Alex Murdaugh accused of ‘orchestrating campaign’ to frame teen for boat crash

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Alex Murdaugh accused of 'orchestrating campaign' to frame teen for boat crash

Disgraced South Carolina legal scion Alex Murdaugh was hit with yet another lawsuit this week — accused of “orchestrating a campaign” to blame an innocent teen for his drunken son’s deadly 2019 boat crash.

The drug-addicted lawyer’s son Paul had been set to face trial for the crash when he was found shot dead alongside mom Maggie Murdaugh, 52, in June of this year.

In a lawsuit filed Monday, Connor Cook, one of the individuals on the boat at the time of the crash, claimed Murdaugh tricked him to protect his son — even though he knew he’d been “drunk and traveling at excessive speeds” when the crash killed 19-year-old Mallory Beach.

Murdaugh — currently in rehab while on bail for orchestrating his own shooting in a doomed life-insurance scam — immediately “sought out all or most of the boat passengers in an attempt to control the narrative of what occurred,” Cook’s lawsuit insisted.

As Cook, 19, was being taken to be X-rayed for a fractured jaw, Murdaugh cornered him and told him to “keep his mouth shut” when asked who was driving the boat, the lawsuit claimed.

Murdaugh then “encouraged and instructed” Cook to retain attorney Cory Fleming, who also ordered him “to decline to be interviewed by law enforcement,” the lawsuit said.

But Murdaugh made no mention of how Fleming was his college roommate, best friend and drunken son’s godfather, the lawsuit said.

ex Murdaugh sits during his bond hearing Thursday, Sept. 16, 2021, in Varnville, S.C.
Alex Murdaugh during his bond hearing Thursday, Sept. 16, 2021, in Varnville, SC.
AP Photo/Mic Smith

Without mentioning the “conflict of interest,” all the advice given “was to the advantage of Paul and [Alex] Murdaugh and against the interests of Fleming’s new client,” Cook, the lawsuit alleged.

It made him an “unwitting … agent of protection for Paul Murdaugh” — instead exposing Cook to “the potential of being charged” and held responsible for the crash, the lawsuit said.

“Murdaugh and others were orchestrating a campaign to have Connor Cook held criminally and civilly responsible for the boat accident,” the court papers alleged.

Lawyer Alex Murdaugh
Alex Murdaugh is currently in rehab while on bail for allegedly orchestrating his own shooting in a life-insurance scam.
AP Photo/Mic Smith

It included “a ‘whisper campaign” against him — as well as “law enforcement misdirection and possible obstruction of the investigation.”

The lawsuit noted that Murdaugh’s son was not tested for his blood-alcohol levels despite “his obvious state of intoxication” and “the loud and angry statements by at least one of the passengers that Paul Murdaugh was driving the boat” that belonged to his dad.

The lawsuit claimed Paul had the “express permission” of his father to drive his boat despite him knowing that he “would often drink to the point of intoxication” even while driving “family vehicles, including boats.”

The lawsuit also names Buster Murdaugh — the lawyer’s surviving son, for whom he allegedly tried to get $10 million in his assisted suicide plot — for allowing his brother to use his ID to buy the booze. The store and the staffer who sold it to him are also named.

Together, they are “liable for all damages” because of “their negligent, careless, grossly negligent and reckless acts and omissions,” the lawsuit claimed.

A spokeswoman for Alex Murdaugh told the Post and Courier that his lawyers would not be able to comment until they could review the lawsuit with their client, who is in rehab for a reported opioid addiction.

“Right now, they are focused on supporting Alex’s recovery,” spokeswoman Amanda Loveday said.

Fleming could not immediately be reached for comment, the outlet said.

The double slaying of Paul Murdaugh and his mom — whose bodies were found by Alex — have yet to be solved. No suspects have been named.

The same force last week also announced that it was now investigating the suspicious death of Murdaugh’s longtime housekeeper at his home, as well as up to $4 million in insurance money that was collected but never forwarded to her family.

Murdaugh is also the subject of a state investigation into allegations he stole money from his family law firm, which booted him and led to him being suspended from practicing law in the state.

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