2021 in Photos: Everything Big That Happened This Year

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In June, news of the shocking double homicide of a wealthy South Carolina mother and son shook the nation. The pair were shot to death in their family’s hunting estate, where they had retreated in the wake of the family’s patriarch’s death. Authorities released no information except that there is no threat to the general public.

But as more news was revealed about the Murdaugh family, a legal and prosecutorial family who have deep ties in Colleton County, a mystery surrounding what could have possibly happened to Paul and Maggie Murdaugh gripped the nation. Paul had been facing felony charges stemming from a boating accident that led to the death of his friend Mallory Beach at the time of his murder and father and husband Alex Murdaugh, pictured, had been battling a decades-long opioid addiction, according to his attorney.

Then the saga became more intriguing when Murdaugh reported being shot in the head in a rural road, which he allegedly later admitted was a murder-for-hire plot he was in on so that his surviving son could obtain his insurance money, according to an arrest affidavit filed by a State Law Enforcement Division officer in the case against the alleged gunman. Murdaugh has been indicted for False Claim for Payment, Filing a False Police Report and Conspiracy in connection to that case. 

Claims that he may have siphoned tens of millions from his former law firm and allegations by the children of his former housekeeper Gloria Satterfield that her death may have been misrepresented further complicated Murdaugh’s legal troubles.

He faces various civil suits, including ones from Satterfield’s family and his former law firm. The charges he faces include “Breach of Trust with Fraudulent Intent, Obtaining Property by False Pretenses, Money Laundering, Computer Crimes, and Forgery,” according to an attorney general’s statement. 

Seven new indictments with 21 criminal charges were filed against Murdaugh, South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson said Thursday. The new charges he faces include money laundering, computer crimes, breach of trust and forgery, according to court documents obtained by The New York Post. That brings the total number of charges he currently faces to 48.  

Murdaugh has denied that there was a murder-for-hire plot and is contesting the civil lawsuits. He is currently being held without bond in Richland County jail. 

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