COLUMBIA, S.C. — On Thursday, disgraced South Carolina attorney Alex Murdaugh was indicted on two counts of murder for the deaths of his wife, Maggie, and his son Paul Murdaugh, a little more than a year after they were found shot to death on one of the family properties.
The indictment claims that Murdaugh used a rifle to kill his wife and a shotgun to kill his son. This led to two counts of Possession of a Weapon during the Commission of a Violent Crime.
These charges come amid a slew of other allegations against Murdaugh, including a scheme to collect a life insurance policy after planning his own shooting death.
The deaths of Alex's wife and son, have also led investigators to do more research into the deaths of 19-year-old Stephen Smith and 57-year-old Gloria Satterfield.
Smith's body was found on a rural Hampton County road in 2015, at the time classified as a hit-and-run. Satterfield allegedly died after a fall in the Murdaugh home.
Satterfield family attorney Eric Bland says the new murder charges tell people what he already knows.
"He is going to go down in history as one of the most notorious criminals our state has ever produced," Bland said. "Now he's internationally known, and now he has a one word moniker, Murdaugh, like Madoff, like Manson, like Bundy...but I don't think it is going to open a wound for our clients. That would will be reopened when they exhume Mrs. Satterfield's body here in the next few months."
Murdaugh is set to appear at a bond hearing on Wednesday, July 20 at the Colleton County Courthouse in Walterboro.
Criminal defense attorney Jack Swerling says it will be a long road ahead before a trial can even begin.
"The next few months are going to involve hearings and getting things organized and ready for a trial," Swerling explained. "The interesting thing will be if the judge grants a speedy trial which would have the case heard before the end of the year."
As the state puts together its evidence to build their case, Swerling says this can be a lengthy process and the public might not get to see a Murdaugh trial for long time.
"It may not get tried as fast as everyone would like, because everybody wants swift justice but these cases are very complicated and there's a lot of evidentiary issues," Swerling stated.