Alex Murdaugh was sentenced to life in prison Friday morning after a jury in South Carolina reached a guilty verdict in his double murder trial. The disgraced former attorney was convicted Thursday on four counts: the 2021 murder of his wife Maggie Murdaugh, the murder of his son Paul Murdaugh, and two counts of possession of a weapon during a crime.
Judge Clifton Newman announced a sentence of “the rest of your natural life” in prison for each of the two murder counts, to be served consecutively.
Murdaugh, 54, spoke briefing in court before the sentence was handed down and denied that he had ever hurt his wife or son.
During the trial, he took the stand in his own defense and repeatedly broke down in tears over two days of testimony as he denied the killings. But his testimony also included admissions that he had lied to investigators, and evidence presented by the prosecution placed him at the scene on the night of the murders.
In a news conference Thursday evening, South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson said the verdict came after “nearly two years of blood, sweat and tears from a lot of hard-working people.”
“Our criminal justice system worked tonight. It gave a voice to Maggie and Paul Murdaugh, who were brutally mowed down by someone they knew and trusted,” Wilson said.
After the verdict was read, the defense moved to have it thrown out and a mistrial declared, but Judge Clifton Newman denied the request, citing the massive amount of evidence and testimony the jury had considered, The Associated Press reported.
“The jury has now considered the evidence for a significant period of time, and the evidence of guilt is overwhelming,” he said.
Murdaugh faces another trial in the future over numerous financial crimes.
“48 Hours” will air “The Trial of Alex Murdaugh” Saturday at 10/9c.
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