Per USA Today, Murdaugh was sentenced in connection with the 2021 killings of his wife, 52-year-old Maggie Murdaugh, and his son, 22-year-old Paul Murdaugh.
“This has been perhaps one of the most troubling cases—not just for me as a judge, for the state, for the defense team—but for all of the citizens in this community,” South Carolina Circuit Court Judge Clifton Newman said during Friday’s sentencing hearing.
Thursday’s verdict against the disgraced attorney came after a six-week trial that featured testimony from over 70 witnesses. Newman pointed to the trial, as well as surrounding legal proceedings involving Murdaugh, during his in-court comments on Friday. He also called it “heartbreaking” to watch Murdaugh’s downfall, particularly due to his family’s prior influence in the community.
“We’ve seen each other at various occasions throughout the years, and it was especially heartbreaking for me to see you go in the media from being a grieving father who lost a wife and a son to being the person indicted and convicted of killing them,” Newman said.
Murdaugh, meanwhile, said just before hearing his sentence read aloud in the courtroom that he was “innocent” and would “never hurt” his wife or son.
In a statement to the press following Thursday’s conviction, South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson called the outcome of the case proof that “no one is above the law,” including the Murdaugh family.
“Alex Murdaugh’s house of cards, built on the foundation of lies, manipulation, and theft, came crashing down,” Wilson said.