Neither Murdaugh’s younger brother, John Marvin, who testified earlier in the week, nor his elder sibling, Randy, were in court to witness the verdict. It left Lynn and Buster as the sole members of the family to watch as jurors unanimously found the patriarch guilty after deliberating for less than three hours.
Murdaugh turned to face them both as he was cuffed and taken away by officers.
Buster had sat diligently behind his father every day of the dramatic trial, often expressing little emotion as the court discussed how his mother and brother were shot and killed. But on Thursday night, he finally appeared to break, placing his hands over his eyes, a contrast to his father and aunt’s more stoic reaction.
The convicted killer, who wept throughout the trial as the jury was told in gruesome detail how his wife and son were brutally executed and shown harrowing images of the crime scene, gave a blank expression as the judge spoke to the court.
The Murdaugh family wielded immense judicial power in South Carolina for three generations. Still, their empire came crumbling down after Murdaugh shot dead his wife Maggie, 52, and younger son Paul, 22, at the family’s 1,800-acre hunting estate in Moselle on the night of June 7, 2021.
The disbarred attorney lied to cops about his alibi before making the sensational decision to take the stand, where he changed his story to fit the damning evidence.
Murdaugh was convicted of two counts of murder and two weapons charges. He will return for sentencing at 9.30 am Friday. He fiercely denied executing his wife and son when he sensationally took the stand to defend himself last week against his own lawyers’ advice.
The patriarch wept as he admitted to jurors that he had lied about being at the crime scene minutes before they were slain – but blamed his paranoia brought on a crippling opioid habit and a mistrust of the police. Murdaugh said: ‘I would never intentionally do anything to hurt either of them. Ever. Ever,’ he sobbed. ‘I didn’t shoot my wife or son, ever.’
The court case opened up a can of worms for the Murdaugh family, exposing a litany of criminal allegations dating back to 2015. He is accused of at least 99 financial crimes in 19 different indictments, among other offences. These will be dealt with at a later trial, but reports suggest he could face more than 700 years being added to his sentence.
Other scandals discussed in the trial include a 2019 boat crash involving his late son Paul, which killed 19-year-old Mallory Beach. The girl’s family were suing Murdaugh for a reported $30m at the time of Paul and Maggie’s murders.
The death of his housekeeper, Gloria Satterfield – who the Murdaugh family claimed tripped over the dogs and fell down the stairs while working at their hunting lodge – was also raised during the case. Her son Tony called to give testimony on the stand about the $4 million wrongful death payout Murdaugh allegedly stole. Murdaugh is also facing