Alex Murdaugh, the distinguished South Carolina lawyer whose spouse and son have been shot to dying months in the past in an unsolved homicide thriller that has captivated the state and confounded the police, was pushed out of his highly effective legislation agency over claims that he had misused funds the day earlier than he referred to as 911 from a rural highway to say that he had been shot within the head, the agency disclosed on Monday.
Leaders of the Hampton, S.C., agency stated that they had found that Mr. Murdaugh had misappropriated cash from the legislation workplace and that he had resigned on Friday. The subsequent day, Mr. Murdaugh instructed the police he had been altering a tire on the aspect of a highway in Hampton County — the place members of his household have established a strong authorized dynasty over three generations — when somebody in a truck pulled up and shot him within the head.
Tommy Crosby, a spokesman for state legislation enforcement, confirmed that Mr. Murdaugh had suffered “a superficial gunshot wound to the head” however declined to touch upon the legislation agency’s assertion about Mr. Murdaugh’s departure.
Mr. Murdaugh, 53, was a accomplice on the legislation agency P.M.P.E.D. — identified by the initials of its companions — which was based by Mr. Murdaugh’s great-grandfather greater than a century in the past and is well-known in South Carolina’s Lowcountry. In a press release to The New York Times, the agency stated that it had employed a forensic accounting agency to analyze the suspected misappropriation of funds and that it had additionally notified the police and the South Carolina Bar.
The legislation agency stated it had instructed Mr. Murdaugh of the accusations on Friday, and that he and the agency agreed that he ought to resign. Mr. Murdaugh’s lawyer stated his consumer had expressed his “regret and sorrow.”
The legislation workplace didn’t say how a lot cash was lacking, however a member of the agency, talking on the situation of anonymity as a result of he was not licensed to reveal firm info, stated the quantity was within the thousands and thousands.
Mr. Murdaugh stated in his personal assertion on Monday that he had resigned from the agency and was getting into rehab after a “long battle” that had worsened for the reason that killing of his spouse, Maggie Murdaugh, and son, Paul Murdaugh, who have been discovered useless on the household house in June. He additionally issued a obscure apology to individuals he had “hurt,” together with his “family, friends and colleagues.”
PictureThe funeral service for Paul and Maggie Murdaugh in Hampton, S.C., in June.Credit…Kacen Bayless/The Island Packet, through Associated Press
Mr. Murdaugh’s lawyer, Jim Griffin, confirmed that Mr. Murdaugh had left the agency after being accused of misusing funds. Mr. Griffin stated Mr. Murdaugh had been launched from the hospital on Monday after his harm was decided to be not life-threatening and that he had instantly met with investigators from the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, which is investigating the double-killing and the taking pictures of Mr. Murdaugh.
Mr. Murdaugh’s account of the taking pictures remained the identical, Mr. Griffin stated: Someone had pushed by in a truck as he was altering a tire, then pushed again round and requested if he was having automotive bother. The subsequent factor Mr. Murdaugh heard was a gunshot, Mr. Griffin stated. Mr. Griffin stated state legislation enforcement authorities had instructed him that no weapon had been discovered on the scene and that there was a slice in a single of Mr. Murdaugh’s tires, particulars that Mr. Crosby wouldn’t affirm.
Mr. Griffin added that police investigators have been conscious of the accusations in opposition to Mr. Murdaugh and of his departure from the legislation agency.
The killing of Mr. Murdaugh’s spouse and son introduced nationwide consideration to what’s usually a quiet, rural group 65 miles west of Charleston. It was there that the Murdaughs’ authorized legacy started, when residents elected Randolph Murdaugh, Mr. Murdaugh’s great-grandfather, because the area’s high prosecutor 101 years in the past. For greater than eight many years, till 2006, three generations of the Murdaugh household served within the place, prosecuting circumstances throughout 5 counties.
The killings additionally introduced scrutiny to the household’s historical past within the area in addition to a number of different deaths.
Mr. Murdaugh’s son, Paul Murdaugh, who had been a junior on the University of South Carolina, was killed whereas he was awaiting trial on felony prices that accused him of driving a ship whereas drunk in 2019, crashing it and killing a 19-year-old girl, Mallory Beach. Paul Murdaugh’s dying introduced renewed consideration to that case, and native information shops and paperwork launched by the police have raised questions on errors or favorable remedy towards him within the investigation.
The killings additionally led the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division to open a brand new inquiry into the unsolved dying of Stephen Smith, a 19-year-old whose physique was discovered on a rural highway within the space in 2015. The police haven’t accused the Murdaughs of wrongdoing in that case.
The revelation that Mr. Murdaugh had been accused of misusing his legislation agency’s cash solely provides to the turmoil and tragedy that the household has confronted for the reason that killing of Maggie and Paul Murdaugh, on June 7. Three days after their deaths, Mr. Murdaugh’s father, Randolph Murdaugh III, the final member of the household to function the area’s high prosecutor, died of pure causes.
Over the summer time, Mr. Murdaugh provided a $100,000 reward for anybody who had info on the deaths of his spouse and son.
He found their our bodies when he returned to the household’s secluded house in Islandton, the police have stated. In 911 calls launched by the police, a distraught Mr. Murdaugh could be heard pleading with emergency staff to rush to the scene and telling an operator that the injuries regarded severe.
“I need the police and an ambulance immediately,” he stated. “My wife and child have been shot badly.”