March 2 (UPI) — Alex Murdaugh has been found guilty of murdering his wife and son after the jury at his trial deliberated for just three hours.
Murdaugh, a 54-year-old attorney, was convicted of killing his wife, Maggie, and son Paul in June 2021, CNN and CBS News reported.
His sentencing hearing has been scheduled for 9:30 a.m. EST on Friday.
Earlier in the day, a juror in the Alex Murdaugh double murder trial was removed Thursday morning after the judge said she had discussed the case outside the courtroom.
Circuit Court Judge Clifton Newman said he had a complaint from a member of the public that the juror had “improper conversations with parties not associated with the case.”
She denied having any discussions about the case in the chambers at the Colleton County Courthouse in Walterboro, S.C., but three witnesses on Wednesday said they had heard her discussing her opinion of the case.
“In order to preserve the integrity of the process and the interests of both the state and the defense in a fair trial, that juror will be removed and replaced by another juror,” Newman told the court, according to ABC News.
Murdaugh repeatedly has denied killing them and has pleaded not guilty.
Prosecutors have no murder weapon but built their case on Murdaugh’s timeline of his whereabouts when the murders took place, which they contend does not add up.
Defense experts presented the possibility that both Paul, 22, and Margaret were killed by unknown assailants in an execution-style killing.
Against the advice of his lawyers, Murdaugh testified in his own defense over two days last week. His surviving son also testified on his behalf.
Murdaugh already has admitted to lying to police about his decades-long opioid addiction and financial fruad. He was about to be indicted for a number of financial crimes, accused of stealing nearly $9 million from people close to him.