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Tribune News Service
Tribune News Service
Sofia Sanchez

‘Unsettling and frightening’: Buster Murdaugh asks to be left out of future police reports

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Ongoing media attention following the conviction of his father for double murder has prompted Buster Murdaugh to ask the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office that he not be associated with future police reports.

As a result of nationwide media attention, Murdaugh and his girlfriend, Brooklyn White, have filed police reports complaining of being followed by paparazzi and even photographed through gaps in the blinds of their own home.

Richard “Buster” Alexander Murdaugh Jr., Alex and Maggie Murdaugh’s oldest son, has been living on Hilton Head during his father’s trial in the murders of his brother and mother in June 2021. Since the murders, the family, which was well-known in the Lowcountry for its 100-year legal dynasty and previously occupying the 14th Circuit Solicitor’s Office, has been put under a microscope from national and international media outlets since.

In a report filed by Murdaugh and White Sunday, policed assured the couple they would do extra patrols in the neighborhood. Those patrols have continued as of Thursday, said Maj. Angela Viens, a Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson.

In the newest report, filed by White on Tuesday, she told police that the actions of the media have become “increasingly unsettling and frightening.” White said she has noticed several photographers snapping photos while she was out walking her dogs.

She also explained that reporters followed her and Buster Murdaugh on their way to the Colleton County Courthouse throughout Alex Murdaugh’s trial, which ended on March 3 with Judge Clifton Newman handing down two life sentences for the murders. White said reporters have also tried talking to neighbors to get information about the couple.

White singled out a specific reporter with a true crime YouTube channel that she said she caught peering into the couple’s car parked outside their home. Her “main concern” was this reporter and his “behavior at her residence,” police said in the report.

In a recent video posted to the reporter’s channel, the YouTuber said he had no qualms with photographers taking pictures of the couple while they are out in public but did not agree with photos at their home. The YouTuber also posted a four-minute drive up to the family hunting lodge, Moselle, where Paul and Maggie Murdaugh were killed.

“I do not agree with the media taking pictures of someone while they’re inside their home ... inside someone’s home,” the YouTuber said in a recent video. “I think someone’s home is their sanctuary. I wouldn’t do that.”

In Tuesday’s report, police explained how White could obtain a restraining order against the YouTuber or other photographers if she is concerned.

As of Thursday, no such restraining order had been filed in Beaufort County Magistrate Court.

Media giants, including CNN, HBO Max and Netflix, have released several docuseries episodes detailing the family’s history, the murders of 22-year-old Paul and 52-year-old Maggie Murdaguh at the family’s hunting lodge and Alex Murdaugh’s alleged financial crimes. The deaths of several people close to the family were also explored.

Those deaths include that of Mallory Beach, a classmate of Paul Murdaugh’s killed in a 2019 boat crash while he was driving, allegedly drunk; Gloria Satterfield, the family’s housekeeper whose death settlement money was allegedly stolen by Alex Murdaugh while he acted as an attorney for her family; and Stephen Smith, Buster Murdaugh’s classmate previously believed to have been killed in a 2015 hit-and-run.

Beach’s family has filed a multimillion-dollar wrongful death lawsuit against several Murdaugh family members. A trial for the lawsuit is set to begin on Aug. 14.

Alex Murdaugh has yet to go to trial for about 100 alleged financial crimes, including millions taken from Satterfield’s sons who he represented after her death at the family home.

The South Carolina Law enforcement Division reopened Smith’s death investigation two weeks after Paul and Maggie Murdaugh’s murders.

Since his conviction, Alex Murdaugh was taken from Walterboro to a South Carolina Department of Corrections facility in Columbia. After a 30-day evaluation period, he will be assigned to the corrections institute where he will serve his life sentences.

His attorneys, Dick Harpootlian and Jim Griffin, have said they will appeal his conviction.


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