In the latest bizarre twist to a South Carolina murder case that has captured attention across the US, a lawyer from a prominent family who found his wife and son shot dead at their home in June was injured on Saturday when a bullet grazed his head as he changed a tire on a quiet rural road.
Alex Murdaugh found the bodies of his wife, Maggie Murdaugh, 52, and their 22-year-old son Paul, outside their home on 7 June. Both had been shot several times.
In a further twist to the case on Monday, shortly after Alex Murdaugh said he was resigning from his law firm and entering rehab, the firm, PMPED, said he had been taking money.
PMPED did not say how much money might be missing, but said Murdaugh was no longer associated with it in any way.
Earlier, Murdaugh sent out his own statement, saying he had made decisions he regretted. It came two days after he reported someone shot at him after his car had a flat tire along a quiet road in Hampton county. A family attorney said Murdaugh was shot after a pickup truck first passed him, then came back and someone fired. Investigators said Murdaugh was able to call 911.
“The murders of my wife and son have caused an incredibly difficult time in my life,” Murdaugh said. “I have made a lot of decisions that I truly regret.
“I’m resigning from my law firm and entering rehab after a long battle that has been exacerbated by these murders. I am immensely sorry to everyone I’ve hurt including my family, friends and colleagues. I ask for prayers as I rehabilitate myself and my relationships.”
State law enforcement did not immediately comment on Murdaugh’s statement or the law firm’s accusations of missing money.
South Carolina state police are investigating the deaths of Maggie and Paul Murdaugh. Family members said Alex Murdaugh found the bodies after leaving the house to check on his mother and ailing father.
The family issued a statement after the shooting on Saturday, saying Murdaugh was expected to recover and asking for privacy.
“The Murdaugh family has suffered through more than any one family can ever imagine,” it read.
The Murdaughs are prominent in local law circles. Alex Murdaugh was a volunteer prosecutor in the same office where his father, grandfather and great-grandfather spent more than 80 years combined as top prosecutors. Other members of the family are prominent civil attorneys.
The current elected prosecutor is not a family member, but stepped aside last month, citing developments in the case without giving any details.
State police have released few details about the June killings, even going to court to fight public record requests.
When Paul Murdaugh was killed, he was awaiting trial for boating under the influence in a February 2019 crash in which a 19-year-old woman was killed. State police are looking into that investigation, to see if anyone tried to stop police charging Paul Murdaugh.
State police have also reopened an investigation into a 2015 hit-and-run death of a 19-year-old man in Hampton county. The victim’s mother said she thought Paul Murdaugh could have been involved. Authorities have not released any information about why those cases were reopened.