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Alex Murdaugh sentenced to life in prison for murdering wife, son

A jury found the ex-lawyer guilty on all counts in the murders of his son Paul Murdaugh and his wife, Maggie.

UPDATE (Friday, March 3, 2023, 10:05 a.m. ET): A judge on Friday sentenced Alex Murdaugh to two consecutive life sentences in prison after a jury found him guilty a day earlier on all counts in the murders of his wife and son.

Jurors in South Carolina voted quickly to convict Alex Murdaugh of murdering his wife and son in a case that captured the nation’s attention and spawned Netflix and HBO series. The prominent former lawyer was convicted after roughly three hours of jury deliberation on Thursday.

The jury of seven men and five women convicted Murdaugh of shooting his wife Margaret and youngest son Paul in June 2021. He will be sentenced on Friday morning at 9:30 a.m. ET in state court, where the disgraced 54-year-old from a storied South Carolina family faces up to life in prison.

The jury also convicted him of two counts of possession of a weapon during a violent crime.

As MSNBC's own Katie Phang wrote earlier this week, Murdaugh's decision to testify in his own defense certainly seemed like a misstep:

The decision to have a criminal defendant testify is not one that is easily made; the potential for disaster usually far outweighs any true benefit. Before Murdaugh was disgraced and disbarred, he had a long career as a trial lawyer, likely leading him to believe he is smart enough and experienced enough to outwit and outmaneuver the prosecutor. But, just like the saying, “doctors make the worst patients,” lawyers can make the worst clients in their own defense.

The trial, much of which was televised, was also foreshadowed by a very buzzy true crime documentary on Netflix that premiered mere days before Murdaugh took the stand. That doc, “Murdaugh Murders: A Southern Scandal,” painted "an exceptionally unflattering picture of the Murdaughs," noted Phang.