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Alex Murdaugh branded an ‘animal’ as he’s sentenced to 27 years for financial crimes: Live

Alex Murdaugh branded an ‘animal’ as he’s sentenced to 27 years for financial crimes: Live

Convicted killer Alex Murdaugh was confronted by his victims in a courtroom in South Carolina today before being sentenced to 27 years in prison on a slew of state financial crime charges.

“You seem empty, I don’t see anything,” Judge Clifton Newman told Murdaugh as he handed down the sentence. “Hopefully something will emerge in your spirit, in your soul.”

For more than a decade, Murdaugh stole over $12.5m from clients at his law firm in a vast multi-million-dollar fraud scheme.

Among the victims who spoke was the family of Gloria Satterfield, the Murdaugh’s housekeeper who died in a 2018 “trip and fall” at Moselle. In that case, Murdaugh stole more than $4m in wrongful death settlements meant for her sons.

Murdaugh spent nearly an hour apologizing to them. He admitted he did “terrible things” that “continue to bother and disturb him.”

The disgraced legal scion reached a plea deal with prosecutors on 17 November, agreeing to plead guilty to 22 charges including money laundering, fraud and criminal conspiracy.

The sentencing marks only the latest chapter in the Murdaugh saga, as he continues to fight his conviction over the June 2021 murders of his wife Maggie and son Paul.

Key points

  • Alex Murdaugh to be sentenced today on state financial crimes charges

  • Gloria Satterfield’s family to confront Murdaugh in court

  • How Murdaugh swindled millions from law firm clients for more than a decade

  • Disgraced legal scion reaches plea deal

  • Killer continues to fight murder conviction

Stephen Smith’s cellphone unlocked 8 years after he was found dead near Murdaugh house

00:11 , Mike Bedigan

The phone and tablet of a South Carolina teenager found dead near the Murdaugh family home have finally been unlocked by investigators eight years after he was killed.

Stephen Smith, 19, was killed in 2015 with his death originally being ruled a hit-and-run accident by authorities.

Graeme Massie has the full story:

Stephen Smith’s cellphone finally unlocked 8 years after he died near Murdaugh house

Murdaugh slams speculation about son’s alleged involvement in Stephen Smith’s 2015 death

Tuesday 28 November 2023 23:30 , Andrea Cavallier

In his rambling, lengthy statement in court, Murdaugh also hit out at the rampant speculation about his son Buster and the unsolved 2015 death of a gay teenager – Stephen Smith – and sought to downplay the role that the family’s late housekeeper of 20 years had played in his children’s upbringings.

Admitting that he did “terrible things”, Murdaugh insisted that he does “care” about each of the people he stole from.

“I did terrible things. Each of you placed your trust in me. I am proud of that and to this day I am still honoured by that,” he said.

“I did terrible, terrible things. Things that I’m thinking about right now cause me to be hurt, cause me to be disturbed. It is so important to me that you know how bothered I am about the things that I did.”

Gloria Satterfield’s son told Murdaugh he forgives him

Tuesday 28 November 2023 22:41 , Andrea Cavallier

Satterfield’s son Tony Satterfield spoke directly to the double murderer as he told him that he forgives him for the years of pain he has put their family through.

“I really don’t have words, you lied, you cheated, you stole, you betrayed me, my family and everyone else and you did that across my mom’s death first of all,” he said.

Mr Satterfield brought up the fact that Murdaugh sent him a “half-hearted sorry letter” some time ago – saying that he knows it was half-hearted as his “actions don’t follow through” with his apology.

He said that he had his own sorry letter to read to Murdaugh.

“I’m sorry you felt you had to betray us,” he said.

“I’m sorry your family has to now go through what they’re going to have to go through for the rest of their life because of your actions, what you did.”

He added: “I want you to know I forgive you. l’ll pray for you every day.”

Tony Satterfield addresses the court during Alex Murdaugh’s sentencing (AP)
Tony Satterfield addresses the court during Alex Murdaugh’s sentencing (AP)

ICYMI: Sobbing Alex Murdaugh makes himself the victim at fraud trial sentencing

Tuesday 28 November 2023 21:15 , Andrea Cavallier

Sobbing Alex Murdaugh apologised to the multiple victims that he stole millions of dollars from in their hours of need during an emotional sentencing hearing – before using the floor to once again deny all responsibility for the murders of his wife Maggie and son Paul.

