Paul Murdaugh, 22, and Margaret Murdaugh, 52, were shot dead on June 7, at their home in Islandton, South Carolina
The mother and son, members a prominent South Carolina family of lawyers were killed Monday, while the son was awaiting trial for boating accident that killed girl, 19
The pair had been shot several times and their bodies were found next to a dog kennel on the extensive Colleton County property
Paul Murdaugh was awaiting trial for a boating accident that killed a 19-year-old girl – Mallory Beach died after being thrown from the boat in Paul was driving two years ago
Paul was allegedly under the influence at the time; he pled not guilty
Family members are lawyers and have served as elected prosecutors at times but none of them is currently in office Police have not yet made any arrests in the murders
Richard Murdaugh III, Paul’s 81-year-old grandfather, died Thursday from complications relating to an illness
A mother and son from a prominent South Carolina legal family were shot dead in their home on Monday while he was awaiting trial in the 2019 boating death of a teenage girl.
Margaret, 52, and Paul Murdaugh, 22, were found dead, shot multiple times, in the backyard of their home in Islandton, South Carolina, at 10pm on Monday.
Their deaths have been ruled a double murder. According to police, the assailant used a shotgun and an assault rifle to carry out the killings.
Police have not yet arrested any suspects, and it’s unclear if they have any leads.
Members of the Murdaugh family have served as county elected prosecutors for almost 87 years but none is currently in office.
Paul was awaiting trial on charges relating to the 2019 boating death of 19-year-old Mallory Beach, who was thrown from the boat Paul was driving, along with five others, when he crashed.
The double homicide is being investigated by local and state officials sent shock waves through the state and gained national attention, with some some law enforcement sources speculating that it’s possible Paul Murdaugh, was targeted by the killer, while his mother, Margaret Murdaugh, was killed because she was there by happenstance.
The investigation is ongoing.
Sources familiar with the investigation have said that Margaret and Paul were found several yards apart. Two different weapons, a shotgun and a military-style rifle, were used in the crime, the sources said
Paul was awaiting trial on charges relating to the death of Mallory Beach, 19, who died in 2019 after being thrown from a boat he was driving drunk. It took dive teams nine days to find Mallory’s body in the water.
Mallory’s mother filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the family last year. The status of that lawsuit is unknown.
After the murders, the Beach family released a statement through their attorney saying they hoped the killer would be brought to justice.
‘The Beach Family extends its deepest and warmest sympathies to the Murdaugh family during this terrible time.
‘Having suffered the devastating loss of their own daughter, the family prays that the Murdaughs can find some level of peace from this tragic loss.
‘They would like the family and the community to know that their thoughts and continued prayers are with the Murdaughs.
‘It is their most sincere hope that someone will come forward and cooperate with authorities so that the perpetrator of these senseless crimes can be brought to justice.’
Margaret ‘Maggie’ Murdaugh was the wife of prominent attorney Alex Murdaugh, a senior partner of the venerable South Carolina law firm PMPED, founded by Alex’s great-grandfather in 1910, which is headquartered in Hampton.
The couple had two sons. Their younger son Paul was a student at the University of South Carolina.
Paul Murdaugh was awaiting trial on a charge of boating under the influence causing death in a February 2019 crash that killed 19-year-old Mallory Beach, also of Hampton, and injured others on board.. Her body was found nine days after the crash.
He was facing three felony counts of boating under the influence. He had pled ‘not guilty’ and the case was still pending at the time of his death.
The Murdaughs are one of South Carolina’s most prominent legal families. Richard Alex Murdaugh’s father, Richard Murdaugh III, served as the 14th Circuit Solicitor for 20 years before retiring in 2006. Three generations of the family have been state prosecutors.
Murdaugh III was the third generation of the Murdaugh family to serve as 14th circuit solicitor. He served from 1987 until his retirement in 2005. His father, Randolph “Buster” Murdaugh Jr., held the same position for 48 years. His grandfather, Randolph Murdaugh Sr., was solicitor for 20 years until his death in a car-train collision in 1940.
As a result of the handling of the boat wreck, and other controversial events involving this family over the years, many people around the state, especially in the Hampton and Beaufort County areas, reportedly, have expressed negative feelings toward Murdaugh and members of his family to the media and on social media, while friends and colleagues of the Murdaughs have often come to their defense.
The potential for conflict of interest arising from the family’s deep ties with the legal system in the state has been highlighted in the questions of recusal in the aftermath of the wreck, as well as the investigation of the recent double homicide involving family members.
The Murdaugh family confirmed the two deaths in a statement through the law firm where Richard Alex Murdaugh is a senior partner.
‘The Murdaugh family and PMPED wish to thank everyone for the many condolences in the aftermath of the deaths of Maggie and Paul Murdaugh.
‘We ask for your continued patience and prayers through this tragic time.’
On Thursday, Richard Murdaugh III – Paul’s grandfather and Margaret’s father-in-law – died from complications stemming from an illness. He was 81.
A funeral for Paul and Margaret is taking place on Friday. Tributes to the family flooded social media as news of the killings spread and shocked the local community.