HAMPTON COUNTY, SC (Sept. 21, 2018) – Former 14th Circuit Solicitor Randolph Murdaugh III has received the state’s highest civilian honor. The Order of the Palmetto is awarded to people who make significant statewide contributions.
Murdaugh was recognized Thursday, Sept. 20, at the Hampton County Courthouse for his service to the 14th Judicial Circuit, which includes Allendale, Beaufort, Colleton, Hampton and Jasper counties. He served as solicitor from 1986 to 2006.
Once Murdaugh announced he would return to private practice in 2005, it marked the end of an era. Murdaugh is the third generation of the Murdaugh family to serve as solicitor of the 14th Judicial Circuit. The Murdaugh family’s nearly 87 years of continual service of one office by one family is the longest in U.S. history.
Shortly after Randolph III was born, his father, “Buster” Murdaugh, was sworn in as solicitor for the 14th Judicial Circuit after the death of his father, Solicitor Randolph Murdaugh. Buster’s father, Randolph Murdaugh, started practicing law in 1910 and started the law practice that is now Peters, Murdaugh, Parker, Eltzroth & Detrick, P.A.
Randolph grew up in Varnville, S.C., and graduated from Wade Hampton High School in 1957. He attended the University of South Carolina and graduated in 1961. Randolph then enrolled in the University of South Carolina School of Law and graduated in 1964.
In 1986, Buster Murdaugh announced he would not run for another term as solicitor and Randolph Murdaugh ran for the position. Randolph won the election and was sworn in as solicitor in January 1987. He served as solicitor until January 2006, when Gov. Mark Sanford selected an assistant solicitor, Duffie Stone, to serve as solicitor. Stone was elected to serve his first full term in 2008 and was re-elected in 2012 and 2016.
In 2006, Randolph Murdaugh rejoined Peters, Murdaugh, Parker, Eltzroth & Detrick, P.A., where he continues to practice in the Hampton office with his sons Randy and Alex.
He also continues to serve as a prosecutorial consultant assigned to the circuit’s Career Criminal Prosecution Team, which prosecutes the circuit’s most violent and habitual offenders.
Recently, Murdaugh won a conviction against a Walterboro man who shot and killed a Hampton apartment complex building manager. The defendant was sentenced to 51 years in prison. It is just one of the more than 200 murder cases he served as lead prosecutor during his 20-year tenure.