On Tuesday, a South Carolina judge denied bail for legal scion Alex Murdaugh after finding him a danger to himself and others.
Judge Clifton Newman’s decision means Murdaugh, 53, will remain at Richland County jail until trial. Newman initially denied Murdaugh’s request for bail on October 19, citing concerns regarding the lawyer’s opioid addiction and mental health, according to The Post and Courier.
The results of a psychiatric evaluation, which was completed on October 22, were not disclosed to the public. However, Newman wrote that he was denying Murdaugh bail “after considering the arguments of counsel, the [psychiatric] evaluation submitted, pending charges and other investigations, and the apparent character and mental condition of the defendant.”
Free on a $20,000 bond for an apparent suicide-for-hire plot, Murdaugh was rearrested on October 14 as he left a rehabilitation center in Florida for obtaining property by false pretenses. In that case, he is accused of stealing a $3.4 million insurance payout owed to the sons of his late housekeeper, Gloria Satterfield, 57, for Satterfield’s wrongful death. Satterfield reportedly suffered a fatal fall on Murdaugh’s property in 2018.
However, Murdaugh was originally arrested on September 16 for allegedly having ex-client Curtis Smith, 61, try to fatally shoot him days earlier so his surviving son would receive a $10 million life insurance payout. Alex Murdaugh reportedly suffered head injuries and called 911 for help. He was ultimately released on a $20,000 bond and entered a rehabilitation facility in Florida, where he was rearrested weeks later.
A day before the September 4 shooting, Murdaugh was forced out of his family law firm amid allegations he misappropriated funds. He announced he was entering rehabilitation for drugs two days after the shooting.
On June 7, months before the alleged suicide-for-hire plot, Murdaugh’s wife and son, Maggie and Paul, 52 and 22, were found fatally shot on their 1,770-acre lodge in Colleton County. No arrests have been made in connection with their slayings, but Alex Murdaugh’s attorneys said the State Law Enforcement Division has deemed him a person of interest, The Post and Courier reported.
In September, Satterfield’s sons sued Alex Murdaugh for the stolen settlement funds — which they claim was funneled into a fake business created by the lawyer. Alex Murdaugh’s assets were frozen amid concerns that he may hide millions of dollars as he faces multiple civil lawsuits.
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[Featured image: Alex Murdaugh/Orange County Sheriff’s Office]