Alex Murdaugh, the South Carolina lawyer whose spouse and son’s mysterious killings in June have spurred a dizzying saga that has dominated nationwide information, was arrested on Thursday and charged in reference to a separate matter.
Agents with the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, or SLED, took Murdaugh, 53, into custody upon his launch from a drug rehabilitation facility in Orlando and charged him with two felony counts of acquiring property by false pretenses.
The fees stem from allegations Murdaugh misappropriated settlement funds supposed for the sons of his housekeeper, Gloria Satterfield, who died in 2018 after a fall in Murdaugh’s dwelling.
“Today is merely one more step in a long process for justice for the many victims in these investigations,” SLED Chief Mark Keel stated in an announcement, including his due to his brokers for pursuing the case over 4 months.
“They will continue to work tirelessly on behalf of those who were victimized by Alex Murdaugh and others,” Keel stated. “As I have said previously, we are committed to following the facts wherever they may lead us and we will not stop until justice is served.”
Satterfield’s death is one of three in recent years that have drawn scrutiny from investigators and the media following the June killings of Maggie Murdaugh, 52, and Paul Murdaugh, 22.
The housekeeper’s death was listed as “pure” on her death certificate, when the manner should have been “unintentional,” in keeping with a coroner.
Satterfield’s sons stated Murdaugh steered them to make use of a lawyer — Cory Fleming, who was, unbeknownst to them, considered one of his longtime associates — so they may sue his insurer for compensation.
A settlement of $500,000 was finally reached, however the sons stated they by no means obtained any cash. They later discovered of a further $4.3 million settlement of which they’d by no means been made conscious.
Instead, Fleming despatched the cash to Murdaugh, in keeping with paperwork their new lawyer filed in court docket.
Fleming has stated that Murdaugh led him to consider the cash would get to Satterfield’s sons. Earlier this month, he agreed to pay again all his authorized charges to the sons, and that the insurer would pay out their full coverage restrict.
Murdaugh was arrested in September and charged with insurance coverage fraud, conspiracy to commit insurance coverage fraud, and submitting a false police report after he allegedly orchestrated his personal botched killing in order that his surviving son, Buster, would obtain a $10 million insurance coverage payout.
He allegedly employed a former shopper, Curtis Smith, to shoot him on a rural highway on Sept. 4, however then survived and instructed police he’d been shot by a passerby.
Smith, 61, was arrested and charged with assisted suicide, assault and battery, and insurance coverage fraud.
Murdaugh has denied any involvement in his spouse and son’s deaths, insisting he turned himself in over the insurance coverage fraud so investigators may think about their killings as a substitute.
He subsequently checked into rehab for an oxycodone habit — one thing his legal professionals say induced him to steal huge sums of cash from his household’s legislation agency and which led to his firing in September, in addition to his legislation license being suspended.
In addition to Satterfield, investigators are probing the Murdaugh household’s connections to the 2015 demise of Buster’s classmate, Stephen Smith, who was discovered lifeless on a freeway however with little proof to recommend he had been hit by a automotive.
At the time of his demise, Paul Murdaugh was going through fees in reference to the 2019 demise of Mallory Beach, a good friend of his who had died when he was allegedly boating at night time inebriated.
An lawyer for Alex Murdaugh didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.
Murdaugh is now being held on the Orange County Corrections facility in Florida, awaiting an extradition listening to again to South Carolina.