Of the many memories etched in my mind from the double-murder trial and conviction of Alex Murdaugh, wild hogs are, well, the least expected. Hogs were mentioned so often throughout the six weeks in court, it sometimes seemed as though they were on trial.

The hogs’ prominent role was connected to the guns used by Alex Murdaugh’s sons Paul and Buster, each of whom had been given a .300 Blackout semiautomatic rifle for Christmas to use in hunting hogs. More to the point, one of the two weapons used in the murders was a .300 Blackout, perhaps a missing one that Paul lost. Neither murder weapon has been found. Paul, 22, was killed by two blasts from a 12-guage shotgun. His mother, Maggie, 52, was shot five times with the Blackout rifle.

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