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Alex Murdaugh Sentenced To Life In Prison For The Murder Of His Wife And Son

The former attorney was given two consecutive life sentences out of the four counts after murdering his wife and son.

Disbarred attorney Alex Murdaugh was sentenced to two consecutive life terms in prison by the presiding Judge Clifton Newman in less than 24 hours after he was found guilty of the murders of his, wife, Maggie and son, Paul. 

Judge Clifton Newman speaks during the trial of North Charleston police officer Michael Slager at the Charleston County court on November 23, 2016, in Charleston, South Carolina. Newman sentenced disgraced attorney Alex Murdaugh for a life sentence and remanded him to the State Department of Corrections. GRACE BEAHM-POOL/GETTY IMAGES

The separate charges of the two counts of possession for the use of a weapon during crime is not sentenced because of the life sentence , according to NBC News.

Newman had reminded Murdaugh of the lies he admitted to in the wake when he took the stand trying claim innocence. 

“What a tangled web we weave, once you tell a lie,” Murdaugh said in his testimony. 

Newman asked what the disgraced attorney the meaning about the web of lies.

The sentencing hearing began around 9:30 a.m. ET. Both the prosecution and the defense began their statements prior to Murdaugh’s brief statement.

“Good morning, your honor. I am innocent,” Murdaugh said. “I would never hurt my wife Maggie, and I would never hurt my son, Paw-Paw. Thank you.”

Prosecutor Creighton Waters began the opening statement for the sentencing asking the judge for the maximum of the life sentence, according to ABC News.

Under South Carolina law, Mudaugh will have 30 days to file an appeal of his conviction in this case.  An appeal is fairly standard in murder cases, so that likely will happen. 

“I’ve looked at his eyes. And he like to stare me down as he would walk by me during this trial. And I Could see the real Alex Murdaugh when he looked at me,” said Waters in his deliberations. “The depravity, the callousness, the selfishness of these crimes are stunning. The lack of remorse and the effortless way in which he lies, including here sitting right over there, in this witness stand. Your honor, a man like that, a man like this man, should never be allowed to be among free, law-abiding citizens again.”

Under Law is seen past the Authority of Law statue at the US Supreme Court in Washington, DC, on March 9, 2022. Prior to the sentencing, Murdaugh admitted to his lies when he took the stand in trial. STEFANI REYNOLD/GETTY IMAGES

Prior to the sentencing, Newman gave a brief statement in his interactions with Murdaugh as a lawyer and as a judge as well as his direction to him.

“As a member of the legal community and well-known member of the legal community, you’ve practiced law before me and we’ve seen each other in various occasions throughout the years,” said Newman in his direction to Murdaugh.

“It was especially heartbreaking for me to see you go in the media from being a grieving father who lost the wife and son to being the person indicted and convicted of killing them.”

Newman had ordered the court to remove the portrait of Murdaugh’s relative, Randolph ‘Buster” Murdaugh Jr., in January, according to the New York Times. Buster Murdaugh Jr. was the 14th Circuit Solicitor for the State of South Carolina.

“The person standing before me was not the person who committed the crime,” said Newman directly to Murdaugh, according to a Twitter via CBS News.

The Murdaugh family had a reputation of service in the legal community for over a 100 years prior to Alex Murdaugh’s crime against his wife and son.

Murdaugh is expected to be remanded to the State Department of Correction under the order of the judge.

South Carolina law allows for an appeal within 30 days of the trial. The defense is expected to file for an appeal within the allotted time.


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