Alex Murdaugh, the former South Carolina attorney who was convicted of killing his wife and son in June 2021, will serve his life sentence in protective custody, according to the South Carolina Department of Corrections.
Murdaugh, 58, was found guilty of murdering his wife, Maggie, 52, and his son, Paul, 22, on their family’s property in Colleton County. He was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Mental health and prison experts determined that Murdaugh should be kept in protective custody after reviewing his case and making a four-member board recommendation. As a result, Murdaugh was moved to a statewide protective custody unit located in a maximum security prison.
The unit, which currently has 28 inmates, is designed to separate inmates from the general population for their safety and security. Murdaugh will live in an eight-by-ten cell with a bed, toilet, and sink. Inmates in the segregated unit have the same privileges as those in the general population.
“Inmates in the unit have validated protective concerns and are placed in a specialized unit to separate them from the general population,” the South Carolina Department of Corrections said in a news release. “Their location is not disclosed for safety and security reasons.”
On the day of the killings, Murdaugh was confronted by the chief financial officer of his former law firm about allegedly missing fees, and he had a hearing scheduled later that week in a wrongful death lawsuit stemming from a deadly 2019 boat wreck.
Murdaugh’s attorney, Ed Long, did not contest the facts of the case and instead argued that his client was suffering from a mental illness at the time of the murders and therefore was not guilty of murder. Long said his client suffers from bipolar disorder and was in a manic state at the time of the killings.
Murdaugh’s wife, Maggie, had filed for divorce and was in the process of moving out of the family home when she was killed. The couple had been married for 28 years and had two children.
Murdaugh will now spend the rest of his life in protective custody in a maximum-security prison. He will not be eligible for parole and will never see the outside world again.