The Murdaugh Murder Mystery: Shot Lawyer Had Been Pushed Out of Law Firm

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Mr. Murdaugh’s account of the shooting remained the same, Mr. Griffin said: Someone had driven by in a truck as he was changing a tire, then driven back around and asked if he was having car trouble. The next thing Mr. Murdaugh heard was a gunshot, Mr. Griffin said. Mr. Griffin said state law enforcement authorities had told him that no weapon had been found at the scene and that there was a slice in one of Mr. Murdaugh’s tires, details that Mr. Crosby would not confirm.

Mr. Griffin added that police investigators were aware of the accusations against Mr. Murdaugh and of his departure from the law firm.

The killing of Mr. Murdaugh’s wife and son brought national attention to what is normally a quiet, rural community 65 miles west of Charleston. It was there that the Murdaugh’s legal legacy began, when residents elected Randolph Murdaugh, Mr. Murdaugh’s great-grandfather, as the region’s top prosecutor 101 years ago. For more than eight decades, until 2006, three generations of the Murdaugh family served in the position, prosecuting cases across five counties.

The killings also brought scrutiny to the family’s history in the region as well as several other deaths.

Mr. Murdaugh’s son, Paul Murdaugh, who had been a junior at the University of South Carolina, was killed while he was awaiting trial on felony charges that accused him of driving a boat while drunk in 2019, crashing it and killing a 19-year-old woman, Mallory Beach. Paul Murdaugh’s death brought renewed attention to that case, and local news outlets and documents released by the police have raised questions about errors or favorable treatment toward him in the investigation.

The killings also led the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division to open a new inquiry into the unsolved death of Stephen Smith, a 19-year-old whose body was found on a rural road in the area in 2015. The police have not accused the Murdaughs of wrongdoing in that case.

The revelation that Mr. Murdaugh had been accused of misusing his law firm’s money only adds to the turmoil and tragedy that the family has faced since the killing of Maggie and Paul Murdaugh, on June 7. Three days after their deaths, Mr. Murdaugh’s father, Randolph Murdaugh III, the last member of the family to serve as the region’s top prosecutor, died of natural causes.

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