Former South Carolina prosecutor dies days after family members found dead

Mystery continues to surround a prominent South Carolina family as former 14th Circuit Solicitor Randolph Murdaugh III, 81, died just days after his grandson and daughter-in-law were discovered shot to death, as Fox News reports.

The death of Murdaugh was announced Thursday by Peters, Murdaugh, Parker Eltzroth & Detrick, the law firm at which he was a named partner, though no specific information about the cause of death was provided. On the Tuesday prior to his passing, however, state Sen. Margie Bright Matthews (D) revealed that the longtime prosecutor had been in intensive care.

Sadly, the death comes on the heels of the tragic discovery on Monday evening of the bodies of Murdaugh’s grandson Paul 22 and his mother, 52-year-old Maggie Murdaugh, both of whom were found dead of bullet wounds on family property in Colleton County, as Greenville NBC affiliate WYFF reported.

Little information about those mysterious shooting deaths has yet been released by the State Law Enforcement Division, which continues to investigate, according to Fox News. No details have been provided regarding who discovered the bodies or even whether there are any suspects at this time.

Notably, South Carolina statute requires law enforcement agencies to publicly disseminate crime reports within 14 days, and such reports must detail the nature and facts underlying the incident at issue, therefore more insight into what occurred may well be forthcoming.

Paul Murdaugh was currently awaiting trial for allegedly causing the death of a woman in February of 2019 by operating a boat while under the influence of intoxicants, an incident which prompted some to express concern that his family’s prominence within the local justice system may have impacted the investigation.

Murdaugh III served in the role of 14th Circuit solicitor between the years of 1987 and 2005, with his father and grandfather also having held the position for many years before him. Alex Murdaugh, the father and husband of the shooting victims, also serves in a part-time prosecutorial role in the area.

According to the website of the deceased attorney’s law firm, “The Murdaugh family served as Solicitor for 87 consecutive years,” adding, “This 87 years of service in one office by one family is the longest in the history of the United States,” WYFF further noted.

Though it remains unclear whether the octogenarian’s death is in any way connected to the mysterious killings of his family members just days prior, hopefully investigative authorities will soon determine precisely what occurred, and the remaining Murdaughs can receive some sense of closure.