EXCLUSIVE: Richard “Buster” Murdaugh Jr.— the lone surviving son of disgraced South Carolina lawyer and accused killer Alex Murdaugh — resides a quiet life along with his longtime girlfriend in a resort city forward of his father’s hotly anticipated homicide trial, Fox Information Digital has discovered.
“They’re a very nice couple,” mentioned a neighbor, who wasn’t conscious of Buster’s identification or tragic household circumstances. “They at all times smile and say, hello.”
Buster, and Brooklynn White, each 26, stay with their beloved golden retriever, Miller, in a modest one-bedroom Hilton Head Island condominium — a far cry from the sprawling 1,700-acre searching farm, referred to as Moselle, the place he grew up in Islandton, South Carolina.
Alex, 54, is accused of fatally taking pictures Buster’s solely sibling, 22-year-old Paul Murdaugh, and their 52-year-old mom, Maggie Murdaugh, June 7, 2021, close to the property’s canine kennels.
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The fallen patriarch is slated to go to trial Jan. 23 for the surprising double murder. Buster has continued to assist his disbarred and jailed father.
On Tuesday morning, Buster, sporting a downcast expression, pulled up in his grey GMC Yukon exterior the Georgia condominium, then carried a basket of laundry inside earlier than leaving.
The house, which contains a blue Marlin ornament on the entrance porch, is in a posh with a communal pool, a tennis courtroom and a fitness center.
It’s unclear when Buster and White started courting — however she accompanied him to the joint funeral of Paul and Maggie, in keeping with a supply.
She was seen comforting her beau as he cried on the service, and she or he affectionately interacted along with his father, the supply added.
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Greater than 17 months after the murders, the slain mom and son’s graves in Hampton Cemetery nonetheless haven’t got headstones and are marked by small plastic plaques.
White, who’s from Rock Hill, South Carolina, purchased the Hilton Head apartment for $180,000 in July 2021 after touchdown her first job out of regulation college at Olivetti McCray & Withrow, the place she makes a speciality of probate and property planning, in keeping with the agency’s web site.
She declined to reply questions Wednesday morning on her boyfriend’s state or the case in opposition to his father, politely responding to a number of requests for remark with a easy, “No, ma’am.”
The condominium on Hilton Head, a trip vacation spot identified for its pristine seashores and golf programs, is about 70 miles from Buster’s childhood dwelling.
White attended the College of South Carolina Legislation College alongside Buster, who was allegedly kicked out in his second semester for plagiarism, the Wall Road Journal reported.
Alex paid an lawyer $60,000 to attempt to get Buster readmitted, in keeping with FitsNews.
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The information web site additionally reported that Buster attended the annual South Carolina Affiliation for Justice conference on Hilton Head in August along with his lawyer uncle, Randolph “Randy” Murdaugh IV.
Buster has saved a low profile since igniting a firestorm in October 2021 when he was photographed in public along with his uncle, John Marvin Murdaugh, playing and ingesting at The Venetian in Las Vegas.
The newest Buster sighting comes the identical week that the federal trial of banker Russell Laffitte kicked off — the primary legal case stemming from the spectacular unraveling of the Murdaugh dynasty to go earlier than a jury.
Laffitte, the previous Palmetto State Financial institution CEO, is charged with financial institution fraud, wire fraud and different crimes for allegedly serving to Murdaugh fleece his private damage shoppers out of their settlement cash.
Though a central determine in that federal case, Alex hasn’t been charged. However he has been indicted on greater than 80 counts of monetary crimes in state courtroom in connection to the alleged theft of $8.5 million from his shoppers’ settlements.
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Prosecutors revealed Tuesday at Laffitte’s trial that Alex was first confronted about monetary irregularities on the household’s as soon as illustrious private damage regulation agency the identical day his spouse and son had been murdered.
The agency, previously referred to as Peters, Murdaugh, Parker, Eltzroth & Derrick, P.A., accused Alex of misappropriating funds and compelled him out.
Days after he misplaced his job, Alex was shot within the head in a failed assisted-suicide plot allegedly designed to depart Buster a $10 million life insurance coverage coverage.
The Murdaughs, a outstanding Democratic household, had wielded monumental judicial and political energy for over a century. 4 generations served because the native prosecutor, referred to as the solicitor, who oversees the 5 counties on the southern tip of the state.
However their dominance started to wane in 2019 after Paul was accused of drunkenly slamming his father’s boat into the pilings of a bridge in Beaufort, killing 19-year-old Mallory Seashore, injuring 4 others and triggering a collection of lawsuits that shone a highlight on Alex’s alleged crooked monetary dealings.
Buster was additionally named as a defendant within the Seashore swimsuit for allegedly letting Paul, who was underage, use his ID to purchase alcohol for the doomed boating journey. The civil case is scheduled to go to trial in January.
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For the reason that double slaying, the South Carolina Legislation Enforcement Division (SLED) reopened investigations into the mysterious 2015 dying of Buster’s classmate Stephen Smith, with whom he was rumored to be having a secret affair.
Authorities additionally launched a contemporary probe into the 2018 dying of the Murdaugh’s very long time housekeeper.
A brand new HBO docuseries “Low Nation: the Murdaugh Dynasty” that aired earlier this month contains a collection of jail calls between Alex and his son, which had been recorded on the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Heart.
In a single recording, Alex asks Buster whether or not “Brooklynn” obtained his letter. In a number of of the calls, which the collection didn’t air, Alex speaks instantly with White, who addresses him as “sir” and speaks warmly to him.
In one other name, Alex encourages Buster to return to the Murdaugh property the place his brother and mom had been shot to dying.
“I believe the dam feeders had been full over there at Moselle,” Alex says. “Should you felt like going again there, I guess with nothing occurring, I guess there’s deer throughout them issues.”
Buster, who sounds unsettled by the proposition, replies, “I’m not going searching on the market.”
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One in all Alex’s attorneys, Dick Harpootlian, and the household’s spokeswoman, Amanda Loveday, did not instantly return requests for remark.
Haley Chi-Sing contributed to this report.