Alex Murdaugh, Serving 2 Life Terms for Murdering Wife and Son, ‘In Complete Despair’ Over What’s Next (Exclusive)
He faces 22 new financial crime charges that a friend of the disgraced former South Carolina lawyer called 'another nail in his coffin'
Already convicted of murder for the 2021 shooting deaths of his wife and son, Alex Murdaugh is despondent after being indicted on 22 federal charges Wednesday for allegedly stealing settlement money from his housekeeper's estate after she died on his property.
"He is in complete despair," said a family friend who keeps in contact with Murdaugh as he awaits another trial while serving two consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole in a South Carolina prison.
The new charges — "just another nail in his coffin," says the friend — are in addition to more than 90 others the disgraced and disbarred former attorney faces for theft, fraud and other financial crimes.
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Meanwhile, others involved in the case are pleased with the latest development as Murdaugh's legal woes mount.
In a statement to The Messenger, attorneys for his late housekeeper's family called Wednesday's indictment "a great day for justice in South Carolina."
"While it is said that Lady Justice is blind, she is not a sucker," write attorneys Eric S. Bland and Ronald L. Richter, Jr.
"Bottom Line — you can't run or hide from justice."
Once an influential lawyer in South Carolina's Low Country, Murdaugh's charmed life fell apart on June 7, 2021, when he said he returned to his family's hunting lodge on a sprawling estate in Islandton, S.C., to find the bodies of his wife Maggie and their son Paul.
They had been shot to death near dog kennels on the property.
Murdaugh told authorities he'd been visiting his ailing mother at the time of the killings, but police soon focused on Murdaugh as the prime suspect in the murders.
The crimes sent shockwaves around the Low Country, where the Murdaughs were well known for their political and legal power. For 85 consecutive years, members of the family had served as solicitor — or district attorney — for the region.
The Murdaugh case quickly became international news. It even spawned multiple documentaries, including Netflix’s Murdaugh Murders: A Southern Scandal and HBO Max's Low Country: The Murdaugh Dynasty.
During their investigation, authorities said they uncovered evidence they claim proves Murdaugh committed dozens of financial crimes, including one related to the death of his longtime housekeeper, Gloria Satterfield, who died in 2018 after she fell at the Murdaughs' home.
Federal prosecutors allege Murdaugh "conspired with a personal injury attorney in Beaufort to defraud" Satterfield's estate and her insurance company out of almost $3.5 million, according to the indictment.
Earlier this month, Murdaugh’s lawyers claimed that their client lied about the housekeeper's death, falsely blaming the family's dogs for causing her fatal fall to get insurance money.
Murdaugh "invented the critical facts," his attorneys admitted in a lawsuit brought against their client by Nautilus Insurance Co.
A trial for Murdaugh's alleged financial crimes is scheduled for later this year.
It will come months after a jury on March 2 found him guilty on two counts of first-degree murder in connection with the deaths of his wife and son.
A day later, Murdaugh was sentenced.
At trial, his surviving son Buster testified that his father was "destroyed" and "heartbroken" by the murders.
Murdaugh's lawyers have filed an appeal for the convictions.
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