Murdaugh's head is shaved as he is booked into SC prison fortress
Alex Murdaugh’s head is shaved as he is booked into South Carolina prison fortress for weeks of evaluation before being sent to a maximum security facility housing the ‘worst of the worst’
- The disgraced legal scion appeared with a shaved head in a yellow jumpsuit after being booked into South Carolina’s Kirkland Reception and Evaluation Center
- He will spend the next few weeks at the R and E facility where he faces a battery of testing before he will be assigned to a permanent state prison
- Murdaugh was earlier sentenced to two consecutive life sentences for the murders of his wife Maggie, 52, and son Paul, 22, in Moselle on June 7, 2021
Alex Murdaugh is tonight facing the stark reality of spending the rest of his life behind bars in a state prison surrounded by the country’s most violent offenders.
The disgraced legal scion appeared with a shaved head in a yellow jumpsuit after being booked into South Carolina’s Kirkland Reception and Evaluation Center on Friday.
Murdaugh was earlier sentenced to two consecutive life sentences for the murders of his wife Maggie, 52, and son Paul, 22, at their sprawling hunting estate in Moselle on the night of June 7, 2021.
He will spend the next few weeks at the R&E facility where he faces rigorous testing before he will be assigned to a permanent state prison. As he is a double murderer, he will be housed with the state’s most brutal and violent inmates.
The life he faces is a far cry from the privileged world of multi-million dollar homes from the coast to the hunting lands of the Lowcountry to which he has grown accustomed in his 54 years.
Alex Murdaugh has been pictured in a new mugshot with his head shaved and wearing a yellow jumpsuit after being booked into South Carolina’s Kirkland Reception and Evaluation Center on Friday evening
Kirkland Correctional Center will be Murdaugh’s grim new home for the next few weeks as he undergoes evaluation for where to be sent permanently
This undated file photo provided on July 11, 2019, by the South Carolina Department of Corrections shows the new death row at Broad River Correctional Institution in Columbia, SC
Alex Murdaugh with wife Maggie and their sons Buster (left) and Paul (right)
‘As part of the intake process, like all inmates, (Murdaugh) will undergo medical tests, mental health and education assessments, and the South Carolina Department of Corrections will gather other additional background information,’ the South Carolina Department of Corrections said in a statement.
After the evaluation, Murdaugh will be sent to one of the state’s maximum-security prisons to serve out the rest of his life behind bars.
Kirkland is home to more than 1,700 of the most violent criminals in the state and churns through more than 8,000 prisoners each year for evaluation.
As well as serving as the processing site for all of the state’s convicts, it is also home to a specialized maximum-security jail for the most dangerous and violent offenders.
Adjacent to the prison is the Broad River Correctional Institution which houses both high and medium security inmates.
More than 700 prisoners died in South Carolina’s prisons and jails between 2015 and 2021. The majority of those deaths occurred at Kirkland (160) and Broad River (101).
‘Kirkland is also responsible for the maximum-security unit which houses some of the most violent and dangerous inmates in the state,’ the site’s website says.
‘Furthermore, Kirkland Correctional Center houses inmates who are in the statewide protective custody program.’
Trial attorney Robert Rikard tweeted last night ahead of Murdaugh’s sentencing: ‘Tomorrow will be a much different day for Murdaugh. After sentencing instead of going to the county jail he will go to Reception and Evaluation on Broad River Rd.
‘They’ll shave his head and put him through a battery of tests that vet weeks.
‘Then he will be assigned to a SC Department of Corrections facility. Because he’s convicted of a violent crime, he will go to a facility that only houses the violent criminals. The worst of the worst.
‘It will be a much different scene than the county jail. These are brutal environments and it will be quite a shock after the privileged life he has lived.’
Adjacent to the prison is the Broad River Correctional Institution which houses both high and medium security inmates
A cell at the Broad facility. More than 700 prisoners died in South Carolina’s prisons and jails between 2015 and 2021
The majority of prisoner deaths in the state occurred at Kirkland (160) and Broad River (101)
Murdaguh will eventually end up at a maximum security prison. ‘ He will go to a facility that only houses the violent criminals. The worst of the worst.
More than 700 prisoners died in South Carolina’s prions and jails between 2015 and 2021. The majority of those deaths occurred at Kirkland (160) and Broad River (101)
Broad River Correctional Facility / Kirkland Reception and Evaluation Center
Judge Clifton Newman issued a searing sentencing earlier, describing Murdaugh as a ‘monster’ who continued to lie even when the evidence was damning.
