Alex Murdaugh, the former lawyer from the Lowcountry of South Carolina, became a household name when he was charged with the murder of his wife and son back in 2021. He came from a very wealthy and well-connected family that had long been top dogs in the area who had a long string of deaths and scandals associated with them that had been swept under the rug by their just as well connect network of friends.
The story was picked up by a Netflix docuseries titled Murdaugh Murders: A Southern Scandal, which documented the backstory of many of these alleged crimes and took viewers through the timeline of events which lead to Alex’s trial, where he was found guilty of murdering his wife and son at their home and sentenced to two consecutive life terms.
You can read the entire timeline here, it’s too much for me to try and summarize in this post, but if you haven’t yet read about the case or watched the docuseries, I can’t recommend it highly enough.
Well, today Murdaugh finds himself back in a courtroom for a separate laundry list of crimes, these being state-level financial ones, and his defense team is asking for a change of venue or delay, claiming the level of media coverage surrounding his murder case will make it impossible to find an impartial jury to try Murdaugh.
There were also some revelations regarding the judge in both his murder and financial crimes cases, which was the same person. The judge has removed himself from upcoming appeals on the murder case due to comments made during an interview where he said he agreed with the jury’s verdict, but will continue to hear arguments on the financial crimes. It’s a very complicated situation that will continue to playout for quite awhile, as the list of crimes leveed against Murdaugh will undoubtedly all be appealed whenever a verdict is reached, meaning his name will stay in the headlines for the foreseeable future.
But one of the weirdest parts of this case that I believe was overlooked from the start is the attorney who continues to represent Murdaugh at these trials. His name is Dick Harpootlian, and while he is one of the highest level lawyers in the state, he also happens to be a sitting South Carolina State Senator representing the 20th district.
I mean, how is that not a conflict of interest? Aren’t criminal cases titled “The State of South Carolina versus…” and wouldn’t senators technically be a member of The State in that case? How can you defend someone when you’re one of the people who create the laws, isn’t that a bit strange? Regardless, Dick is in court with Alex today and when asked if he believe the Murdaugh financial matters were about to be over, he gave one of the weirdest answers imaginable…
Michael DeWitt, a local journalist, is currently live Tweeting about the trial from inside the court room and posted this quote from Dick:
“The Murdaugh case is like a sexually transmitted disease. It’s never gonna be over.”
I mean what? You’re comparing your client’s trial to an STI? That has to be against some type of courtroom ethics, right? I’m no lawyer, but I have watched My Cousin Vinny about 100 times and I know that Southern judges like to maintain a certain order in their courtrooms and that line certainly seems to be out of line.
Honestly, it’s hard for me to care about trials for a person that is pretty much already guaranteed to be behind bars for the rest of their life, but I hope they continue to bring down the hammer on this guy.