During the closing arguments of Alex Murdaugh’s double murder trial in Waltorboro, South Carolina, prosecutors alleged that the disbarred attorney killed his wife and son to avoid facing severe financial consequences.
The day of the murders, the CFO of Murdaugh’s former law firm, then named Peters Murdaugh Parker Eltzroth & Detrick, confronted him about unpaid fees. Additionally, Murdaugh had a hearing on June 10th regarding his finances in relation to a wrongful death lawsuit stemming from a 2019 boat crash where his son, Paul Murdaugh, had crashed into a bridge while under the influence, killing Mallory Beach and injuring four others.
“After an exhaustive investigation, there is only one person who had the motive, who had the means, who had the opportunity to commit these crimes and whose guilty conduct after these crimes betrayed him,” said Creighton Waters, as Murdaugh stared directly at him from the defense table.
“The pressures on this man they were all reaching a crescendo the day his wife and son were murdered,” Waters said. “This was like nothing he’s ever experienced. He’d always been one step ahead of the game.”
The murders appeared to provide a temporary solution to his problems. The missing fees were no longer a topic of discussion, and the boat crash hearing was canceled.
Alex Murdaugh faces more than a dozen indictments, accused of embezzling almost $9 million from his former law firm and clients. Prosecutor Dukes Scott Waters argued that Murdaugh was addicted to money and that the millions of dollars he was receiving in legal fees were not enough.
Waters painted Murdaugh as a skilled manipulator who effortlessly lied to both his vulnerable clients and the jurors in the courtroom during his testimony. Although difficult to accept, Waters acknowledged that it was challenging to believe that a middle-aged man with a respected family legacy and reputation could have murdered his wife and son.