By Julie McCaffrey
COLLETON COUNTY, SC – Alex Murdaugh was found guilty of murdering his wife and son by a jury last Thursday after less than three hours of jury deliberation—the Murdaugh name is also linked to a 2019 boating accident that harmed five people and killed one.
Paul Murdaugh, Alex Murdaugh’s 19-year-old son, was allegedly driving the boat under the influence when he crashed into the pile bridge on Archers Creek. Five survivors were rushed to the hospital, while 19-year-old Mallory Beach remained missing. Her body was recovered roughly eight days after the accident, according to CBS.
While the parents of the four adults involved in the accident scrambled to the scene of the crash and the hospital, the elder Murdaugh seemingly had a different agenda, news reports recounted.
At the hospital, Alex Murdaugh refused to let police interview his son, and attempted to orchestrate the false narrative that it was Connor Cook, a passenger of the boat, driving instead of his son.
Alex Murdaugh called Cook’s parents, and told them that it was Cook driving the boat, and said “don’t worry, we’re gonna take care of Connor,” said CBS.
In a recent Netflix documentary, Murdaugh Murders: A Southern Scandal, Cook stated that in the hospital, Mr. Murdaugh leaned down and whispered in his ear, “Just be quiet, I got you, just don’t say anything.” He also stated Cook “didn’t need to tell anyone who was driving.” Cook added that “he pretty much implied I was driving,” said CBS.
The Netflix story noted when Cook’s parents arrived at the hospital, Alex Murdaugh stopped them on their way to see their son. Soon after, law enforcement entered Cook’s hospital room and said that Cook has “been named the driver of the boat.”
Murdaugh then went from hospital room to hospital room to try to speak with his son’s injured friends, the documentary added.
In the same documentary, Morgan Doughty, Paul Murdaugh’s ex-girlfriend, said the elder Murdaugh tried to enter her hospital room, and said “I need to get in there, I represent her.” Doughty asked the nurse to not let him in. Before Doughty’s parents arrived, Murdaugh said he was her representation and her acting guardian.
In 2019, notes the documentary, Mallory Beach’s family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the Murdaugh family. Despite Alex Murdaugh’s attempts to rid his son of any wrongdoing, Paul Murdaugh was named driver of the boat, and charged with three felony counts, including boating under the influence of alcohol or drugs, to which he pleaded not guilty.
Before Paul Murdaugh’s trial could begin, he was murdered alongside his mother in June of 2021.
An intense trial began on Jan. 25, 2023, and ended on March 2, with Alex Murdaugh being found guilty for the murder of his son and wife. On March 3, Murdaugh was sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole.
According to CNN, Murdaugh still faces 99 financial charges, ranging from tax evasion, money laundering, fraud, and criminal conspiracy.