Disgraced former South Carolina attorney and convicted murderer Alex Murdaugh is facing a deposition over a boat crash in 2019 involving the son he was recently convicted of killing, reported the New York Daily News on Tuesday.
"The family of Mallory Beach, who died in the wreck, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Murdaugh, claiming he tried to cover up Paul’s actions," reported Joseph Wilkinson. "Paul, who was 19 at the time, was driving a boat near Parris Island, South Carolina, when he steered into a bridge. The teenager was drunk at the time, police said. After the crash, Murdaugh tried to persuade the passengers on board to blame another young man, Connor Cook, for the crash instead of Paul, according to multiple civil lawsuits."
"Cook claimed Murdaugh used a 'whisper campaign,' 'law enforcement misdirection' and 'possible obstruction' to try to deflect blame," said the report. "His efforts failed following a lengthy investigation by police, which resulted in Paul being charged with three counts of boating under the influence, including one resulting in death. The case was dismissed after Paul was murdered. However, the Beach family’s civil lawsuit against the elder Murdaugh has been allowed to proceed. Their attorneys will get a chance to question Murdaugh while he’s behind bars in South Carolina state prison, local NBC affiliate WSAV-TV reported. A civil trial in the case is scheduled for Aug. 13."
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The elder Murdaugh was convicted of murdering Paul, along with his wife Maggie, after they were found shot dead on the family estate near the dog kennels. In a highly publicized trial that captivated the nation, prosecutors argued that Murdaugh had killed his family to cover up theft from his clients and partners at his law firm, which was feeding into a five-figure weekly drug habit.
Murdaugh admitted on the stand to the financial misconduct and drug abuse, but denied the murders. However, his defense was derailed after he admitted under questioning that he was in the vicinity of the killings, which his attorneys and surviving family members spent months claiming he had not been.
As the report noted, the Beach wrongful death suit is only one of many ongoing legal problems for the family, which "has also been accused of covering up the death of Stephen Smith, a teenager found dead on a rural road in 2015, and the death of their housekeeper, Gloria Satterfield, who died at the family estate in 2018."