Tue. Oct 26th, 2021

A prominent lawyer in South Carolina has been charged with stealing insurance settlements intended for the sons of his deceased housekeeper, state police said Thursday. Alex Murdaugh was arrested at a drug rehab facility in Orlando, Florida, authorities said. His lawyers said he has spent the last six weeks at the facility since claiming he was shot in the head on the side of a lonely road near his home.

The arrest of two offenses for acquiring property by false allegations involves Murdaugh’s housekeeper for decades, Gloria Satterfield said, state law states in a statement.

Murdaugh told Satterfield’s sons at her funeral in February 2018 that he would get insurance settlements for her death and take care of them, according to a lawsuit filed by the sons.

Murdaugh managed to secure more than $ 4 million from his insurance companies, but he only told the sons about $ 500,000 and then never sent them a penny, the lawsuit said.

Mother and son killed
On this Thursday, September 16, 2021 file photo, Alex Murdaugh enters court for his bond negotiation in Varnville, SC

Mick Smith / AP

The Murdaugh family told the sons that their mother stumbled over the family dog ​​and died weeks later of her lingering injuries. The death was never reported to Hampton County Equality, which asked state police to investigate why she was not called to review what she would consider an accidental death.

Murdaugh is in jail in Orange County, Florida, awaiting extradition, investigators say. His lawyers promised at a hearing on various charges last month that Murdaugh would return to South Carolina without a fight if he was charged with further crimes.

The deaths of Murdaugh’s wife and son at their home in Colleton County in June remain unsolved. Murdaugh said he found authorities Maggie Murdaugh, 52, and her son Paul, 22, shot dead after returning home after visiting his father at the hospital.

Murdaugh’s lawyers, Dick Harpootlian and Jim Griffin, released a statement on Thursday confirming the new allegations and saying a bond meeting was scheduled for Friday.

“Alex intends to cooperate fully with this investigation, as he has done with the investigation into the murder of his wife and son,” they said. “He deeply regrets that his actions have distracted from the efforts to solve their murders.”

State police have six investigations into Murdaugh, including deaths and September charges against Murdaugh on insurance fraud and other charges for attempting to arrange his own death so his surviving son could charge $ 10 million in life insurance.

Murdaugh said his head was grazed by a bullet in the attempt. The man accused of firing at Murdaugh said the gun went off as he tried to prevent his friend from shooting himself.

Lawyers for Murdaugh said he had struggled with a long-term addiction to opioids and wanted to end his life. In a statement to CBS News last month, attorneys Dick Harpootlian and Jim Griffin said:

On September 4, it became clear that Alex believed it was his only option to end his life. Today he knows that is not true. For the past 20 years, many people have been feeding his opioid addiction. During this time, these individuals took advantage of his addiction and his ability to pay significant sums for illegal drugs. One of these people took advantage of his mental illness and agreed to take Alex’s life by shooting him in the head. Fortunately, Alex was not killed by the gunshot wound.

The Thursday arrest is just another step in the long process of justice in all investigations, said the head of the State Law Enforcement Division Mark Keel in a statement.

“As I have said before, we are committed to following the facts wherever they may lead us, and we will not stop until justice has been done,” Keel said.


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