What began as a statement apologising for his financial fraud crimes inside the courtroom in Beaufort County on Tuesday descended into a monologue where he hit out at the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division and the South Carolina Attorney General’s Office for their handling of the murder investigation.

It ended with Judge Clifton Newman sentencing Murdaugh to 27 years in prison.

Rachel Sharp reports…

Sobbing Alex Murdaugh makes himself the victim at fraud trial sentencing

Murdaugh’s defence team holds press conference following sentencing

Tuesday 28 November 2023 20:31 , Andrea Cavallier

Jim Griffin and Dick Harpootlian are speaking to reporters outside the courthouse in South Carolina after their client Alex Murdaugh received 27 years for his financial fraud schemes.

Mr Griffin said Murdaugh would be eligible for release when he’s 75 and a half years old,” he said as he joked that he’s already been challenged to a golf match.

“Alex is committed to getting out,” he added.

Alex Murdaugh gets 27 years in prison for financial crimes

Tuesday 28 November 2023 20:21 , Andrea Cavallier

The former legal scion and convicted killer was sentenced on Tuesday to 27 in prison for his financial crimes.

“You seem empty, I don’t see anything,” Judge Clifton Newman told Murdaugh.

“Hopefully something will emerge in your spirit, in your soul.”

The disgraced legal scion reached a plea deal with prosecutors on 17 November, agreeing to plead guilty to 22 charges including money laundering, fraud and criminal conspiracy.

Under the terms of the deal, prosecutor Creighton Waters asked Judge Newman to sentence Murdaugh to 27 years – to be served concurrently to his two life sentences for murder.

“I accept the negotiated sentence and the guilty plea,” Newman said.

“I take no joy at all in imposing this sentence. And you’ll have to suffer the consequences of your actions. And hopefully some good will come out of this as you go forward.”

Judge Newman to sentence Alex Murdaugh in financial crimes schemes

Tuesday 28 November 2023 20:03 , Andrea Cavallier

Judge Clifton Newman is now sentencing Murdaugh for his financial crimes.

Judge Newman reminded the court that he has 44 days until active retirement.

“I will turn the page and leave you behind,” he told Murdaugh.

WATCH: Alex Murdaugh addresses his victims at sentencing

Tuesday 28 November 2023 19:43 , Andrea Cavallier

Court is in recess for 45 minutes

Tuesday 28 November 2023 19:14 , Andrea Cavallier

Alex Murdaugh spoke for over an hour, apologizing countless times to his financial crimes victims and to his family members - who were not in the courtroom.

He again denied the murders of his wife Maggie and son Paul and apologized for the focus being on him instead of SLED focusing on their case.

“’I now ask every single person who cares about Maggie and about Paul as I know that the things that I did and that I’m pleading guilty to today allowed SLED and the AG’s office to focus on me and not to pursue the person or the people who hurt and killed Maggie and paw paw.”

He wrapped his lengthy speech stating that he is trying to be a better person.

“I’m going to do as much good as possible. And help as many people as I can while incarcerated.”

“I remain committed to finding a way to make those who love me proud of me again in some small way.”

Judge Newman has called a 45-minute recess before making his sentencing decision.

Murdaugh tells Satterfield family ‘there is no person more important to our family than Gloria’

Tuesday 28 November 2023 19:03 , Andrea Cavallier

Alex Murdaugh told Gloria Satterfield’s son Tony Satterfield “as hypocritical as this sounds, I love you.”

He then adds: “Gloria didn’t raise our sons, we raised our sons, but there’s no person more important to our family than Gloria was.”

Family of Alex Murdaugh not in courtroom for sentencing

Tuesday 28 November 2023 18:52 , Andrea Cavallier

Murdaugh spent a good portion of his statement apologizing to his family, including his surviving son Buster, but none of them were in the courtroom on Tuesday.

Murdaugh apologies to surviving son Buster

Tuesday 28 November 2023 18:37 , Andrea Cavallier

“Buster, I am so sorry that I let you down.”

He talks about how proud he is of Buster and the way he’s carried himself through this.

“Your whole family is proud of you. Mom is proud of you. Paw Paw is proud of you.”

“Remember that rational, reasonable people never make as much noise as haters do.”

He tells him to tune them out to stay the course.

