Fired South Carolina lawyer faces trial in demise of spouse, son

(Reuters) – Opening statements have been scheduled to start on Wednesday within the trial of a now-disqualified South Carolina legal professional accused of murdering his spouse and son in a posh and critical case that has drawn worldwide consideration.

Richard “Alex” Murdaugh, 54, was indicted by a grand jury in July on two counts of homicide and two counts of felony possession of a firearm in reference to the taking pictures deaths of his spouse, Maggie, 52, and Paul, 22. on the household property in June 2021, the youthful of two sons.

The 12-person jury and 6 alternates have been sworn in Wednesday by Circuit Court docket Choose Clifton Newman, and opening statements have been scheduled to start at 3 p.m.

Murdaugh, the scion of an influential South Carolina authorized household, pleaded not responsible to the homicide prices. Ruling towards the demise penalty, prosecutors are in search of a life sentence with out parole.

Murdoch faces separate trials on dozens of economic and drug-related crimes, together with an alleged plot to kill himself so his eldest son, Buster, may gather a $10 million insurance coverage payout.

The trial is happening on the Colleton County Courthouse in Walterboro, a sleepy, rural city about 50 miles west of Charleston in a low-lying space of ​​South Carolina over which the Murdaugh household wields huge judicial and political energy.

From 1920 to 2006, relations served as chief prosecutors for the five-county district, together with Colleton. Earlier than his current troubles, Murdaugh was a outstanding private harm legal professional within the state.

Prosecutors have stated Murdoch killed his spouse and little one to generate sympathy and distract from his monetary crimes, an alleged motive that Murdoch’s legal professionals have argued is not sensible.

After the homicide trial, Murdoch will face greater than 100 further felony prices, starting from drug trafficking to allegations that he stole practically $9 million from purchasers and different legal professionals.

(Reporting by Nathan Lane; Enhancing by Cynthia Osterman)

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