A week after the shootings, no arrests announced
SOUTH CAROLINA LOWCOUNTRY, JUNE 14 – It has been seven days since the night of Monday, June 7, when Margaret “Maggie” Murdaugh, 52, and her son, Paul Murdaugh, 22, were found dead with multiple gunshot wounds outside their home in Colleton County, SC, in a high-profile, double homicide that has since made national news in the pages of publications such as News week and the New York Post.
The SC Law Enforcement Division and Colleton County Sheriff’s Office are investigating. As of Monday, June 14 at 5 p.m., no arrests have been reported and few concrete details released by SLED, which is the lead agency for this investigation.
The victims are members of a prominent Hampton County family known for their legal ties across the Lowcountry and the state. Until current 14th Circuit District Attorney Duffie Stone was selected in 2006, a member of the Murdaugh family had served as a Fourteenth Circuit Lawyer for five counties in Lower South Carolina for 86 consecutive years; and Randolph Murdaugh Sr. founded the personal injury law firm now known as Peters, Murdaugh, Parker, Eltzroth & Detrick, PA. in Hampton in 1910. The firm has since grown into a legal giant in its own right.
With little official information to come on the murders and with a wide variety of questions surrounding these murders, speculation swirls and rumors run rampant across the state.
Although police have not released any official information on possible suspects or persons of interest, Colleton County officials said in a June 8 statement: “At the moment there is no danger for the public “.
Several South Carolina media outlets cite several anonymous “legal sources close to the investigation” to report details of the case, from who found the bodies to the types of weapons used, but none of these details have been confirmed. by SLED or the Collecton County Sheriff’s or Coroner’s Offices.
Media detectives are also publicly speculating on the motive and target of the killings, which were also not discussed by SLED spokespersons.
This case has come under intense media and public scrutiny in large part because one of the victims, Paul Murdaugh, faced three felony counts, including boating under the influence resulting in the death, in a February 2019 boating accident in Beaufort County that was fatal to 19-year-old Mallory Beach, Hampton County, and injured several others.
Murdaugh has pleaded not guilty to all three crimes in a case that is now closed due to his death. A civil wrongful death lawsuit filed by a member of the Beach family against members of the Murdaugh family and other parties remains pending.
Law enforcement officials and prosecutors have been criticized by the South Carolina media for their handling of this 2019 case: Paul Murdaugh was never tested for breath after the accident, according to the Department of SC Natural Resources, was not handcuffed following his direct charge and never spent a moment in jail. Her booking photo was taken in the hallway of the courthouse with her own clothes on. He was on personal commitment bond of $ 50,000 at the time of his death.
Public opinions on Paul Murdaugh and his eminent family have been strong after the fatal boat accident. Beach entered the freezing water on impact of the crash and her body was not found until several days later, sparking public concern and outrage as officials and volunteers searched for day and night to recover his body.
Statewide media editorials and members of the public on social media alleged special treatment of the Murdaughs in the boat accident case because of their legal ties, and also alleged a shoddy police work.
SLED has also been criticized in recent days by state media, and has been the target of several editorials this week, for refusing to disclose details of this homicide investigation or to respond to information requested afterwards. access to information requests from HC. SLED has yet to release details of the initial incident reports or 911 send tapes requested by multiple media outlets, citing the ongoing investigation.
Thursday, in response to a request for information from The Guardian and other media, SLED spokesperson Tommy Crosby issued the following statement.
“SLED understands the media interest and the public’s desire for answers about what has happened in their community. We know everyone has questions and rumors abound, speculating what is happening. went into the shooting deaths of Maggie and Paul Murdaugh. It is important for the community to know that SLED is committed to a full, thorough and independent investigation to ensure justice is done. As we do in every investigation , our agents will follow all leads and use all available resources to investigate this matter. We cannot and will not do anything that might compromise the integrity of this investigation and therefore deem it inappropriate to comment on details while this investigation is ongoing. If you or someone you know has any information regarding this incident, please call the Colleton Sheriff’s Office at 843-549-2211 or Crime Stoppers at 888-CRIMESC. “
Autopsies on the two shooting victims were carried out on Thursday, June 10, but these reports have not been released.
At the start of the case, SLED and the Colleton County Sheriff’s Office called the incident a “double homicide” and said the gunfire allegedly took place around 10 p.m. on June 7 at 4147 Moselle Road in the Colleton County, following a 911 call indicating that two people were found dead. The address for this property, which includes a large area, is a former Murdaugh family hunting lodge registered in Alex Murdaugh’s name, according to an online telephone directory.
Colleton County Coroner Richard Harvey identified the deceased on Tuesday, June 8, adding that the two bodies were found outside the residence, near a kennel, with multiple gunshot wounds.
Paul Murdaugh was the youngest son of Alex and Margaret Murdaugh, and the grandson of Randolph Murdaugh III, a former 14th Circuit lawyer. Alex Murdaugh is a lawyer at PMPED and worked part-time with the 14th Circuit DA’s office with his father.
Murdaugh III died at his Hampton County home on Thursday, June 10, of natural causes following prolonged health issues, the Hampton County Coroner’s Office said.
The three Murdaughs were buried in Hampton Cemetery surrounded by hundreds of mourners last week.