Murdaugh uses apology financial victims to deny murders of Maggie and Paul

Tuesday 28 November 2023 18:31 , Andrea Cavallier

The convicted killer once again denied the murders of his wife Maggie and son Paul during his statement to the court at his financial crimes hearing.

Murdaugh was speaking to his childhood friend Jordan Jinks, which became emotional, when his tone suddenly changed.

“You are absolutely right about everything you said, but you are dead wrong about one thing: I did not hurt Maggie and I did not hurt Paul.”

Alex Murdaugh tears up as he tells victims that he cares about them

Tuesday 28 November 2023 18:22 , Andrea Cavallier

The former legal scion addressed his victims at his finanical crimes hearing on Tuesday.

“I want each of you to know that i listened to you and heard you,” he said. “I promise that it resonates with me.”

“I hope that time come when we can look back and realize that I cared about each of you.

“I did terrible things to each of you and I’m not proud of that.”

“Terrible terrible things. Things that I’m thinking about right now.”

“It is so important to me to know how bothered I am by the things that I did.”

He then addresses each of his victims.

Alex Murdaugh will now address the court

Tuesday 28 November 2023 18:13 , Andrea Cavallier

Alex Murdaugh talks with his attorneys Dick Harpootlian, left, and Jim Griffin during his sentencing (AP)
Alex Murdaugh talks with his attorneys Dick Harpootlian, left, and Jim Griffin during his sentencing (AP)

“What kind of animal are you?” Victim asks Alex Murdaugh

Tuesday 28 November 2023 18:08 , Andrea Cavallier

Jordan Jinks, who injured his knee and spine in a car crash, breaks down while speaking to Murdaugh.

“I’ve been waiting on this day,” he said. “To look in your eyes. I trusted you with everything.”

“I ain’t here to judge you, I’m here to ask you, what kind of animal are you?”

Jinks talked about taking care of Paul and Buster during hunting events.

“What did you do with 20 million you stole, because it wasn’t on drugs. People were dying, kids, you stole from, what kind of animal are you? May God have mercy.”

He then asked Murdaugh: “what you did to these victims here, once again, what kind of animal are you? I gave you my all, and you betrayed me, you didn’t have to steal from me.

“I want you to put me on your visitation list, because we’ve got some intimate things we need to talk about.”

Mother of Hakeem Pinckney gives powerful statement

Tuesday 28 November 2023 17:54 , Andrea Cavallier

Pamela Pinckney, the mother of Hakeem Pinckney, gave a powerful statement as she spoke to Alex Murdaugh in court. Many of the people in the gallery were left in tears.

“To you Alex Murdaugh I never thought you would betray our family in our most vulnerable state…but I forgive you."

Hakeem Pinckney was a deaf man who became a quadriplegic after being involved in a horror car crash in 2009. He died two years later.

“Do you not have a soul?” Gloria Satterfield's sister speaks directly to Murdaugh

Tuesday 28 November 2023 17:43 , Andrea Cavallier

Gloria Satterfield’s sister Ginger is addressing Alex Murdaugh in court.

“My heart goes out to all of the families you did wrong by. Those children who lost a mother. I don’t understand.. do you not have a soul?”

Murdaugh nods at her and closes his eyes as she finishes her statement.

Son of Gloria Satterfield faces Murdaugh in court

Tuesday 28 November 2023 17:34 , Andrea Cavallier

“I really don’t have words,” he began, facing Murdaugh directly.

“You lied, you cheated, you stole.”

“I have no words. You deceived me, my family.”

But then he added that he forgives him: “I will pray for you every day, and I forgive you for what you’ve done to us.”

Eric Bland slams defence attorneys’ podcast, appearances at CrimeCon

Tuesday 28 November 2023 17:28 , Andrea Cavallier

The attorney for many of Alex Murdaugh’s victims had his chance to confront Murdaugh on Tuesday and reminded the public of his crimes.

“These victims’ lives have been permanently altered. Let’s focus on them.”

He slammed Murdaugh’s defence attorneys for their involvement in the publicity of the trial including podcasts, docusewries and attending CrimeCon.

‘Today is when we focus on the victims’: Impact statements begin

Tuesday 28 November 2023 17:16 , Andrea Cavallier

Eric Bland is speaking to the court at Alex Murdaugh’s hearing. He is representing Gloria Satterfield’s family.

He reminded the court that he said Murdaugh needed to drink from the same cup of justice of any other criminal.

