Alex Murdaugh Denied Bond On $3 Million Death Settlement Theft Charges

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A choose denied bond Tuesday for Alex Murdaugh, saying the lawyer’s appreciable monetary sources and psychological instability seem for now to make it too dangerous to permit him to await trial outdoors of jail on expenses he stole $3.four million in insurance coverage cash meant for the sons of his housekeeper.

Defense attorneys requested Circuit Judge Clifton Newman to launch Murdaugh on his personal recognizance, as a special choose had in September on expenses that he tried to rearrange his personal dying to acquire a $10 million insurance coverage coverage. Prosecutors requested for a $200,000 bond and GPS monitoring for the newest expenses, acquiring property by false pretenses.

“I’m not satisfied as to his mental condition,” Newman mentioned, including that he wanted extra data. He mentioned he would rethink his resolution after receiving it.

One of Murdaugh’s attorneys, Dick Harpootlian, mentioned after the listening to that therapists on the drug rehab facilities in Georgia and Florida the place Murdaugh spent the previous six weeks will ship their information to an area psychiatrist, who will put together a report for the choose, hopefully inside every week.

“We understand the judge’s concerns about Alex’s mental condition. We’re more than happy to comply with his request,” Harpootlian mentioned, including of Murdaugh, “He seemed much more clearheaded today than I’ve ever seen him.”

Harpootlian and Murdaugh’s different lawyer, Jim Griffin have mentioned he’s coping with crushing grief and guilt after discovering the our bodies of his spouse and son shot to dying at their home in June. Murdaugh has adamantly denied having something to do with their deaths and nobody has been charged.

The newest expenses towards Murdaugh contain insurance coverage funds that had been alleged to go to the sons of his longtime housekeeper Gloria Satterfield, who died in 2016 a number of weeks after falling on the household’s home, investigators mentioned.

No post-mortem was carried out, and a coroner mentioned her dying was improperly described as “natural” on her dying certificates. State police mentioned Tuesday in courtroom that they’re nonetheless investigating the circumstances of her dying. Murdaugh denies having something to do along with her dying, Harpootlian mentioned after the listening to.

Murdaugh instructed Satterfield’s sons he would assist them get insurance coverage settlements for her dying, recommending they rent lawyer Cory Fleming with out telling them Fleming was a household good friend, in response to a lawsuit filed by the sons.

Murdaugh negotiated greater than $four million in funds, then had the checks — minus charges and lawyer funds — despatched to a fraudulent checking account.

A lawyer for the sons mentioned they haven’t seen any cash from the settlements.

“He stole. He is a liar and a cheat,” lawyer Eric Bland instructed the choose Tuesday.

South Carolina Assistant Attorney General Creighton Waters mentioned Murdaugh rapidly took the cash and put it in his private accounts.

“He had been carrying a $100,000 credit card balance for months,” Waters mentioned. “That gets paid off. He writes 300 and some odd grand to his father. He writes a check for 610 grand to himself. He writes a check for 125 grand to himself. Not a dime goes to this family.”

Waters requested for a $200,000 bond and GPS monitoring, saying, “A man who is a danger to himself is a danger to others.”

Harpootlian and Griffin mentioned Murdaugh wants extra remedy for an opioid dependancy that has lasted for greater than a decade.

“He’s not going to run,” Harpootlian mentioned. “That’s not where he is now.”

Griffin argued that “the Alex Murdaugh who is not hooked on drugs has lived a good, fruitful life — a law-abiding life.”

“Only when he got hooked on opioids did things turn south and he truly regrets his conduct,” Griffin mentioned.

Murdaugh has been in jail since his arrest Thursday at a drug rehab middle near Orlando, Florida.

The housekeeper’s insurance coverage isn’t the one six-figure case being investigated by state police. Murdaugh’s former regulation agency — based by his great-grandfather a century in the past — has accused him of stealing probably tens of millions of {dollars}.

Prosecutors hinted at Tuesday’s listening to that Murdaugh has turned over all his affairs to his surviving son and in current weeks offered a ship and property in Beaufort County in what they mentioned is perhaps an try to cover cash from at the very least three ongoing lawsuits.

Each cost of acquiring property by false pretenses carries a sentence of as much as 10 years. The three felony expenses from the botched try to rearrange his personal dying might deliver as much as 20 years in jail if he’s convicted.

Murdaugh continues to insist he had nothing to do with the June deaths of his spouse, Maggie, 52, and their son Paul, 22. Murdaugh mentioned he returned to their rural Colleton County home to search out them shot to dying. Tight-lipped state police have neither named any suspects nor dominated anybody out.

In addition to the entire different circumstances, state police are trying into whether or not Murdaugh has connections to a 2015 hit-and-run dying and whether or not he or different relations tried to impede the investigation into a ship crash involving Paul Murdaugh that killed a 19-year-old girl in 2019. Murdaugh additionally denies any wrongdoing in these circumstances, Harpootlian mentioned Tuesday.

The Murdaugh household has dominated the authorized neighborhood in Hampton County for nearly the previous century. Murdaugh’s father, grandfather and great-grandfather had been elected prosecutors and their prestigious regulation agency grew to become recognized for suing railroads.

This story has been edited to right the housekeeper’s identify to Gloria.