Judge Clifton Newman sentenced Alex Murdaugh, 54, to life in prison on murder charges this morning.

This comes less than 24 hours after a South Carolina jury found the disbarred lawyer guilty of the murders of his wife and son in 2021.

The trial lasted 28 days, but it took the jury only a few hours to unanimously agree that Murdaugh was guilty of the two murders.

Murdaugh faces 30 years to life in prison for each murder conviction without the possibility of parole.

Prosecutor Creighton Waters asked for the maximum sentence of two consecutive life sentences but did not pursue the death penalty, saying that Murdaugh shouldn’t “be among free, law-abiding citizens again.”

The court session began at 9:30 a.m. ET.

Before the sentencing, Murdaugh again pleaded his innocence, claiming he did not kill his wife and son.

Newman said that this trial was “one of the most troubling cases” he ever had as a judge. He noted that it was disturbing because the two were both members of the legal community and had seen each other on numerous occasions throughout their careers.

Newman spoke about Murdaugh’s opioid addiction: “It might not have been you. It might have been the monster that you become when you take 15, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60 opioid pills…The person standing before me was not the person who committed the crime, though it is the same individual.”

During the trial, Murdaugh stated that he sometimes took more than 2000 milligrams of oxycodone per day – it’s rare for doctors to prescribe patients more than 100 milligrams per day, even for severe pain.

Murdaugh is a former personal injury attorney whose father, grandfather and great-grandfather served as the local prosecutor in South Carolina’s Lowcountry from 1920 to 2006.

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