday, March 2, 2023. Joshua Boucher/The State/Pool

The Lowcountry is one of the most beautiful parts of South Carolina. The area’s features along the state’s coast include wide rivers, wildlife both native and invasive, and vast stretches of Spanish moss, pine, red maples, black gums, bald cypress, and palmetto trees.

In June 2021, Alex Murdaugh spoiled some of that beauty with the cold, cruel, and depraved slaughter of his wife, Margaret “Maggie” Murdaugh, 52, and their youngest son Paul Murdaugh, 22.

After two hours and 50 minutes of deliberations in Colleton County, 12 jurors decided his legal fate. The timestamp on their decision was 6:41 p.m. EST.

The trial itself was something not entirely unlike a marathon. What was initially anticipated to take around three weeks easily spilled into nearly six full weeks of testimony, argument, and exhibits.

The defense delivered their closing argument on Thursday morning. The state spent all day delivering their closing argument on Wednesday – after jurors were given access to the family’s hunting lodge known as Moselle during a field trip earlier that morning.

The official court pool followed closely behind the jury and described the kennels where the victims were killed:

The feed room feels like a haunted place. It is roughly 10’ deep and 6’ wide, according to measurements taken by Special Agent Melinda Worley. Crime scene expert Kenneth Kinsey described Paul as standing about 5’ into the feed room when he was hit by the first shotgun blast to the chest. The doorway is off center and on the right; there is a shelf on the left at waist high. Standing in the center of the small room, which is roughly 6’ wide, your pooler could not see to the left outside of the doorway, where Mr. Kinsey said the shooter would have been. The concrete pad where Paul fell is within sight of the corner of the shed, where Maggie’s body was found. Maggie fell roughly 12 steps from where Paul would have fallen.

“There was no visible sign that two people had died in a violent manner in such close proximity, no blood stain or anything similar to it, either in the feed room, on the concrete pad or at the corner of the shed,” the pool continued. “The interior of the feed room appeared to be redone with newer plywood, and parts had been painted. The back window remains, and the bullet holes are large and cracked around the edges.”

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