OAN Sophia Flores
8:37 AM PT – Friday, March 3, 2023
Alex Murdaugh has been sentenced to two life sentences without the possibility of parole. His sentencing comes one day after a jury found him guilty for the murders of his wife and son.
On Friday, Murdaugh, 54, showed up to his sentencing wearing a brown prison jumpsuit and shackles. During the sentencing, he maintained his innocence.
“I’m innocent. I would never hurt my wife Maggie. And I would never hurt my son Paul Paul,” Murdaugh told the judge.
Throughout the sentencing, Judge Clifton Newman referred to the trial as “one of the most troubling cases” he has witnessed as a judge. Judge Newman and Murdaugh were familiar with each other for years before the trial due to both being members of the South Carolina legal community.
“It is also particularly troubling, Mr. Murdaugh, because as a member of the legal community … we have seen each other at various occasions throughout the years,” Newman said. “And it was especially heartbreaking for me to see you go, in the media, as a grieving father who lost a wife and son to being the person indicted and convicted of killing them.”
“And it might not have been you. It might have been the monster that you become when you take 15, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60 opioid pills. Maybe you become another person,” Newman said
Judge Newman brought up Murdaugh’s testimony and asked him when the lies will end.
“And the question is, when will it end? When will it end? And it has ended already for the jury, because they’ve concluded that you have continued to lie and lied throughout your testimony,” the judge said.
Murdaugh faced 30 years to life in prison. Prosecutors seeked the maximum sentence.
“I would submit to you that the only just sentence here to give justice for Maggie and Paul is the maximum, and that would be two consecutive life sentences,” Prosecutor Creighton Waters said.
Judge Newman said that Murdaugh’s murder conviction qualifies for the death penalty.
“I don’t question at all the decision of the state not to pursue the death penalty. But as I sit here in this courtroom and look around at the many portraits of judges and other court officials and reflect on the fact that over the past century, your family — including you — have been prosecuting people here in this courtroom, and many have received the death penalty, probably for lesser conduct,” Newman said.
On Thursday, Murdaugh was found unanimously guilty by a jury after a nearly six-week-long trial. According to reports, the jury took only 45 minutes to deliberate. The disgraced South Carolina attorney was charged with two counts of murder, and two counts of possession of a weapon during a crime. He was found guilty on all four counts.
His wife Maggie, 52, and their younger son, Paul, 22, were found dead due to gunshot wounds on the family’s estate in June 2021. Prosecutors argued that Murdaugh committed the murders in order to gain sympathy and to hide his elaborate embezzlement scheme. He embezzled millions of dollars from his law firm and family.
Murdaugh will remain in a holding facility in Columbia, South Carolina, for about 45 days until he is transferred to prison to serve his sentences.