Alex Murdaugh: What Happened to Mallory Beach on the Boat?

Alex Murdaugh (Photo Credit: Tracy Glantz | The State | Tribune News Service via Getty Images)
Alex Murdaugh (Photo Credit: Tracy Glantz | The State | Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

Disclaimer: This article contains mentions of murder. Reader discretion is advised.

In February 2019, a 19-year-old girl named Mallory Beach lost her life in a fatal boat crash. As per reports, Paul Murdaugh crashed his family boat after getting drunk. Although authorities investigated the case, nothing substantial came out because of Alex Murdaugh, a renowned lawyer. Moreover, the Murdaugh family hindered the investigation and stopped Beach’s family from getting justice.

For the uninitiated, on February 23, 2019, Mallory Beach and her boyfriend, Anthony Cook, were going to a party. As per CBS News, the party was being attended by Paul Murdaugh and his then-girlfriend, Morgan Doughty. Everyone agreed that they will reach the venue through Paul’s family’s boat. The outlet mentioned that before reaching the venue, Paul and one of his friends, Connor, went to a waterfront bar. They both ordered two rounds of shots. Paul behaved rashly after drinking too much. Citing the statements of other passengers, CBS News mentioned that he continuously fought with his girlfriend.

A few moments later, Paul crashed the boat into Archers Creek Bridge. The impact of the crash ejected Mallory Beach into the water. One of the passengers called 911 and asked for help. The authorities arrived at the scene and initiated a search operation. For eight days, investigators, along with volunteers, searched the entire area in order to find Mallory or her body. However, on March 3, 2019, a couple of volunteers discovered Beach’s body about five miles down from the place where the accident happened. The authorities sent the body for an autopsy and the coroner revealed that Beach died because of blunt force trauma to the head.

Did Paul Murdaugh ever go to trial for Mallory Beach’s death?

As stated above, Paul Murdaugh was driving the boat when it crashed. As per CBS News, Anthony Cook told the sheriff at the time that Murdaugh was behind the wheel before the crash threw Mallory Beach into the water. More than a month after the discovery of Beach’s body, the authorities charged Paul Murdaugh with three felony counts.

The charges also included causing the death of Mallory Beach and seriously injuring two other passengers. The outlet noted that Paul Murdaugh pleaded not guilty to all the charges. Even though the authorities charged him in the case, Paul could never go on trial. In June 2021, the case took a wild turn when authorities discovered the lifeless bodies of Paul Murdaugh and his mother, Maggie.

According to CBS News, Alex Murdaugh called 911 and told the authorities that he found the bodies after he returned to the property. Subsequently, authorities dropped all charges against Paul Murdaugh after his death. After initiating the investigation into the double murder case, they charged Alex Murdaugh with the murders. He pleaded not guilty to the murder charges.

During the trial, the prosecution team presented evidence and claimed that Murdaugh killed his wife and son so that he won’t held responsible for several financial frauds. After much deliberation, the jury announced the guilty verdict in March 2023. The court sentenced him to life in prison.

Beach’s family reached a settlement in a wrongful death lawsuit

Although Mallory Beach and her family didn’t get the justice they deserved, the family settled a wrongful death lawsuit with the convenience store that gave alcohol to Paul Murdaugh. As per CNN, Beach’s family and the convenience store reached a “global settlement” of $15 million. Following this, Beach’s family’s attorney said that this settlement would act as a “warning” to everyone. The attorney said, “These settlements won’t bring Mallory back, but we hope they do save someone else’s son or daughter.”

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