A mother and son from a prominent South Carolina legal family were shot and killed in their home Monday while on trial for the death of a teenage girl in 2019.
Margaret, 52, and Paul Murdaugh, 22, were found dead in the backyard of their Islandton, South Carolina home at 10 p.m. Monday.
Their death has been ruled a double murder. According to police, the attacker used a shotgun and an assault rifle to carry out the murders.
Police have not yet arrested any suspects and it is unclear if they have any leads at all.
Members of the Murdaugh family have served as county-elected prosecutors for nearly 87 years, but none are currently in office.
Paul was awaiting trial on charges related to the 2019 death of 19-year-old Mallory Beach, who was thrown from the boat that Paul was driving, along with five other children, when he crashed. He had pleaded innocent and would face trial.
Margaret, 52, and Paul Murdaugh, 22, were found dead in the backyard of their home in Islandton, South Carolina, at 10 p.m. Monday. Paul, 22, awaiting trial for the death of a 19-year-old girl who was thrown from a boat he was driving while drunk
The bodies were found at 10 p.m. Monday near a dog kennel on the family’s property
The Murdaugh family home is large and sits on nearly two acres of land. Police have not named any suspects yet
It was 2:30 a.m. and he had been drinking, prosecutors said.
Paul was awaiting trial on charges related to the death of Mallory Beach, 19, who died in 2019 after being thrown from a boat he was driving while intoxicated
It took dive teams nine days to find Mallory’s body in the water.
Mallory’s mother filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the family last year. The status of that lawsuit is unknown.
After the murders, the Beach family released a statement through their attorney hoping that the killer would be brought to justice.
“The Beach Family extends its deepest and warmest condolences to the Murdaugh family at this terrible time.
“After suffering the devastating loss of their own daughter, the family prays that the Murdaughs can find some measure of peace in this tragic loss.
“They want the family and community to know that their thoughts and ongoing prayers are with the Murdaughs.
“It is their sincere hope that someone will come forward and cooperate with the authorities so that the perpetrator of these senseless crimes can be brought to justice.”
Paul’s father, Margaret’s husband Richard Alex Murdaugh, works in private law. His grandfather, Richard Murdaugh III, was the 14th Circuit Solicitor for 20 years before retiring in 2006.
Paul, Margaret, Margaret’s husband Richard Alex Murdaugh and their other son
He died of illness on Thursday, three days after Paul and Margaret were murdered.
The Murdaugh family confirmed the deaths of Paul and Margaret in a statement through the law firm Richard Alex Murdaugh works for.
On Thursday, Richard Murdaugh III – Paul’s grandfather and Margaret’s father-in-law, died at the age of 81 from an unspecified illness
“The Murdaugh family and PMPED would like to thank everyone for their deepest sympathy in the wake of the deaths of Maggie and Paul Murdaugh.
“We ask for your patience and prayers at this tragic time.”
On Thursday, Richard Murdaugh – Paul’s grandfather and Margaret’s father-in-law – died of complications from an illness. He was 81.
There will be a funeral service for Paul and Margaret on Friday.
It’s unclear if one is planned for Richard.
Margaret and her husband, Richard Alex, had another son.
Tributes to the family flooded social media this week as news of the killings spread and shocked the local community.