“In the murder of your wife Maggie Murdaugh, I sentence you for the term of the rest of your natural life. For the murder of Paul Murdaugh, whom you probably loved so much, I sentence you to prison for murdering him for the rest of your natural life.”
Judge Clifton Newman, as he sentenced disgraced ex-lawyer Alex Murdaugh in a South Carolina courtroom
mar 3, 2023
The Big Picture: After a trial that lasted almost six weeks, ex-lawyer and member of prominent South Carolina family, Alex Murdaugh, was convicted and sentenced to serve two consecutive life sentences in prison, without the possibility for parole, for the 2021 murders of his wife Maggie, and 22-year old son Paul.
Why: Murdaugh took the stand during the trial and addressed his prolific use of oxycodone, multi-million dollar financial problems, and hiring a hit man to kill him. He admitted to lying numerous times throughout his life and ahead of the trial. South Carolina Attorney General Wilson said of Maggie and Paul ahead of the sentencing that he believed Murdaugh "probably loved them in his own way, but he loved himself more. And killing them was the price he was willing to pay in order to preserve his way of life."
A quick verdict: The jury found Murdaugh guilty after three hours of deliberation. Murdaugh was sentenced by Judge Clifford Newman the following day. As Murdaugh continued to claim his innocence in the courtroom, Judge Newman stated, “I don’t question at all the decision of the state not to pursue the death penalty. But as I sit here in this courtroom and look around the many portraits of judges and other court officials and reflect on the fact that in the past century, your family - including you - have been prosecuting people here in this courtroom. And many have received the death penalty, probably for lesser conduct... I know you have to see Paul and Maggie during the nighttime when you’re attempting to go to sleep. I’m sure they come and visit you."
A overview of the case: What to know about Alex Murdaugh’s murder trial
S.C. judge rebukes Alex Murdaugh during his sentencing as the 'monster you've become'
Day 28: Judge will sentence Murdaugh Friday after guilty verdict in murder trial
Alex Murdaugh taking the stand was a ‘fatal’ move in his double murder trial, South Carolina AG says