“But today is when we focus on the victims,” he said.

“This sentence and the hard work of Creighton Waters who had a dogged pursuit to bring Alex Murdaugh to justice, sends a clarion bell signal to not just attorneys, but to anyone who wants to victimize the vulnerable.”

He then introducted Satterfield’s family, some of whom will speak.

Court is back in session

Tuesday 28 November 2023 17:12 , Andrea Cavallier

Attorney Eric Bland is now addressing the court.

Murdaugh 'bled the well dry'

Tuesday 28 November 2023 17:05 , Andrea Cavallier

After spending around an hour-and-a-half walking the judge through Murdaugh’s fraud schemes, Mr Waters gave a damning conclusion as to why Murdaugh should stay behind bars in state prison for the remainder of his life.

“There are 101 offensives. People might say ‘why are we resolving this in this manner?’” said Mr Waters.

“And the reason for that, there are a lot of reasons for that. Ultimately we have here a guilty plea where Alex Murdaugh has admited his guilt... Mr Alex is waiving his appelate rights and within the law his post-conviction rights.

“With his plea here today, there is certainty, as much as the law will allow, that he will serve at least 85 per cent of that 27-year sentence if your honour accepts that result. Mr Murdaugh will remain in state prisson for what is likely the remainder of his life.”

Mr Waters said that the deal will ensure Murdaugh will be held in state prison – rather than being moved to a federal prison which are notoriously nicer.

“We can be assured that he is not leaving state prison... these are South Carolina crimes,” he said.

He added: “The well was bled dry by this man.”

“She put this case in his hands. And he kept coming back and saying the case was worth less and less,” Waters said

Tuesday 28 November 2023 17:01 , Andrea Cavallier

Creighton Waters appeared to choke up slightly as he talked about a case that affected him.

The estate of Sandra Taylor.

“This one really gets to me,” he said. “Her mother Ms Mallory testified.”

“Her daughter was killed by a drunk driver. Leaving behind three minor children.”

“She went to Murdaugh because she heard he was the best in town.”

“He kept lowering the amount the case was worth.”

“If ever there was a more acute example of trust, it was Ms Mallory and Mr Murdaugh.”

“She put this case in his hands. And he kept coming back and saying the case was worth less and less.”

“Eventually he told her that it was only worth $30,000. $10,000 for each child. And she believed him.”

Prosecution details Murdaugh’s financial schemes

Tuesday 28 November 2023 16:56 , Andrea Cavallier

The first case Murdaugh is convicted of is the case of Hakeem Pinckney – a deaf man who was left a quadriplegic after a horror car crash in 2009. He died two years later.

Murdaugh stole most of a $309,000 settlement and then an additional $89,000 payment meant for Pinckney’s mother.

Murdaugh  also stole $325,000 from Natasha Thomas who was a minor when she was involved in the crash.

Arthur Badger went to Murdaugh to file a wrongful death lawsuit when his wife was killed in a car crash in January 2011.

Mr Badger was left a single parent to the couple’s six children.

Murdaugh stole $1.325m from the family.

Deon Martin case is the first time Murdaugh used his fake “Forge” account in his financial crimes schemes

Tuesday 28 November 2023 16:51 , Andrea Cavallier

Creighton Waters told the court that Alex Murdaugh stole $538,000 from Deon Martin in 2015 and 2016, after he was injured in a car crash.

It was around this time that Murdaugh changed tactics by funnelling money through the fake Forge account, Mr Waters told the court.

Prosecution talks about wreckage Murdaugh has caused in community

Tuesday 28 November 2023 16:48 , Andrea Cavallier

“The wreckage this man has caused in the legal community, and to his victims, far outweighs any other white collar crime in the country!”

Mudaugh financial crimes victims to speak after prosecution

Tuesday 28 November 2023 16:38 , Andrea Cavallier

Creighton Waters has spent about an hour outlining Alex Murdaugh’s financial fraud schemes.

Victims of the schemes are expected to give their impact statements next.

Murdaugh himself is also expected to give a statement before he is sentenced.

Early victims were afraid of Alex Murdaugh’s power

Tuesday 28 November 2023 16:09 , Andrea Cavallier

Prosecuting attorney Creighton Waters said some of Alex Murdaugh’s early victims were afraid of the power that the former prominent attorney held.

