South Carolina prosecutors have laid out what they believe was Alex Murdaugh’s motive for killing his wife and son.
He wanted to divert attention from the illegal schemes he ran to avoid financial ruin, they allege in a motion filed Thursday.
“The evidence will show that Murdaugh has accumulated significant debt over a number of years and, in order to expose that debt, he began to engage in illegal financial crime,” prosecutors wrote in the suit. “The evidence will further show that these financial crimes were coming to light at the time of the murders, more specifically the date of the murders.”
“Ultimately,” prosecutors wrote, “the murders served as Murdaugh’s means of shifting the focus away from himself and buying himself a little extra time to try to prevent his financial crimes from being exposed, which, if exposed, would have resulted in personal legal and financial ruin for Murdaugh.”
The bodies of Maggie Murdaugh, 52, and their 22-year-old son, Paul Murdaugh, were found on the family’s property in rural Colleton County on June 7, 2021.
Alex Murdaugh has been accused of murdering both. He has pleaded not guilty.
He also faces dozens of charges related to theft and misappropriation of money from his clients and his own law firm.