The only living son of convicted killer and admitted swindler Alex Murdaugh has named a handful of documentary companies, a media conglomerate and a Hampton County journalist in a lawsuit accusing them of defaming him while reporting on the death of Stephen Smith. 

Buster Murdaugh — whose legal name is Richard Alexander Murdaugh Jr — says that the defendants defamed him when they implied that he may be responsible for Stephen’s death. Stephen was found dead in the middle of Sandy Run Road in Hampton County on July 8, 2015. It is still unknown who is responsible for his death.

Buster cites the following documentaries as defamatory:

Murdaugh Murders: Deadly Dynasty 

Produced by Blackfin Inc for Warner Bros. Discovery, Inc.

Low Country: The Murdaugh Dynasty 

Produced by Campfire Studios for Warner Bros. Discovery and Warner Media Entertainment Pages 

Murdaugh Murders: A Southern Scandal

Produced by The Cinemart LLC for Netflix, Inc. 

Additionally, Michael DeWitt, Jr., the editor of the Hampton County Guardian newspaper is named in the suit, along with the Guardian’s parent company, Gannett Co. Inc. DeWitt appeared in Murdaugh Murders: A Southern Scandal. 

You can read the entire complaint here and hear Mandy and Liz’s thoughts in True Sunlight Episode 56.

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Buster is represented by attorney Shaun Courtney Kent of Kent Law Firm in Manning, SC. 

Contact Beth Braden

Beth Braden

Beth Braden is an award-winning journalist with experience covering government, education and crime and courts for more than 10 years. In addition to following breaking news and writing feature stories about life in her home state of Tennessee, her by-line appears on several internationally known websites.

Beth is passionate about communicating complex information in an easy-to-understand manner and she loves to pore over public records and court documents as she seeks out patterns and context to share with her audience. In her spare time, she enjoys quilting, strange museums, and good cups of coffee.

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