Longtime prosecutor dies after 2 family members are killed, says


ISLANDTON, SC (AP) – A senior South Carolina attorney died just days after his grandson and daughter-in-law were found dead in a gunfight on their family’s land in Colleton County.

Randolph Murdaugh III’s death was announced Thursday by his law firm, Peters, Murdaugh, Parker, Eltzroth & Detrick.

The company didn’t give a cause of death, but Colleton County’s Democratic Senator Margie Bright Matthews said Murdaugh, 81, was in intensive care when she asked for prayers for the family in the Senate Tuesday.

Murdaugh’s death Thursday came the day before the funeral service for his 22-year-old grandson Paul Murdaugh and Paul’s mother, 52-year-old Maggie Murdaugh.

The mother and son were found shot dead near dog houses in the family home near Islandton on Monday evening.

The State Law Enforcement Division is investigating the case and has released few details, including the type of guns they were killed with, whether they had potential suspects, or who found their bodies and called 911, police and their police report said almost nothing but two people were shot.

South Carolina law requires law enforcement agencies to post all crime reports they create within 14 days and to include details such as the nature and content of the incident.

The Murdaughs are one of the most famous legal families in South Carolina.

Paul Murdaugh awaited trial for boating under the influence, which resulted in death in a February 2019 crash that killed 19-year-old Mallory Beach. The woman’s body was found seven days after the crash.

The wreck led to stories questioning whether his family’s connections to the legal system in the area influenced the investigation.

Murdaugh III served as an elected attorney in the 14th District from 1987 to 2005. His father and grandfather were also prosecutors for the Allendale, Beaufort, Colleton, Hampton, and Jasper counties.

Murdaugh III’s son, Alex, the husband and father of the victims of Monday’s shooting, is a part-time attorney in the same office.

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