Mr Waters is currently laying out the “morass” of financial fraud that resulted in Murdaugh stealing millions of dollars from his victims.

Gloria Satterfield’s son rolls eyes as a smiling Murdaugh arrives

Tuesday 28 November 2023 15:50 , Andrea Cavallier

Gloria Satterfield’s son Tony rolled his eyes and shook his head as he watched Alex Murdaugh walk into the South Carolina courtroom with a smile on his face, CourtTV’s Chanley Painter tweeted.

Tony is expected to give a victim impact statement today before Murdaugh is sentenced.

WATCH: Alex Murdaugh arrives for his financial crimes hearing

Tuesday 28 November 2023 15:45 , Andrea Cavallier

Murdaugh defence accuses attorneys of using hearing as an infomercial

Tuesday 28 November 2023 15:41 , Andrea Cavallier

Alex Murdaugh’s defence attorney Dick Harpootlian accused people of making money off the trial by selling shirts, bobbleheads and other items.

He slammed the opposing attorneys of using Murdaugh’s sentencing as an infomercial.

Alex Murdaugh appears in court for financial crimes sentencing

Tuesday 28 November 2023 15:24 , Andrea Cavallier

The convicted killer has arrived in court in his orange jail jumpsuit for his financial crimes hearing.

Before Judge Clifton Newman hands down the sentence, Alex Murdaugh will be confronted by his victims.

Watch live on Court TV or stream on Law&Crime’s YouTube channel.

Hearing expected to start any minute

Tuesday 28 November 2023 15:13 , Andrea Cavallier

Alex Murdaugh’s  financial crimes hearing was expected to start at 10am ET, but a packed courtroom is still waiting.

The former attorney and convicted killer has not yet been brought into the courtroom.

Victims of his financial crimes along with curious community members and reporters have packed the courthouse in South Carolina.

Judge Clifton Newman has not yet taken the bench.

Satterfield family attorney Eric Bland ‘looking forward’ to confronting Murdaugh in court

Tuesday 28 November 2023 14:45 , Andrea Cavallier

Satterfield family attorney Eric Bland ‘looking forward’ to confronting Murdaugh in court

Before the judge hands down his sentence, several of Alex Murdaugh’s victims are slated to confront him in court in impact statements.

The family’s attorney Eric Bland has been tweeting about the upcoming sentencing and on Tuesday, posted that it was “looking forward” to it.

“Off to Beaufort, and confront Alex Murdaugh at his sentencing hearing. So looking forward to this. EB”

Earlier this week, he told NBC News that he is planning to speak and has been preparing for this moment.

Who were Alex Murdaugh’s victims?

Tuesday 28 November 2023 14:20 , Andrea Cavallier

Alex Murdaugh will be sentenced today for stealing millions of dollars from victims as part of a vast, decade-long, multi-million-dollar fraud scheme.

Gloria Satterfield, the Murdaugh’s housekeeper, cared for the family as if they were her own.

So, when the mother-of-two died in a tragic fall down the steps of the family home in 2018, it seemed only natural that Alex Murdaugh would wish to take care of her two sons financially.

And, for some time, that’s what they believed he was going to do – until it emerged he had stolen every single dime of a $4m settlement from them through a wrongful death lawsuit.

Gloria Satterfield died in a ‘trip and fall’ at the Murdaugh home in 2018 (Provided)
Gloria Satterfield died in a ‘trip and fall’ at the Murdaugh home in 2018 (Provided)

For more than a decade, Murdaugh stole over $8.5m from clients at his law firm, the law firm itself, and the state and federal government.

Prosecutors said the convicted killer worked with his co-conspirators and friends ex-attorney Cory Fleming and ex-Palmetto State Bank CEO Russell Laffitte to swindle clients out of millions of dollars.

In the Satterfield case, Murdaugh recommended that her sons hire Fleming to represent them in bringing a wrongful death claim against him – as the homeowner of the property where she died – so that they could collect from his homeowner’s insurance policies.

Hakeem Pinckney (provided)
Hakeem Pinckney (provided)

Among the other victims were the family of Hakeem Pinckney – a deaf man who became a quadriplegic after being involved in a horror car crash in 2009. He died two years later.

Another victim was former lieutenant with the South Carolina Highway Patrol Tommy Moore, who hired Murdaugh as his personal injury lawyer when he suffered a broken neck in the line of duty.

