Murdaugh Murders: Was Paul Murdaugh charged for Mallory Beach’s death? (wrongful death lawsuit updates)

Murdaugh Murders: A Southern Scandal. (Center) Paul Murdaugh in Murdaugh Murders: A Southern Scandal. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2023
Murdaugh Murders: A Southern Scandal. (Center) Paul Murdaugh in Murdaugh Murders: A Southern Scandal. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2023 /

Netflix has released another true crime documentary series, this one based on the infamous Murdaugh family from the Lowcountry in South Carolina. Murdaugh Murders: A Southern Scandal charts the family’s downfall, from the tragic 2019 boat crash that resulted in the death of 19-year-old Mallory Beach to the double murder of Paul and Maggie Murdaugh, for which Alex Murdaugh stands accused and is currently on trial.

Those two significant events are only the tip of the iceberg in a decade’s worth of financial crimes and mysterious deaths. In 2018, the family’s long-time housekeeper Gloria Satterfield died after falling down the front steps of the Murdaugh’s Moselle property. The Murdaugh name also appears numerous times in the investigative reports related to the death of Stephen Smith. This case has been reopened.

But the documentary series begins with the 2019 boat crash. Alex Murdaugh’s son, Paul Murdaugh, was allegedly driving the boat that night and crashed it into a bridge in Beaufort, resulting in Mallory’s death. He was reportedly under the influence at the time.

Paul Murdaugh did receive three felony charges, to which he pled not guilty, but Paul was murdered before he could stand trial. For those interested to know what has come about from the Beach family’s wrongful death lawsuit, keep reading as we answer some of the pivotal questions and provide background information.

Was Paul Murdaugh charged in Mallory Beach’s death?

Paul Murdaugh was charged with three felony counts on April 18, 2019. According to CBS News, the charges included “boating under the influence, including causing the death of Mallory Beach and seriously injuring two other passengers.” Murdaugh had pled not guilty and was out on bond, but he was murdered before he could stand trial.

Mallory Beach’s wrongful death lawsuit

In the aftermath of Mallory Beach’s death, her family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against multiple parties, including Gregory Parker, the owner of the convenience store that sold Paul Murdaugh the night of the boat crash, and the Murdaugh family.

Per The Post and Courier, the lawsuit against the Murdaugh family accused Paul Murdaugh’s relatives “of enabling his underage drinking, despite his alleged habit of drinking while driving,” while Parker was accused of “allowing Paul Murdaugh to buy alcohol that night with his older brother’s ID.”

Did Mallory Beach’s family receive settlement money?

ABC News reports a settlement was reached between the Beach family and Maggie Murdaugh’s estate this past January. The three surviving passengers of the 2019 crash and Mallory Beach’s family have settled with Buster Murdaugh and the estate for an undisclosed sum. Buster Murdaugh had been named in the lawsuit due to allegedly lending Paul his ID so he could purchase alcohol despite being underage.

The State reports that the settlement will award $530,000 “from the sale of the 1,772-acre hunting estate where Paul and Maggie were killed” to Buster as the Beach family agreed that Buster had suffered enough and felt he didn’t need to be part of the lawsuit any longer.

Additionally, “Roughly $700,000 will go to settle the various outstanding debts and legal claims of Maggie’s estate. But the balance will go to [attorney Mark] Tinsley, on behalf of Beach’s family and two other survivors of the boat crash, Morgan Doughty and Miley Altman.”

You can read a full breakdown of additional settlement terms and amounts awarded at The State.

As part of the settlement, Buster Murdaugh and his mother’s estate were dropped as defendants, leaving just the Parker’s Kitchen convenience store owner, Gregory Parker, and Alex Murdaugh as the primary remaining defendants.

The case is expected to go to trial in August. Alex Murdaugh’s double-murder trial is ongoing.

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