Was Maggie Murdaugh collateral damage? Son Paul 'targetted' by killer who shot him in the head
ISLANDTON, SOUTH CAROLINA: Paul Murdaugh was the intended target of a shooting that killed him and his 52-year-old mom, Margaret aka Maggie. The two were found shot dead on Monday night, June 7. The mother-son duo who belonged to a prominent Lowcountry legal family were reportedly murdered at their hunting lodge in Islandton, South Carolina. The sources familiar with the investigation said that Maggie was probably fatally shot just for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
According to reports, Paul — who was awaiting trial in the February 2019 death of 19-year-old Mallory Beach — was shot in the head and upper body with a shotgun, while his mother was murdered with what seemed to be an assault rifle. The victims’ bodies were found at some distance from each other and police also recovered bullet casings from the scene. Their deaths have reportedly been declared as a double murder and a South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) spokesman said, “no additional information is available at this time while we are conducting an active investigation.”
Despite the state’s rule that police have to give information on the cases in the days following an incident, Colleton County Sheriff's Office has only released a one-line statement that read, “On June 7, 2021 at approximately 2226 hours I responded to 4147 Moselle Rd in Colleton County in reference to two gunshot victims found by the caller.” A spokesperson for Colleton County Sheriff's Office told DailyMail.com that they are not releasing any additional information because the case has now been led by SLED. SLED has reportedly been given the case because of the Murdaugh family ties to the 14th Circuit solicitor's office. Margaret’s husband, Richard Alex Murdaugh, is a part-time prosecutor for the 14th Circuit solicitor's office.
However, a report by The Post and Courier said that the 14th Circuit solicitor's office is yet to give the case to SLED. Former University of South Carolina law dean Robert Wilcox defended solicitor's office involvement and stated that it does not pose ethical issues yet. “That mere fact that the Murdaugh name is closely associated with the solicitor's office doesn't cause me any concerns at this point. We have no idea who the solicitor will ultimately be engaged in prosecuting,” Wilcox added.
Meanwhile, reports have said that Paul was to stand trial in the future as he was facing three felony charges, which included one count of boating under the influence causing death and two counts of boating under the influence causing great bodily injury over the death of Mallory. The heir to the legal dynasty and Mallory were reportedly a part of a group of six people who went to an oyster roast on Paukie Island on February 23, 2019, by boat. Around midnight they returned despite being warned by many present there. Paul’s cousin Anthony Cook said he was not behaving rationally just before the crash. He also allegedly pushed the boat full throttle and it crashed into bridge pilings, which resulted in Mallory’s death. Her body was reportedly recovered after nine days of searching.
After being charged in the case, Paul pleaded not guilty and was awaiting trial. The girl’s mother also filed a wrongful death civil lawsuit against the family in 2020. However, now after Paul’s death, the charges against him will now be dropped, but the lawsuit will continue.
Following the June 7 incident, Mallory’s family released a statement while sympathizing with the Murdaughs. It read, “The Beach Family extends its deepest and warmest sympathies to the Murdaugh family during this terrible time. Having suffered the devastating loss of their own daughter, the family prays that the Murdaughs can find some level of peace from this tragic loss. They would like the family and the community to know that their thoughts and continued prayers are with the Murdaughs. It is their most sincere hope that someone will come forward and cooperate with authorities so that the perpetrator of these senseless crimes can be brought to justice.”