Read more:

Alex Murdaugh is still fighting his murder verdict. But he’s admitted to these crimes

Today’s sentencing will have no bearing on roadside shooting charges

Tuesday 28 November 2023 14:00 , Rachel Sharp

Alex Murdaugh’s plea deal in his financial crimes case will have no bearing on charges over another related incident.

On 4 September 2021 – three months on from the murders of Maggie and Paul and just hours after he resigned in shame after being confronted for stealing from his law firm – Murdaugh was shot in the head by the side of a road in Hampton County.

He survived and called 911, claiming he was ambushed in a drive-by shooting while he was changing a tire on his vehicle.

He was treated at a hospital for what police called a “superficial gunshot wound to the head,” but his story quickly unravelled.

Curtis ‘Cousin Eddie’ Smith (Netflix)
Curtis ‘Cousin Eddie’ Smith (Netflix)

One day after the shooting, Murdaugh entered rehab for a 20-year opioid addiction and his version of events rapidly fell apart.

On 13 September, he confessed to police to paying an alleged hitman to shoot and kill him in an assisted suicide plot so that his surviving son Buster could get a $10m life insurance windfall.

He told investigators that he had paid Curtis Smith – a former client, distant cousin and allegedly Murdaugh’s drug dealer – to carry out the shooting.

Both men were arrested and charged over the incident. However, Mr Smith denies Murdaugh’s version of events.

While the other financial fraud charges have been dropped under the plea deal, the charges in this case have not – and Murdaugh and Mr Smith are still awaiting trial over this.

Catch-up: Disgraced legal scion reaches plea deal

Tuesday 28 November 2023 13:40 , Rachel Sharp

Convicted killer Alex Murdaugh has accepted a plea deal in his financial crimes case – admitting to swindling millions of dollars from desperate law firm clients in a scheme that came crashing down around him following the brutal murders of his wife and son.

The disgraced legal dynasty heir appeared in court in Beaufort County on Friday for what was supposed to be a hearing ahead of the start of his trial on a slew of state financial charges.

The hearing was delayed as prosecutors from the South Carolina Attorney General’s Office and Murdaugh’s defence attorneys Dick Harpootlian and Jim Griffin entered closed-door discussions in Judge Clifton Newman’s chambers.

Chief prosecutor Creighton Waters of the state Office of the Attorney General said the plea deal means Murdaugh will serve a “lengthy sentence” that “ensures Mr Murdgah will remain in state prison for a very long time.”

In total, Murdaugh was facing 101 state charges over his vast multi-million-dollar fraud scheme as well as over a bizarre botched hitman plot where he claims he asked Curtis Eddie Smith – his alleged accomplice, distant cousin and drug dealer – to shoot him in the head so that his surviving son could get a $10m life insurance windfall.

The convicted killer previously confessed to stealing millions from clients going back more than a decade during bombshell courtroom testimony at his murder trial – all the while continuing to profess his innocence in his wife Maggie and son Paul’s murders.

Read the full story about what happened here:

Convicted killer Alex Murdaugh takes plea deal in financial fraud case

Who are Alex Murdaugh’s financial crime victims?

Tuesday 28 November 2023 13:20 , Rachel Sharp

For more than a decade, Murdaugh stole over $8.5m from several clients at his law firm in a scheme going back more than a decade.

Among the victims is the family of Gloria Satterfield.

Satterfield worked as the Murdaugh family housekeeper for more than two decades before she died in a tragic “trip and fall” down the steps of the family home in 2018

Murdaugh recommended that her sons hire his friend and accomplice Cory Fleming to represent them in bringing a wrongful death claim against him – as the homeowner of the property where she died – so that they could collect from his homeowner’s insurance policies.

The insurance companies ultimately settled the estate’s claim for more than $4m – two payments of $505,000 and $3.8m.

Murdaugh and Fleming then stole the settlement money for themselves and the housekeeper’s sons didn’t get a dime.

Much of the stolen money was funneled through a fake “Forge” bank account which sought to imitate the legitimate and totally unrelated business Forge Consulting.

The Satterfield case is among the most shocking, due to Murdaugh’s personal ties to the family.

But several other victims also fell foul of his schemes.

Hakeem Pinckney (provided)
Hakeem Pinckney (provided)

Among the other victims were the family of Hakeem Pinckney – who he represented through his law firm Peters, Murdaugh, Parker, Eltzroth & Detrick (PMPED).