‘This case qualifies under our death penalty statue based on the statutory aggravating circumstances of two or more people being murdered by the defendant by one act or pursuant to one scheme or course of conduct. I don’t question at all the decision of the state not to pursue the death penalty.
‘But as I sit here in this courtroom and look around at the many portraits of judges and other court officials and reflect on the fact that over the past century, your family, including you, have been prosecuting people here in this courtroom and many have received the death penalty, probably for lesser conduct.
‘Remind me of the expression you gave on the witness stand. Oh, what tangled web we weave. What did you mean by that?’
‘I meant when I lied, I continued to lie,’ Murdaugh replied.
‘And the question is when will it end? When will it end? And it has ended already for the jury, because they’ve concluded that you continue to lie and lied throughout your testimony. And perhaps with all the throng of people here, they for the most part all believe or 80, 90& or 99% believe that you continue to lie now when your statement of denial to the court.’
Prosecutor Creighton Waters said none of the victims of the crime – members of Murdaugh’s family and the parents and relatives of his wife – wished to speak on behalf of the prosecution before sentencing.
‘The depravity, the callousness, the selfishness of these crimes are stunning. The lack of remorse and the effortless way in which he is, including here, sitting right over there in this witness stand – your honor, a man like that, a man like this man, should never be allowed to be among free, law-abiding citizens,’ Waters said.
He learned his fate in the same courtroom on the circuit that his father, grandfather and great-grandfather tried cases as the elected prosecutor for more than 80 years.
Alex Murdaugh is led out of the courthouse to a waiting prison van to begin his life sentence
Murdaugh leaves the courthouse in a Colleton County Jail jumpsuit on Friday
His grandfather’s portrait hung in the back of the room until the judge ordered it taken down for the trial.
Instead of the smart clothes he wore through the six-week trial, the attorney who made millions suing big companies on behalf of people injured in car crashes arrived at court in a jail jumpsuit the day after he was convicted of two counts of murder.
Through more than 75 witnesses and nearly 800 pieces of evidence, jurors heard about betrayed friends and clients, Murdaugh’s failed attempt to stage his own death in an insurance fraud scheme, a fatal boat crash in which his son was implicated, the housekeeper who died in a fall in the Murdaugh home and the grisly scene of the killings.
The lawyer admitted stealing millions of dollars from the family firm and clients, saying he needed the money to fund his drug habit.
Before he was charged with murder, Murdaugh was in jail awaiting trial on about 100 other charges ranging from insurance fraud to tax evasion.
The Murdaughs dominated the legal scene in neighboring Hampton County for a century. Another brother remains in the large law firm the family founded a century ago.
Murdaugh’s surviving son Buster testified for the defense and was behind him in the courtroom for every day of the trial.
Juror Craig Moyer told ABC News that when deliberations began, the jury immediately took a poll that came back with nine guilty votes. It did not take long to convince the other three.
The juror agreed with prosecutors that the key piece of evidence was a video locked on his son’s mobile phone for a year — video shot minutes before the killings at the same kennels near where the bodies would be found.
Murdaugh spoke briefly, telling the judge: ‘I am innocent. I would never hurt my wife Maggie and I would never hurt my son Paul Paul.’ He was sentenced to life in prison
Judge Clifton Newman gave a searing assessment of Murdaugh’s ‘duplicitous’; character
The voices of all three Murdaughs can be heard on the video, though Alex Murdaugh had insisted for 20 months that he had not been at the kennels that night.
When he gave evidence in his own defense, the first thing he did was admit he had lied to investigators about being at the kennels, saying he was paranoid of law enforcement because he was addicted to opioids and had pills in his pocket the night of the killings.
‘A good liar. But not good enough,’ Moyer said.
Prosecutors did not have the weapons used to kill the Murdaughs or other direct evidence like confessions or blood spatter.
But they had a mountain of circumstantial evidence, including the video putting Murdaugh at the scene of the killings five minutes before his wife and son stopped using their mobile phones forever.
When he gave evidence last week, Murdaugh appeared to cry as he denied again and again that he killed his wife. But Mr Moyer said he saw through yet another lie.
‘He never cried. All he did was blow snot,’ Moyer said. ‘No tears. I saw his eyes. I was this close to him.’
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