Criminal Justice

Lawyer survives shooting after murders of wife and son, announces rehab stay amid law firm accusations

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A prominent South Carolina lawyer told police that he was shot in the head by a person in a pickup truck Saturday, a day after his law firm confronted him with allegations that he was misappropriating money.

The lawyer, 53-year-old Alex Murdaugh, suffered only a graze wound and was released from the hospital Monday, the New York Times reports.

He released a statement saying he was entering rehab after a long battle made worse by the June 7 shooting deaths of his wife and son, whom he found shot outside their home in Islandton, South Carolina.

Other publications with coverage include the State, the Associated Press and the Washington Post.

“The murders of my wife and son have caused an incredibly difficult time in my life,” Murdaugh said in the statement. “I have made a lot of decisions that I truly regret.”

Murdaugh’s lawyer, Jim Griffin, said Murdaugh was being treated for substance abuse.

“Alex resigned after being accused of diverting lawyer fees from the firm,” Griffin told the AP. “These allegations prompted him to confront a dependency, and he voluntarily checked into an in-patient substance abuse rehab facility.”

Murdaugh’s law firm in Hampton, South Carolina, was known as PMPED, a shortened version of Peters, Murdaugh, Parker, Eltzroth and Detrick. The personal injury law firm had been founded by Murdaugh’s great-grandfather, who was also the area’s first elected chief prosecutor. Two more generations of the family had the prosecution job through 2006.

Murdaugh’s slain son, Paul Murdaugh, had been charged with boating under the influence in a 2019 crash that killed a 19-year-old woman. Family members said the Murdaugh family began receiving death threats after the boat crash.

No arrests have been made in the murders of Paul Murdaugh and his mother, Maggie Murdaugh.

Murdaugh told police that he was shot Saturday while he was changing a tire along a rural road.

The South Carolina Supreme Court suspended Murdaugh’s law license on an interim basis Wednesday, report the Island Packet and NBC News.

Updated Sept. 9 at 12:27 p.m. to report on Murdaugh’s law license suspension.

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