The 22-year-old man from a prominent South Carolina family who was found murdered with his mother reportedly had other brushes with the law in addition to being charged in a 2019 drunken boat crash that killed a young woman.
Paul Murdaugh was awaiting trial on a charge of boating under the influence causing death in the crash that killed 19-year-old Mallory Beach. Her body was found seven days after the crash.
He and his mother, 52-year-old Maggie Murdaugh, were found shot near dog kennels outside their home in Islandton on June 7.
Investigators are now probing whether Paul was the intended target of his and his mother’s murders.
According to records obtained by The Island Packet and Beaufort Gazette, he received a traffic ticket in May 2020 for driving more than 15 mph over the speed limit, and was fined for a minor boating violation earlier this year in Charleston County.
Paul was out on bond at the time of his death while facing charges of boating under the influence causing death and two counts of boating under the influence causing great bodily injury.
Two months after being sprung from jail, a judge removed the only condition of his release — allowing him to travel outside the 14th Judicial Circuit, according to the news outlet.
Although he faced BUI charges, the state did not restrict him from drinking alcohol or driving a boat, the report said.
Prosecutors also did not ask the court to consider as evidence in Paul’s bond hearing a 2017 citation he received for possession of alcohol by a minor, according to the outlet.
On March 11, he received a ticket for boating with an expired fire extinguisher near Shem Creek in Charleston County.
Records obtained by the outlet show the ticket was tied to a 2008 Scout boat owned by Murdaugh’s father, Alex Murdaugh, who works for the prestigious law firm Peters, Murdaugh, Parker, Eltzroth and Detrick.
This was a different boat from the one involved in the 2019 crash, a 2006 Sea Hunt also owned by his dad, The Island Packet and Beaufort Gazette reported.
Paul was fined $105 for the ticket and there was no evidence showing consumption of alcohol related to it, according to the outlet.
On Tuesday Colleton County Coroner Richard Harvey confirmed that Paul and his mother had been shot “multiple times.”
He refused to answer more questions, including queries about reports that two separate firearms were used — a shotgun to kill the son and an assault rifle to gun down his mother.
The Murdaugh family is seen as a legal dynasty in South Carolina, with three generations serving as 14th Circuit solicitor covering the state’s southern tip.