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Boat crash rocks Lowcountry

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Paul MurdaughAlmost two months after 19-year-old Mallory Beach was killed in a boat crash near Parris Island, Paul Murdaugh, 20, was indicted by a Beaufort County grand jury on one count of boating under the influence causing death and two counts of boating under the influence causing great bodily injury, according to a spokesman for South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson’s office. Wilson’s office will prosecute the case. 

Both the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office and 14th Circuit Solicitor Duffie Stone recused themselves from the case due to long-standing relationships with the Murdaugh family. The son of former solicitor Randolph Murdaugh III owns the boat involved in the crash and is Paul Murdaugh’s father. The group of underage Hampton County boaters appeared to be “grossly intoxicated” at the scene of the Feb. 24 crash, in which Beach was thrown from the boat and killed, said Sheriff’s Office spokesman Maj. Bob Bromage.

Beach’s mother filed a wrongful death lawsuit in Hampton County alleging that two businesses — one in Beaufort and the other in Ridgeland — as well as two party hosts in Beaufort had provided alcohol to the group in the hours leading up to the crash.

Randolph Murdaugh served as solicitor of the 14th Judicial Circuit, which includes Beaufort and Hampton counties, from 1986 to 2006. He continues to work for Stone’s office as a contractor on criminal cases, according to the Solicitor’s Office.