COLLETON COUNTY, S.C. — The murder trial in the deaths of Maggie and Paul Murdaugh is underway.
Former South Carolina attorney Alex Murdaugh is the defendant, accused of shooting them at the family’s property in Colleton County.
The double-murder charge isn’t the only crime he’s accused of.
Murdaugh is facing two different charges: one for the double-murder of his wife and son. The second is for alleged financial crimes that involve misappropriating money from his law firm and clients.
Here's the breakdown of what you need to know before the murder trial:
June 7, 2021: 52-year-old Maggie Murdaugh and her 22-year-old son Paul are found murdered. Alex Murdaugh places the 911 call, saying he found their bodies on the family’s hunting lodge.
Sept. 2, 2021: Murdaugh’s law firm, now called Parker Law Group, begins an investigation into Murdaugh’s possible misuse of client funds. A few weeks later, the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division announces its investigation into money missing from the firm.
Sept. 4, 2021: Murdaugh calls 911 to say he was shot in the head while his car was stopped on the side of a road in Hampton County. He’s taken to a hospital in Savannah.
Sept. 6, 2021: Murdaugh announces he’s going to rehab for an opioid addiction.
Sept. 14, 2021: SLED announces the arrest of Curtis Smith, saying that Murdaugh admitted to paying Smith to shoot him so his living son could collect life insurance money.
Sept. 16, 2021: Murdaugh turns himself in after an arrest warrant is issued for conspiracy to commit insurance fraud during the roadside shooting incident.
Oct. 6, 2021: Murdaugh’s law firm files a lawsuit against him alleging he stole money from clients and the firm over several years.
Oct. 14, 2021: He is taken into custody and booked in Richland County’s Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center. He is denied bond twice.
Nov. 19, 2021: The South Carolina Grand Jury indicts Murdaugh on 27 counts of financial crimes. Over the next 14 months, that number has grown.
July 14, 2022: Murdaugh is indicted for the double homicide of his wife and son.
Now, Murdaugh is standing trial for the murders. If convicted, he faces lifetime in prison without parole. Once that trial is finished, Murdaugh will face a separate trial for the alleged financial crimes.
Those financial crimes are separate from this upcoming murder trial. Last month, prosecution was pushing for the alleged financial crimes to be used as evidence in potential motive for the murders. The defense fought this, but the judge allowed.
We will have coverage from Colleton County, so make sure to watch News 19 for all you need to know.