Pinckney was a deaf man who became a quadriplegic after being involved in a horror car crash in 2009. He died two years later.

Murdaugh stole most of a $309,000 settlement and than an additional $89,000 payment meant for Pinckney’s mother.

Another victim was former lieutenant with the South Carolina Highway Patrol Tommy Moore, who hired Murdaugh as his personal injury lawyer when he suffered a broken neck in the line of duty.

Murdaugh has admitted he stole $100,000 of a $125,000 settlement for the officer.

Murdaugh even stole a $121,000 check from his own brother Randy Murdaugh – who also worked at the law firm PMPED.

How Murdaugh’s financial crimes helped drive him to murder

Tuesday 28 November 2023 13:00 , Rachel Sharp

Murdaugh’s financial crimes came crashing down around him when he murdered Maggie and Paul on 7 June 2021.

According to prosecutors at Alex Murdaugh’s murder trial, his greed, theft, and lies played a key role in the motive for the violent murders of his loved ones.

At his trial, jurors heard that his colleagues at PMPED were closing in on his multi-million-dollar fraud scheme with a colleague confronting him about $792,000 in missing money on the morning of the murders.

His finances were also coming under intense scrutiny in a lawsuit brought by the family of Mallory Beach – a 19-year-old woman who died in a 2019 crash in the Murdaugh family boat.

A hearing for the boat crash lawsuit was scheduled for 10 June – three days after the murders.

After Maggie and Paul were gunned down on the family home, questions about his finances fell by the wayside. But, not for long.

Buster, Maggie, Paul and Alex Murdaugh left to right (Maggie Murdaugh/Facebook)
Buster, Maggie, Paul and Alex Murdaugh left to right (Maggie Murdaugh/Facebook)

Two months later – in September 2021 – Murdaugh resigned in shame from his law firm after they confronted him about the years of theft. He was then hit with a slew of financial fraud charges on both a state and federal level.

Jurors at his murder trial heard from victims, friends and colleagues who were all deceived by Murdaugh, as prosecutors painted a picture of a man who stole from and lied to those closest to him – and a desperate man who would do anything to hide his deceit from the world.

Then, in a dramatic moment, the killer made a shock confession that all the financial crime allegations were indeed true.

Murdaugh admitted that he had stolen from multiple victims, claiming that he did it to fund his 20-year opioid addiction – something that prosecutors cast doubts on.

Since then, Murdaugh has admitted to his financial crimes twice more in court – pleading guilty in both his federal and state criminal cases. Yet, while he has admitted to these crimes, Murdaugh continues to claim he is innocent of the murders of his wife and son.

The Murdaugh murders: Inside the spectacular fall from grace of Alex Murdaugh

Tuesday 28 November 2023 12:40 , Rachel Sharp

On the surface, Alex Murdaugh had it all.

He was a high-powered attorney who ran both his own law firm and worked in the local prosecutor’s office.

He was the son of a powerful legal dynasty that dominated the local South Carolina community for almost a century.

And he was a family man who lived with his wife and two adult sons on their sprawling country estate.

But, over the last few years, Murdaugh has experienced a spectacular fall from grace, culminating in what was described as the “trial of the century” in a courtroom in Walterboro, South Carolina.

In March 2023, the 54-year-old was convicted of killing his wife Maggie, 52, and their son Paul, 22, in a savage double murder that sent shockwaves across the lowcountry back in the summer of 2021.

But this is far from the only twist in a bizarre and sprawling tale of unexplained deaths, hitman plots and multi-million-dollar fraud schemes.

The Independent’s Rachel Sharp writes:

Why did Alex Murdaugh murder his wife and son? The astonishing case explained

What charges has Murdaugh pleaded guilty to?

Tuesday 28 November 2023 12:26 , Rachel Sharp

On 17 November, Alex Murdaugh accepted a plea deal in the state financial fraud case – admitting to the sprawling fraud scheme in court.

The South Carolina Attorney General’s Office had charged Murdaugh with 101 counts over the more than decade-long scheme.

Under the terms of the deal, Murdaugh pleaded guilty to 22 of the charges in exchange for a reduced sentence. The other charges will be dismissed.

