After being charged with the murder of his wife Maggie and youngest son Paul in 2022, Alex Murdaugh is now receiving his day in court. As expected, South Carolina prosecutor Creighton Waters has been both harsh and patient towards the former lawyer, and has not been afraid to be specific regarding the crimes.
Not only has he slammed defense attorneys Richard “Dick” Harpootlian and Jim Griffin, he also claimed that the state believes Alex killed Maggie and Paul as a distraction to avoid accountability for stealing money from former clients at his family’s law firm.
Creighton has made sure to get every detail he could from Alex. Although he received criticism for his tactics on social media, the prosecutor has done nothing but his job, and was obviously selected for a reason.
How was Creighton Waters chosen as the prosecutor in the Alex Murdaugh trial?
Creighton was the clear choice for this trial due to his status in the South Carolina Attorney General’s Office. Not only is he the chief prosecutor for the state of South Carolina, he’s also been with the office for more than 20 years.
The lawyer also has a solid history in earning indictments on more than 100 suspects during investigations into drug operations in prison. Several news outlets including Yahoo! Finance reported that he’s worked with other prosecutors on cases that ranged from the misconduct allegations against former South Carolina Speaker of the House Bobby Harrell, to the $9 billion V.C. Summer nuclear project criminal conspiracy.
Alex became Creighton’s focus in 2019 during indictments in financial and drug-related crimes. Because of the people associated with the prominent family, Creighton was also able to indict several accomplices. Now, it’s clear that his goal is to make sure Alex is convicted for the murders of his wife and son, and based on his line of questioning, he is not afraid to do it in the harshest way possible.
Creighton Waters already had a high salary even before the Alex Murdaugh trial.
It is no surprise that Creighton’s salary is significantly high due to his position in South Carolina. Due to him being the chief prosecutor, it is likely he makes at least $100,000 a year. Indeed, top job website ZipRecruiter confirmed as of 2023, the average yearly salary for a chief prosecutor is in that ballpark.
To be a prosecutor, one must obtain an undergraduate degree, attend law school, pass the bar exam, and either have an internship or clerkship. Creighton did all of those things. According to The Post and Courier, Creighton graduated from University of South Carolina’s law school in 1996, passed the bar exam, and clerked for two years for the South Carolina Court of Appeals Judge Jasper Cureton. He then joined the South Carolina Attorney General’s Office in 1998, and the rest is history.
It is unclear if Creighton ever considered practicing law in another state. However, after working in South Carolina for so long, it seems likely that’s where he intends to stay for the remainder of his career.
Creighton Waters is not afraid to go up against the prosecutorial team in the Alex Murdaugh trial.
The lawyers representing Alex are Richard, nickname "Dick," and Jim. Richard has more than 30 years of experience as a prosecutor and defense attorney. He has also prosecuted several murder cases and has made media appearances on several news outlets for years.
Unlike Richard, Jim is primarily an accomplished trial lawyer and healthcare attorney. However, he too has more than 30 years of experience. His role will be primarily regarding the fraud and embezzlement cases, as most of his knowledge comes from federal crimes such as fraud and public corruption.
Multiple people were called on the stand on Feb. 24, 2023, including Alex’s eldest son Buster Murdaugh, who continues to speak well of his father. The trial will resume on Monday at 9:30 a.m. ET, where the defense plans to call up witnesses. Several news outlets will be posting live updates throughout the day.