Murdaugh: I Want to Be Tried by 'God and My Country'

He pleads not guilty to killing wife, son
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 20, 2022 12:15 PM CDT
Murdaugh Pleads Not Guilty to Murdering Wife, Son
Alex Murdaugh is escorted out of the Colleton County Courthouse in Walterboro, SC, on Wednesday, July 20, 2022.   (Tracy Glantz/The State via AP)

Alex Murdaugh, the disbarred South Carolina lawyer charged with murdering his wife and son last year, appeared in court Wednesday and pleaded not guilty. In answer to a prosecutor's question on how he wanted to be tried, he said, "By God and my country," the State reports. One of the 54-year-old's attorneys told the judge that Murdaugh wants a speedy trial, starting within three or four months, to prove that South Carolina's State Law Enforcement Division has the wrong man, reports the AP. "He believes that the killer or killers are still at large and this would allow SLED to put this behind them and go for the real killers,” Dick Harpootlian said.

Murdaugh has been in jail since November and is charged with nearly 90 other crimes, most of them financial. His wife Maggie, 52, and their 22-year-old son, Paul, were shot dead at their hunting lodge estate in Colleton County on June 7 last year. Murdaugh was in deep financial trouble at the time and prosecutor Creighton Waters told the judge Wednesday that the "financial material provides motive and background." Waters said he agreed with a motion from Murdaugh's lawyers to block investigators and lawyers from publicly discussing evidence in the case, potentially "polluting the jury pool." Murdaugh was denied bond at Wednesday's hearing. Waters said the evidence in the case, including forensic evidence, is "substantial" and it "all points back to Alex Murdaugh."

Law enforcement sources tell People that there is a "mountain of evidence" against Murdaugh, including phone and GPS evidence that contradicts his claim that he was with his dying father in the hospital at the time of the killings. The sources say Murdaugh allegedly convinced his estranged wife to drive home from their beach house so she could also visit his father; during the hour-long drive the source alleges she messaged a friend to say something seemed "fishy." The evidence allegedly includes video of Murdaugh talking with his wife just before she was killed, according to People's sources. (Read more Alex Murdaugh stories.)

We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.