WALTERBORO, S.C. (NewsNation) — Disgraced South Carolina lawyer Alex Murdaugh fought hard to win the jury over because he wanted to “restore the family name” despite facing life in prison for other crimes, locals told NewsNation’s Brian Entin.
The patriarch of a once-powerhouse legal dynasty in South Carolina has been found guilty of murdering his wife and youngest son.
“They felt like if they (Murdaugh) could win this, it would restore some of the prestige. That’s why it was worth it to them to go through this whole process even though it was already likely that he was going to jail for life for the financial crimes,” Entin said.
Murdaugh’s oldest son, Buster, testified for the defense in February and was in attendance on Thursday. Entin believes that Buster will likely get on the stand Friday morning and fight to have the sentence reduced sentence.
Murdaugh was already facing life in prison due to several financial crimes, stealing from his clients when he was a lawyer. He’s been charged with about 100 counts of financial and other crimes related to his legal practice and funds that he admitted he stole.
“Today’s verdict proves no one … no matter who you are in society, is above the law,” South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson said following the guilty verdict in the trial of Alex Murdaugh.
The case has drawn intense media coverage and public interest. During the heat of the trial, Netflix premiered “Murdaugh Murders: A Southern Scandal” for U.S. audiences — with the filmmakers telling Vanity Fair they unearthed additional crimes in the process.
“This case is famous in getting this level of coverage because of the great irony,” Attorney Scott Bolden said during an appearance on NewsNation’s “On Balance.” “America loves a story of the underdog rising to the top from nothing. The Murdaugh’s were at the top, in control. Rich, famous, powerful. … America also loves the decline in how far a rich family or a powerful lawyer falls.”
Prosecutors took more than a year to charge Murdaugh with murder, but they ultimately decided not to pursue the death penalty.
Authorities said Paul Murdaugh, 22, was shot twice with a shotgun, each round loaded with a different size shot, while Maggie Murdaugh, 52, was struck with four or five bullets from a rifle. A crime scene report suggested both victims were shot in the head after initially being wounded near dog kennels on the Murdaughs’ sprawling rural property.
A sentencing hearing was set for 9:30 a.m. ET Friday. He faces 30 years to life in prison without parole for each murder charge.
NewsNation writers Sean Noone and Tyler Wornell contributed to this report.