The murdered wife of disgraced lawyer Alex Murdaugh left everything to her husband in her will, it has been revealed.
Margaret “Maggie” Murdaugh, 52, and her son Paul Murdaugh, 22, were shot and killed at the family’s sprawling hunting lodge in Islandton, South Carolina, on 7 June.
It was Mr Murdaugh who called 911 that night saying he had come home to discover his wife and son’s bodies by the kennels on their estate.
Almost seven months on, the double murder still remains a mystery with no arrests made, no suspects named and no charges filed.
Since the killings, Mr Murdaugh’s life has continued to unravel with the high-powered attorney claiming in September that he was shot in the head in a drive-by shooting in Hampton County.
He then admitted to orchestrating the hitman plot so that his surviving son Buster could access a $10m life insurance payout after he had blown much of the family’s wealth on feeding his 20-year opioid addiction.
He has since been accused of stealing money from his law firm and swindling the family of his dead housekeeper out of money from a wrongful death lawsuit following her mysterious trip and fall death in 2018.
Ms Murdaugh’s last will and testimony, unsealed last week and obtained by The Island Packet, has now revealed that she left all of her property to her husband.
However, she listed her sister Marian Proctor as the person who would have oversight of her estate in the event of her death.
The will was signed in August 2005 but was later amended by hand at an unknown point in time.
The document reveals Ms Proctor’s name was crossed out by hand and replaced with Randolph Murdaugh III, Mr Murdaugh’s father’s name, giving him the role of handling the estate.
Randolph Murdaugh died just three days after Ms Murdaugh and her son Paul were murdered. The family law firm at the time said he had died after a battle with illness.
Mr Murdaugh’s attorney Jim Griffin previously said his client was a person of interest in his wife and son’s deaths “from the get go” but insisted that he didn’t think “in any form or fashion” the will was a motive for their deaths.
“I think her untimely death actually works harm to his financial planning by having the (Moselle) property conveyed back to him through probate,” he said.
“It opens it up to creditors’ claims and, before, it was protected.”
Mr Murdaugh, Buster and Ms Proctor all separately renounced their rights to handle Maggie Murdaugh’s estate following her death, The Island Packet reported.
Instead, on 9 December, Mr Murdaugh’s brother John Marvin Murdaugh was appointed as the personal representative for the estate.
In a sworn statement, he has said he will resolve the estate’s debts before distributing any money or property to Mr Murdaugh or Buster.
He told The Island Packet he does not know why Ms Murdaugh would have amended her will but said he believes the changes were made when she was alive because it looked like her handwriting.
The disclosure of the will marks just the latest twist in the case which has rocked the South Carolina county.
Speculation has long mounted over who was behind the double murders, given the family’s ties to other mystery deaths in the area.
At the time of the killings, Paul was due to stand trial on charges of boating under the influence over a 2019 boat crash which killed 19-year-old Mallory Beach.
He was facing up to 25 years in prison if convicted.
Mr Murdaugh is currently being held behind bars on a string of charges in connection to the botched hit-for-hire plot back in September.
He called 911 claiming he was ambushed by the side of a road when changing a tyre on his car.
He was taken to hospital with superficial head injuries before checking himself into rehab for his opioid addiction.
Days later, he confessed to the plot and he and his alleged co-conspirator Curtis Smith were arrested on a slew of charges.
Mr Murdaugh was arrested and charged again the following month with misappropriating funds from the estate of Gloria Satterfield, the family’s housekeeper who died after a fall at their home in 2018.
He agreed last month to pay a $4.3m settlement to Ms Satterfield’s sons.
The attorney, whose family once dominated the county’s justice system, is also under investigation for allegations he stole funds from his law firm PMPED.
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