South Carolina Circuit Court Judge Clifton Newman said sentencing for Alex Murdaugh will occur at 9:30 a.m. ET on Friday.
March 2, 2023 - Alex Murdaugh found guilty in the murder of his wife and son
By Elise Hammond, Adrienne Vogt, Matt Meyer, Tori Powell and Amir Vera, CNN
Sentencing will be held Friday morning
Judge denies defense motion for mistrial
Judge Clifton Newman denied the defense's motion for mistrial, saying that there has been an "overwhelming amount of testimony and evidence" presented to the jury.
He said this was a matter for the jury to determine and the court found that there "was sufficient evidence to find the defendant guilty if the evidence was believed by the jury."
Alex Murdaugh was found guilty on two counts of murder in the killing of his wife and son. The jury deliberated for under three hours after hearing weeks of testimony by dozens of witnesses.
Alex Murdaugh found guilty of murdering his wife and son
From CNN's Alta Spells and Ronnie Glassberg
The jury in the double murder trial of Alex Murdaugh has found him guilty of murdering his wife and son, the grisliest and most severe of the allegations faced by the disgraced former South Carolina attorney.
Murdaugh, the 54-year-old scion of a prominent and powerful family of local lawyers and solicitors, was also found guilty of two counts of possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime in the killings of Margaret “Maggie” Murdaugh and Paul Murdaugh on June 7, 2021.
Prosecutors have indicated they will seek life in prison without the possibility of parole for the murders, sparing him the death penalty.
In a separate case yet to go to trial, Murdaugh continues to face 99 separate charges stemming from a horde of alleged financial crimes, including defrauding his clients, former law firm and the government of about $9 million.
Jury reaches verdict in double murder trial of Alex Murdaugh
From CNN's Alta Spells and Ronnie Glassberg
The jury has reached a verdict in the double murder trial of former attorney Alex Murdaugh after just hours of deliberations.
Murdaugh pleaded not guilty to two counts of murder and two weapons charges in the fatal shootings of his wife, Margaret “Maggie” Murdaugh, and son Paul at their family estate in Islandton, South Carolina, in June 2021.
The jury must be unanimous in its decision to either acquit Murdaugh or convict him.
Jury could deliberate until 10 p.m. tonight, source says
From CNN’s Randi Kaye
The jury has been told they can deliberate until 10 p.m. ET tonight, a source familiar told CNN.
The jury has asked for monitors, the source said, likely to watch interviews and other important videos that were played in court.
As of now, there is no plan for the jury to deliberate over the weekend if they do not reach a verdict before then.
Deliberations are underway in the Alex Murdaugh murder trial
After receiving detailed instructions from the judge, the jury is now deliberating in the case against disgraced South Carolina lawyer Alex Murdaugh.
The jury will consider two counts of murder and two weapons charges in the killings of Murdaugh's wife and son at the family’s estate, a property known as Moselle.
Earlier Thursday, Judge Clifton Newman removed a juror and replaced them with an alternate after a member of the public reached out to report improper conversations with parties not associated with the case.
The jury is back after lunch
The court is back after closing arguments and a lunch break.
The judge is now charging the jury before they start deliberations.
Closing arguments have ended and the court is taking a lunch break
The prosecution and defense have wrapped up their closing arguments.
The court is in a break for an hour and 15 minutes.
Alex Murdaugh's drug use doesn't explain his lies to police, prosecutor argues
Prosecutor John Meadors argued in court Thursday that Alex Murdaugh's drug use doesn't explain his lying to police and general behavior on the night of his wife and son's killings.
Murdaugh has admitted he lied to investigators about whether he had been to his estate's dog kennels shortly before their deaths, blaming “paranoid thinking” stemming from his opioid addiction.
Responding to the defense's closing arguments, Meadors said that explanation doesn't stand up to a test of common sense. He implored the jury to think about the video they watched of Murdaugh's initial interview with law enforcement on the night of the killings.
"Tell me what he was like in that car, you've got the video," the prosecutor said.
Meadors said the video showed Murdaugh appearing to understand questions, making timely answers and responding appropriately.
"Was he in his right mind? Of course he was," the attorney said.
Meadors also argued that if Murdaugh had taken the number of pills he claimed to have taken, "he'd be dead."
"You can't take that many pills," the attorney said. "That's your common sense."
Some context: Murdaugh said he sometimes took more than 2,000 milligrams of oxycodone per day in the months leading up to the deaths of his wife and son.
It is virtually unheard of for a doctor to prescribe a patient more than 100 milligrams of oxycodone a day, even for the most severe acute or chronic pain.
While 2,000 milligrams sounds astronomical in comparison, taking that much daily is medically possible, according to CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Sanjay Gupta.
CNN's Elizabeth Wolfe contributed to this report.