The 22 charges are:

- seven counts of money laundering

- four counts of obtaining a signature by false pretences

- six counts of breach of trust with fraudulent intent

- one count of breach of trust with fraudulent intent

- one count of forgery

- one count of computer crimes

- one count of criminal conspiracy

- one count of willful attempt to evade or defeat a tax

WATCH: Moment Alex Murdaugh took plea deal on state financial fraud charges

Tuesday 28 November 2023 12:00 , Rachel Sharp

Victims of killer’s financial crimes to confront him in court

Tuesday 28 November 2023 11:40 , Rachel Sharp

Before the judge hands down his sentence, several of Alex Murdaugh’s victims are slated to confront him in court in impact statements, including one of Gloria Satterfield’s adult sons and her sister.

Satterfield was the Murdaugh’s longtime housekeeper who died in a 2018 “trip and fall” at the sprawling Moselle estate.

In that case, Murdaugh stole more than $4m in wrongful death settlements meant for her sons.

The family’s attorney Eric Bland told NBC News he is also planning to speak and has been preparing for this moment.

“I’m going to say that ‘I heard you say that you wrongfully took... no, you didn’t wrongfully take, you stole,’” he said.

“‘I heard you say you misrepresented. No, you didn’t misrepresent, you lied. Yeah, let’s not sugarcoat what you did. You’re a thief and a liar.’”

He added: “It’s not over yet, but to be able to face this monster — and he’s going to have to listen. He can smile and he can smirk, but he can hear, and the words are going to go in his ears and he’s going to listen.”

Gloria Satterfield died in a ‘trip and fall’ at the Murdaugh home in 2018 (Provided)
Gloria Satterfield died in a ‘trip and fall’ at the Murdaugh home in 2018 (Provided)

Alex Murdaugh is still fighting his murder conviction. But he’s admitted to these crimes

Tuesday 28 November 2023 11:20 , Rachel Sharp

For more than two decades, Gloria Satterfield cared for the Murdaugh family as if they were her own.

As the family’s housekeeper, she kept the sprawling Moselle property that they called home in order.

And she acted as a “second mom” to their sons Buster and Paul, according to Paul’s former girlfriend.

So, when the mother-of-two died in a tragic fall down the steps of the family home in 2018, it seemed only natural that Alex Murdaugh would wish to take care of her two sons financially.

And, for some time, that’s what they believed he was going to do – until it emerged he had stolen every single dime of a $4m settlement from them through a wrongful death lawsuit.

It was the ultimate betrayal to two vulnerable individuals who had put their trust in the 54-year-old as an attorney, a family friend and a confidante.

But it was by far his only betrayal.

In the space of just over two years, Murdaugh has been exposed as a family annihilator, a fraudster, a thief and a liar.

This March, he was convicted of brutally murdering his wife Maggie and son Paul at the same Moselle estate where Satterfield died three years earlier.

And, this Tuesday, he will finally be jailed for stealing millions of dollars from the Satterfields and several other victims as part of a vast, decade-long, multi-million-dollar fraud scheme.

The Independent’s Rachel Sharp reports:

Alex Murdaugh is still fighting his murder verdict. But he’s admitted to these crimes

Alex Murdaugh to be sentenced today on state financial crimes charges

Tuesday 28 November 2023 11:00 , Rachel Sharp

Today, Alex Murdaugh will be back in court in Beaufort County to be sentenced on the slew of state financial fraud charges.

The convicted killer accepted a plea deal in the case earlier this month – admitting to the sprawling fraud scheme in court.

The South Carolina Attorney General’s Office had offered Murdaugh a deal to plead guilty to 22 of the 101 charges in the case in exchange for a reduced sentence.

The 22 charges include: seven counts of money laundering, four counts of obtaining a signature by false pretences, six counts of breach of trust with fraudulent intent, and one count each of breach of trust with fraudulent intent, forgery, computer crimes, criminal conspiracy and willful attempt to evade or defeat a tax. The other charges will be dismissed.

Based on the remaining charges, Murdaugh could face up to 239 years in prison.

However, prosecutors are asking Judge Clifton Newman to sentence him to 27 years – a sentence which would be served concurrently to his existing two life sentences for double murder.

Alex Murdaugh in court as he took a plea deal (AP)
Alex Murdaugh in court as he took a plea deal (AP)

Welcome to The Independent’s liveblog

Tuesday 28 November 2023 10:38 , Rachel Sharp

Follow along live for Alex Murdaugh’s sentencing on state financial crimes charges