Double murder, insurance fraud, drug trafficking and serial fraud: the trial of a dark drawer case opened Monday in the United States, where an influential lawyer is accused of killing his wife and son before – unsuccessfully – orchestrating his own death .
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Alex Murdaugh, 54, who had been jailed for months, was brought to court in the morning in Walterboro, a South Carolina city, where the parties began jury selection.
He is accused of killing his wife Maggie with a gun and his son Paul with a pistol on June 7, 2021, which he denies.
That day he had called emergency services and said he had found the bodies of his wife, 52, and son, a 22-year-old student, holed in front of the family pavilion. As a member of a family of very wealthy and influential local figures, he was not officially involved.
However, three months later, he fell into the limelight when he attempted to stage his own death as part of an insurance fraud.
Confused by police, he admitted to asking a former client to shoot him so his last surviving son could get $10 million life insurance. The gunman shot him in the head on September 4, but Alex Murdaugh survived.
The investigators then took a closer look at his belongings and discovered numerous embezzlements.
He has since been charged with fraud — he is suspected of embezzling more than $8.5 million from clients of his law firm — and money laundering in connection with the opiate trade.
But it was more than a year before he was charged with the murders of his son and wife. According to US media, he was confused by suspicious bloodstains on his clothes and phone calls that were inconsistent with his alibi.
The family legacy of Alex Murdaugh, whose father, grandfather and great-grandfather were prosecutors for a combined 87 years, has fueled suspicions of possible complacency with a prosecution order on the record.
In court in Walterboro, a portrait of her grandfather had to be taken before the trial began. This should take several weeks. Alex Murdaugh faces life imprisonment.