South Carolina judge denies Alex Murdaugh's request to lower $7 million bail
Lawyers say Murdaugh housekeeper’s heirs never received money after reportedly falling, dying in family home
Estate attorneys for the Murdaugh Family’s housekeeper, Gloria Satterifield, Eric Bland and Ronny Richter discuss the investigation into her death and its aftermath on ‘The Story’Estate attorneys for the Murdaugh Family’s housekeeper, Gloria Satterifield, Eric Bland and Ronny Richter discuss the investigation into her death and its aftermath on ‘The Story’
A South Carolina judge on Tuesday denied a request to lower the $7 million bail for Alex Murdaugh, a prominent attorney who is charged with stealing millions of dollars from clients.
Murdaugh’s lawyers argued that the bail amount was akin to no bail at all, saying that he was so broke, he is unable to pay his phone bill.
“After considering all of the information provided, this court finds that the current bond is reasonable to assure his appearance in court as the Defendant remains a flight risk and potential danger to himself and the community,” Circuit Judge Alison Renee wrote in a one-page decision.
Alex Murdaugh, right, is shown here with his family. His former law firm filed a lawsuit Wednesday accusing him of using fake bank accounts to steal money from the firm and clients.
The bail amount for Murdaugh, who has been in custody for three months, is higher than the $6.2 million requested by prosecutors.
He was initially ordered held without bail following accusations that he stole from his clients and attempted to arrange his own death, so his son Buster could collect a $10 million insurance policy.
In June, his wife and other son, Paul, were found shot to death at their home in Colleton County. The killings remain unsolved and Murdaugh has denied any involvement. An investigation into the slayings began to reveal other parts of his life, which are now the subject of several lawsuits.
He faces lawsuits from multiple people, including the family of his deceased housekeeper, a state trooper, an immigrant living in the country illegally, and a person injured in a car crash, prosecutors have said.
South Carolina Highway Patrolman Thomas Moore has accused Murdaugh of conning him out of $125,000 in settlement funds after he was injured while in the line of duty.
Alex Murdaugh walks into his bond hearing, Sept. 16, 2021, in Varnville, S.C. A judge on Tuesday denied a request by his lawyers to reduce his $7 million bail. (AP Photo/Mic Smith)
“Here’s the problem. He treated me that nice and he stole every dime I had from the injury that occurred,” Moore told the judge earlier this month during a court hearing.
After the botched suicide attempt, Murdaugh spent weeks at rehab centers in Georgia and Florida for an opioid addiction, then was arrested in October on charges that he stole $3.4 million from the sons of his late housekeeper, Gloria Satterfield, who died after tripping and falling in the Murdaugh home in 2018.
A different judge froze his accounts in an effort to make sure that the victims suing Murdaugh would not lose their chance to collect. That has resulted in him facing dire financial straits and leaving him with so little money, he can’t even purchase underwear or pay his phone bill, his lawyers said.
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He faces multiple felonies that could send him to prison for more than 500 years if convicted.
Fox News’ Paul Best and Danielle Wallace as well as The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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