Murdaugh is person of interest in murders, his lawyer says

Published: Oct. 18, 2021 at 11:34 AM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C - An attorney for prominent South Carolina lawyer Alex Murdaugh says Murdaugh is a person of interest in the killing of his wife and son.

Back in June, Murdaugh reportedly found Maggie and Paul Murdaugh dead with gunshot wounds on the family’s property.

But Alex’s Murdaugh’s attorney also says he was with family during the time of the crime, and he has witnesses to back it up.

“You would think that if Alex was the one who did it, they would have come up with something to link Alex to the murders, forensically or independent evidence. And, and to my knowledge, they have not done that,” his attorney Jim Griffin said.

Meanwhile, Murdaugh is expected to face a bond hearing Tuesday before a magistrate judge in Richland County.

The bond hearing for the 53-year-old is in connection with two felony counts of obtaining property under false pretenses. Investigators from the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division say the charges stem from their investigation into misappropriated settlement funds in the death of Murdaugh’s longtime housekeeper, Gloria Satterfield.

He was arrested last week after being released from a rehab facility in Florida. He waived extradition procedures, allowing him to be brought back to South Carolina quickly.

Affidavits released Saturday state Murdaugh “coordinated with Ms. Satterfield’s family to sue himself in order to seek an insurance settlement with the stated intent to the proceeds to the Satterfield family to pay for funeral expenses and monetary compensation for Satterfield’s children.”

Murdaugh recommended the family hire Cory Fleming to represent them and Fleming brokered insurance settlements totaling more than $4 million, with more than $2 million designated for the Satterfield family, an affidavit states.

String of problems

It’s been a rough few months for the Murdaugh family.

Murdaugh has been accused of stealing funds from his own law firm, from which he resigned in early September, the day before he was wounded in a shooting along a Hampton County road.

Investigators say that shooting was an insurance fraud scheme designed to provide a $10 million death settlement for Murdaugh’s surviving son. Murdaugh and a second man, Curtis Smith, have been charged in the alleged plot.

Murdaugh’s wife and youngest son, Maggie and Paul, were gunned down at the family’s rural Colleton County hunting property back in June.

After the shooting, Murdaugh announced his resignation from his law firm and his intention to enter rehab for substance-abuse treatment.

The South Carolina Supreme Court suspended Murdaugh’s license to practice law in September.

Murdaugh’s former law firm, Peters, Murdaugh, Parker, Eltzroth, and Detrick, filed a lawsuit against Murdaugh over funds it alleged he misappropriated from the firm.

Lawyers said the discovery of the scheme originated when the firm inquired about a fee owed to them from a case that Murdaugh worked on along with another law firm. On Sept. 2, 2021, lawyers reported a check was found on Murdaugh’s desk from the other law firm.

The suit states that a notation on the check indicated it was partial payment of the fees the firm were inquiring about. However, PMPED officials said the check was made payable to Murdaugh’s personal account and not PMPED.

From reports by WRDW/WAGT and WCSC