A man and his mum have been found shot dead as he was awaiting trial over the death of a teenage girl.
Paul Murdaugh, 22, and his 56-year-old mum, Maggie, were found shot dead near dog kennels at the family’s home near Islandton, in the US state of South Carolina, on Monday night (local time).
Police have not said if there are any suspects in their deaths or who found their bodies, but, according to US news media, it is being treated as a double murder.
Murdaugh was awaiting trial on a charge of boating under the influence causing death in a February 2019 crash that killed 19-year-old Mallory Beach.
According to a police report obtained by WMBF News, Murdaugh and other underage people on the boat between 19 and 20 were all “grossly intoxicated” on the evening of the crash.
The boat had also been speeding, news site The Island Packet reported.
Ms Beach was reported missing at the time and her body was found seven days later.
The wreck led to stories questioning whether his family's ties to the legal system in the area affected the investigation.
The Murdaughs are one of South Carolina’s most prominent legal families.
Prosecutor dies just days after grandson, daughter-in-law killed
Randolph Murdaugh III, a longtime South Carolina prosecutor, died just days at the age of 81 after his grandson and daughter-in-law.
He served as the elected solicitor in the 14th Circuit from 1987 to 2005.
His father and grandfather also held the job as prosecutor for Allendale, Beaufort, Colleton, Hampton and Jasper counties.
Randolph's son Alex, the husband and father of the victims in Monday’s shooting, is a part-time prosecutor in the same office.
The announcement of Randolph’s death came from his law firm Peters, Murdaugh, Parker, Eltzroth & Detrick on Thursday.
The firm didn’t give a cause of death, but Democratic state Senator Margie Bright Matthews of Colleton County said the 81-year-old was in intensive care when she asked for prayers for the family on Tuesday on the Senate floor.
Randoph's death came the day before the graveside service for his grandson and daughter-in-law.
Ms Beach’s family said they hoped anyone with information would come forward so the killer could face justice.
“The Beach family extends its deepest and warmest sympathies to the Murdaugh family during this terrible time. Having suffered the devastating loss of their own daughter, the family prays that the Murdaughs can find some level of peace from this tragic loss,” the family said in a statement issued through their lawyer, Mark Tinsley.
with The Associated Press
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