Murdaugh’s son was allegedly piloting a boat involved in a deadly crash; Murdaugh then recommended another victim to an attorney, who he failed to mention was also his best friend and son’s godfather.
Alex Murdaugh, a South Carolina attorney accused of trying to stage his own death in a life insurance scam, is now accused of orchestrating a “whisper campaign” to deflect blame for a fatal boat crash.
According to NBC News, Murdaugh’s son was involved in the crash. However, Murdaugh allegedly tried to manipulate or coerce other people into believing that passenger Connor Cook was responsible.
In his own lawsuit, Cook claims that Murdaugh and his associates “were orchestrating a campaign” to hold him “criminally and civilly responsible for the boat accident, through inadequate investigation,” a “whisper campaign in the Hampton County community, and law enforcement misdirection and possible obstruction of the investigation.”
Cook, says NBC News, is seeking a jury trial and unspecified compensation for “severe injuries and damages for which he sought medical treatment and continues to suffer today.”
NBC News recounts how six young people, including Murdaugh’s son, Paul, and Cook were on a boat owned by Alex when it slammed into a piling below a bridge.
Paul Murdaugh was believed to be operating the boat.
After impact, a 19-year-old girl was flung off the boat and later died. All of the passengers, says NBC News, were “grossly intoxicated” despite being under the legal drinking age.
The family of the deceased girl has since filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the Murdaugh family and the liquor store believed to have sold alcohol to the group.
In his lawsuit, Cook says that Paul Murdaugh was able to purchase $50 worth of alcohol using a relative’s driver’s license and a family credit card.
Cook, too, was injured in the accident—he struck the boat frame and lost consciousness, later find a “serious cut to his face and multiple fractures to his jaw.”
Shortly after the accident, Cook claims that Murdaugh “encouraged and instructed” him to retain a certain attorney in the event of a criminal investigation. However, Murdaugh failed to mention that the attorney was, in fact, Murdaugh’s “best friend” and Paul’s “godfather.”
This conflict of interest, says Cook, “served to convert the unwitting Plaintiff Cook into an agent of protection for Paul Murdaugh, exposing Plaintiff Cook to the potential of being charged as boat operator and therefore responsible for the accident.”
“Only Plaintiff Cook was asked by law enforcement to submit to sobriety testing,” the lawsuit states.
NBC News reports that Murdaugh surrendered to authorities last week after his lawyers said he attempted to “have himself executed” so that his other son, Buster, could collect a $10 million life insurance policy.
Murdaugh has since been charged with insurance fraud, conspiracy to commit insurance fraud, and filing a false police report.
Murdaugh, adds ABC News, has received extensive media attention after his wife, Margaret, and youngest son, Paul, were shot dead.
Murdaugh is not suspected in the slayings.