Disbarred South Carolina lawyer faces trial in deaths of spouse, son By Reuters

© Reuters. Alex Murdaugh, a lawyer accused of killing his spouse and youngest son in June 2021, arrives on the Colleton County Courthouse in Walterboro, South Carolina, U.S. January 25, 2022. McKenzie Lange/USA At the moment Community through REUTERS. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES. M

(Reuters) – Opening statements had been set to start on Wednesday within the trial of a now-disbarred South Carolina lawyer charged with murdering his spouse and son in a posh and grisly case that has drawn worldwide consideration.

Richard “Alex” Murdaugh, 54, was indicted by a grand jury in July on two counts of homicide and two counts of possession of a weapon in reference to the capturing of his spouse, Maggie, 52, and 22-year-old Paul, the youthful of their two sons, on the household’s property in June 2021.

The 12-person jury and 6 alternates had been sworn in on Wednesday by Circuit Court docket Decide Clifton Newman, and opening statements had been as a consequence of start at 3 p.m.    

Murdaugh, the scion of an influential South Carolina authorized household, pleaded not responsible to the homicide prices. Deciding towards the demise penalty, state prosecutors are searching for a sentence of life in jail with out parole.

Murdaugh additionally faces separate prosecution on dozens of monetary and drug-related crimes, together with an alleged scheme to have himself killed in order that his older son, Buster, might acquire a $10 million insurance coverage payout.

The trial is going down on the Colleton County Courthouse in Walterboro, a sleepy, rural city 50 miles west of Charleston in a low-lying area of South Carolina over which the Murdaugh household has wielded immense judicial and political energy.

From 1920 to 2006, family members served because the main prosecutor for a five-county district together with Colleton. Previous to his current troubles, Murdaugh was a outstanding private damage lawyer within the state.

Prosecutors have mentioned Murdaugh killed his spouse and little one to generate sympathy and distract from his monetary crimes, an alleged motive that Murdaugh’s legal professionals have argued would not make sense.

Following the homicide trial, Murdaugh must face greater than 100 extra felony prices, starting from drug trafficking to allegations that he stole almost $9 million from purchasers and different attorneys.

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