A grand jury is expected to indict embattled South Carolina attorney Alex Murdaugh on murder charges in last year’s slayings of his wife and son, sources said Tuesday, the latest twist in the sprawling scandal engulfing a local legal dynasty.
According to three sources close to the investigation, the grand jury is expected to indict later this week on double murder charges and will announce the findings of the indictment shortly thereafter. The family has been notified about the indictment, and so has Murdaugh. Part of the indictment is based on new evidence.
Lawyers for Murdaugh could not immediately be reached for comment Tuesday afternoon.
Margaret “Maggie” Murdaugh, 52, and the couple’s youngest son, Paul Murdaugh, 22, were found shot to death on the night of June 7, 2021, at their rural estate and hunting lodge in Colleton County, near Charleston. Murdaugh, 54, called 911 saying he had discovered the bodies of his wife and son.
Murdaugh has also been indicted on dozens of finance-related charges.
In the wake of the deaths, state law enforcement officials said they uncovered a financial scheme involving Murdaugh that began to untangle when, in September, he told authorities that he had been randomly attacked in a roadside shooting near the family’s estate.
He survived, but the claim came under scrutiny, and days later authorities said Murdaugh had arranged for a man to kill him so another son, Buster Murdaugh, the older brother of Paul Murdaugh, could collect on a $10 million life insurance policy.
Maggie Murdaugh left her property to her husband before she and their son were mysteriously killed, according to a copy of her last will and testament.
The state’s highest court indefinitely suspended Alex Murdaugh’s law license last fall.
The indictments allege that he stole more than $2.6 million from clients Natarsha Thomas, Arthur Badger and Deon Martin and the family of Hakeem Pinckney.
In all four cases, Murdaugh is alleged to have used funds meant for his clients for his personal use, the indictments state.
A state grand jury indicted Murdaugh in November and December on 48 counts, including breach of trust with fraudulent intent, forgery, money laundering, computer crimes and obtaining property by false pretenses.
Curtis Edwards Smith, then 61, who is accused of assisting Murdaugh in the failed suicide plot to collect life insurance money, was arrested last month, according to the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division. The charges include four counts of money laundering, three counts of forgery and criminal conspiracy, NBC affiliate WCBD of Charleston reported.
Smith was previously arrested in September after investigators said Murdaugh gave him a gun and directed Smith to kill him. Smith was charged with assisted suicide, assault and battery of a high aggravated nature, pointing and presenting a firearm, insurance fraud, conspiracy to commit insurance fraud and drug offenses.
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