Convicted murderer Alex Murdaugh now faces questioning in the wrongful death case of Mallory Beach, a 19-year-old friend of his son Paul Murdaugh who died aboard the Murdaugh family’s boat while Paul was driving in 2019.
A judge on Monday ordered the South Carolina Department of Corrections (SCDC) “to make Defendant Alex Murdaugh available for a deposition” in the Beach case.
A trial date in the family’s wrongful death lawsuit against the Murdaughs, a once prominent and influential legal dynasty, is set for Aug. 14, about four years after Beach’s family filed the case against the Murdaugh family in 2019.
The lawsuit stems from the evening of Feb. 23, 2019, when Paul Murdaugh took five of his friends out on his family’s boat for a ride along the South Carolina coast.
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He used his older brother Buster’s ID to purchase alcohol at Parker’s Kitchen convenience store, which is also named in the suit, for the group before they went on an excursion that turned deadly.
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Despite his friend’s pleas to stop driving, the visibly inebriated Paul continued, eventually crashing into Archers Creek Bridge in Beaufort, leaving several passengers injured.
Beach, who was in the rear of the boat, was thrown into the water in the crash and went missing. Boaters found her lifeless body near the crash site more than a week later.
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Parker’s filed a motion earlier this month asking for a summary judgment to dismiss the case, arguing that the “evidence shows that Mallory Beach, an adult, knowingly exposed herself to the risk of riding in a boat with the visibly drunk Paul Murdaugh on a dark, foggy night.”
READ PARKER’S MOTION:
“Even setting aside anyone’s intoxication, repeatedly getting back on the boat was plainly dangerous, given the dense fog, lack of flashlights or other boating lights, and the absence of life jackets,” the attorneys wrote. “Adding alcohol to this equation only amplified those obvious dangers. The Boaters, including Mallory Beach, chose to put their lives at risk by repeatedly getting on the boat that evening …”
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Mark Tinsley, an attorney representing the Beach family in their wrongful death lawsuit, previously told Fox News Digital there is “still a long way to go” and “accountability to be had” in the case.
“We’re hopeful that the attorney general’s office will continue to investigate the investigators involved in … the boat crash. We think that there were a number of things that happened there that are worthy of prosecution,” he said.
Tinsley testified during Alex’s double murder trial that Paul used his family’s legal prestige in the South Carolina Lowcountry to get preferential treatment after the crash.
“The Beach family stood on a causeway for eight days while their daughter’s body was in the water,” Tinsley testified. “I don’t think there’s any amount of money someone would be willing to take to go through what they’ve gone through.”
Tinsley also said that Alex Murdaugh approached him at a bar while he was representing the Beach family and tried to bully him “into backing off” the case.
“There’s a lot of grumbling and shock that I’m actually going to hold Alex personally responsible,” Tinsley said of his experience at the time.
Prosecutors said the Beach lawsuit was a catalyst in Alex’s decision to murder his wife, Maggie, and Paul as it threatened to expose his other numerous financial crimes. The disgraced attorney is accused of embezzling millions from his family’s personal injury law firm and its clients.
On March 2, a jury found Alex guilty of murdering his wife and younger son. He was sentenced to life in prison.
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The Beach family attorney filed a motion to force Alex to disclose his books and prove his dire financial straits. Three days before the murders, a hearing was scheduled to determine whether Alex would be compelled to share the sensitive information.
Tinsley says he still does not have access to all of Alex’s financial records, including the Murdaugh family’s trust.
The Beaches reached a settlement with Maggie’s estate and Buster, Alex’s sole surviving son, in January. Alex Murdaugh and Parker’s Kitchen are the two remaining defendants.
Fox News’ Rebecca Rosenberg contributed to this report.