Next up in Murdaugh scandal: What about obstruction of justice? #Murdaugh #scandal #obstruction #justice #englishheadline


Here’s what needs to come next in the Murdaugh saga.

The public sector needs to come clean.

Yes, we all want to know what Alex Murdaugh did with the money. Where is the $8 million to $10 million the disbarred Hampton attorney is accused of stealing over a number of years? He admitted to stealing in his recent six-week murder trial, which took a jury all of 45 minutes to find him guilty of killing his wife and son.

And everyone wants him to be held accountable for taking money from poor, unsuspecting clients before he was fired by his family’s powerful law firm and disbarred by the South Carolina Supreme Court.

But we first need answers on our public system of criminal justice – a system that will long outlast the Murdaughs.

What did a state grand jury find in its investigation of what took place four years ago when a Murdaugh boat crashed into a bridge piling at Parris Island, killing 19-year-old Mallory Beach and opening the Murdaugh mystique for the whole world to see?

That mystique, fueled by 86 years of a Murdaugh acting as the solicitor in a rural five-county area in the lower reaches of South Carolina, has been shown to be rancid.

The grand jury was to look at obstruction of justice after the boat crash, which could get to the core of the feeling that some people enjoy a different set of justice than the rest of us.

State Attorney General Alan Wilson and State Law Enforcement Division Chief Mark Keel need to tell the public what will be done about:

The actions of Alex Murdaugh and his late father, Randolph Murdaugh III, on the night Mallory Beach was killed.

According to court documents, Alex Murdaugh and his father dashed to the Beaufort Memorial Hospital emergency room that night and started trying to pin the crash on a boat passenger other than his son, the late Paul Murdaugh. Paul was subsequently charged with being the boat driver but never faced trial before he was murdered.

Columbia attorney Joe McCulloch, who is representing that boat passenger, told me that the state grand jury is still looking into it, to the best of his knowledge.

What have they found?

What does it means when Alex Murdaugh tells a boat passenger in the emergency room that he can take care of him.

Take care of him? How? With whose cooperation?

We know from the murder trial that Alex Murdaugh had a badge from the 14th Circuit Solicitor’s office hanging from his pants that night in the hospital, even as witnesses said he smelled of alcohol as he urgently worked to coordinate a story line to the benefit of his son by imposing himself on people being medically treated and quizzing a law enforcement officer.

Why did he have a badge? What did it represent?

Who all knew that Alex Murdaugh had a blue light in his company car? Why was that permitted? Who was supposed to prevent that?

The actions of law enforcement on the night of the boat crash.

Why did Paul Murdaugh not undergo a field sobriety test?

Whey did authorities not take a blood sample from Paul Murdaugh?

The mayhem at the scene is well documented, but four years later we are led to believe that it was business as usual, that there is nothing to see.

The actions of law enforcement following the murders of Maggie and Paul Murdaugh on a family estate outside Hampton on June 7, 2021.

How does a key piece of evidence – a supposedly blood-spattered T-shirt worn by Alex Murdaugh – get presented to the county grand jury considering murder charges, when in fact it was not spattered with blood? How does the SLED chief investigator in the murder case not know immediately after testing that the T-shirt was clean? How does a SLED investigator get away with telling the grand jury that the way shotguns around the Murdaugh house were loaded linked Alex Murdaugh to the murders, when actually investigators found no such thing?

After Murdaugh was convicted of murdering Maggie and Paul and sentenced to two life sentences, both the state attorney general and SLED chief promised more investigations.

They’ve got plenty to look at. But even the murder convictions don’t answer the question of how we got into this mess and who all aided and abetted it.

David Lauderdale may be reached at

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