jury selection for alex murdaugh trial begins monday in south carolina double slaying

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The South Carolina trial for local lawyer and prominent figure Alex Murdaugh begins Monday with jury selection in the shooting deaths of his wife and one of their two sons. 

Murdaugh, 54, is accused in the double slaying of Paul, 22, and Murdaugh’s wife, Maggie, 52, in June 2021. Since their deaths, he has been disbarred and disgraced as he has been linked to several other deaths in the community, and an alleged failed attempt to take his own life. 

The embattled legal scion was photographed arriving at court on Monday, flanked by sheriff’s deputies, wearing a white button-down shirt and gray slacks. He has vehemently denied his involvement in the pair’s deaths. If convicted, he faces up to life without parole and a minimum of 30 years in prison. 

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Alex Murdaugh is led into the Colleton County Courthouse in Walterboro, South Carolina on Monday, Jan. 23, 2023. (Mark Sims for Fox News Digital)

Alex Murdaugh is led into the Colleton County Courthouse in Walterboro, South Carolina on Monday, Jan. 23, 2023.

Alex Murdaugh is led into the Colleton County Courthouse in Walterboro, South Carolina on Monday, Jan. 23, 2023. (Mark Sims for Fox News Digital)

Alex Murdaugh is led into the Colleton County Courthouse in Walterboro, South Carolina on Monday, Jan. 23, 2023.

Alex Murdaugh is led into the Colleton County Courthouse in Walterboro, South Carolina on Monday, Jan. 23, 2023. (Mark Sims for Fox News Digital)

Jury selection is expected to last several days in Colleton County Courthouse in Waterboro before the trial’s opening statements begin. 

Murdaugh is accused of gunning down his troubled son and his wife on June 7, 2021, near the dog kennels on their sprawling 1,700-acre hunting estate known as Moselle in Islandton, South Carolina. 

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Alex Murdaugh, right, is shown here with his family. His former law firm filed a lawsuit Wednesday accusing him of using fake bank accounts to steal money from the firm and clients.  

Alex Murdaugh, right, is shown here with his family. His former law firm filed a lawsuit Wednesday accusing him of using fake bank accounts to steal money from the firm and clients.   (Fox News)

Prosecutors say he used a shotgun to blow off his son’s head, which was “severed” from his body, according to court papers.

Maggie was shot with a semiautomatic rifle five times — including in the back of the head — and died about 30 yards from her son, court papers allege.

Prosecutors have suggested that the family patriarch murdered Paul and Maggie over mounting debts and fear that his decadeslong schemes to embezzle money from his clients would be exposed.

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Alex Murdaugh house diagram

Alex Murdaugh house diagram (Fox News )

Murdaugh alleges that he found his wife and son’s lifeless bodies at 10:06 p.m. when he placed a hysterical 911 call to police. He has one surviving son, Richard “Buster” Murdaugh. 

The Murdaughs, a prominent Democratic family, had wielded enormous judicial and political power for over a century. Four generations served as the local prosecutor, known as the solicitor, who oversees the five counties at the southern tip of the state. 

A crime scene photo showing what appears to be blood droplets on the floor, a mannequin and an evidence marker in the feed room where Paul Murdaugh was fatally shot. (Colleton County Court)

A crime scene photo showing what appears to be blood droplets on the floor, a mannequin and an evidence marker in the feed room where Paul Murdaugh was fatally shot. (Colleton County Court) (Fox News )

But their dominance began to wane in 2019 after Paul was accused of drunkenly slamming his father’s boat into the pilings of a bridge in Beaufort, killing 19-year-old Mallory Beach, injuring four others and triggering a series of lawsuits that shone a spotlight on Alex’s alleged crooked financial dealings.

A general view of the Colleton County Courthouse in Walterboro, South Carolina, where Alex Murdaugh will stand trial for the homicides of his wife and son. 

A general view of the Colleton County Courthouse in Walterboro, South Carolina, where Alex Murdaugh will stand trial for the homicides of his wife and son.  (Mark Sims for Fox News Digital )

Since the double slaying, the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) reopened investigations into the mysterious 2015 death of Buster’s classmate Stephen Smith, with whom Buster was rumored to be having a secret affair. 

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Authorities also launched a fresh probe into the 2018 death of the Murdaugh’s long time housekeeper. 

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