Alex Murdaugh Surrenders After Trying to Fake His Own Killing

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U.S.|Alex Murdaugh Surrenders After Trying to Fake His Own Killing

But Mr. Murdaugh, part of a prominent family of South Carolina lawyers, has denied any involvement in the unsolved killings of his wife and son in June.

Sept. 16, 2021, 12:09 p.m. ET

The prominent South Carolina lawyer whose life has unraveled in the months after his wife and son were fatally shot turned himself in to the police on Thursday after admitting that he had tried to stage his own killing earlier this month, but he maintained that he had no involvement in the killing of his family.

Alex Murdaugh, the lawyer, is expected to face charges including lying to the police and conspiracy to commit insurance fraud in connection with the scheme, which was meant to ensure that his older son could collect on his $10 million life insurance policy.

Mr. Murdaugh thought up the plan while depressed by the loss of his family and his struggles to stop abusing oxycodone, one of his lawyers said. He added that Mr. Murdaugh had wrongly believed that his insurance policy would not pay out if his death was ruled a suicide.

The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, a state police agency that is investigating the Murdaugh case, earlier this week arrested one of Mr. Murdaugh’s former clients and said that Mr. Murdaugh had asked the client to kill him. Mr. Murdaugh was shot in the head but survived with what his lawyers described as a skull fracture; he was able to check out of the hospital after about two days.

One of Mr. Murdaugh’s lawyers, Jim Griffin, said on Thursday morning that Mr. Murdaugh was in police custody and that he would have a court hearing in Hampton County, S.C., in the afternoon.

The arrest of Mr. Murdaugh, 53, is the latest turn in a series of stunning developments that has brought attention to the rural South Carolina Lowcountry, where the Murdaugh family has built power over the last century — first by leading a regional prosecutor’s office for eight decades over three generations, and more recently through the family law firm.

The killing, in June, of Mr. Murdaugh’s wife, Maggie, and college student son, Paul, trained more attention on the family and has led to intense scrutiny of three other deaths in recent years, including two that the police are now investigating.

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