On Monday, a South Carolina judge set bond at $7 million for Alex Murdaugh, who is facing a total of 48 counts of financial fraud — stemming from an alleged botched suicide-for-hire plot and stealing money from his former law firm and his dead housekeeper’s estate.
The Island Packet reported that Richland County Judge Alison Renee Lee ordered that Murdaugh, 53, would have to pay his bond in full, not 10 percent which is typical in most cases. Murdaugh’s attorney unsuccessfully asked the judge to lower the amount, claiming his client is “impecunious,” or broke.
Previously, State Grand Jury Chief Creighton Waters ordered Murdaugh to remain jailed without bond as he was a flight risk. Waters also expressed concern regarding the disgraced lawyer’s mental health.
Murdaugh spoke during the virtual hearing. He apologized to the family of his former housekeeper, Gloria Satterfield, who suffered a fatal fall on his property in February 2018. Murdaugh was arrested on October 14 at a rehabilitation center in Florida for obtaining property by false pretenses for allegedly stealing $4.3 million from her estate.
According to the Daily Beast, Murdaugh also revealed that on September 3 — the day he was found shot in the head in Hampton County — he had revealed to his brother, his ex-law partner, that he had a 20-year addiction to opioids.
Murdaugh allegedly had ex-client Curtis Smith, 61, try to fatally shoot him so his surviving son would receive a $10 million life insurance payout. Alex Murdaugh reportedly suffered head injuries and called 911 for help.
Murdaugh described how he was not only in the “throes of withdrawal,” but he was still grieving the loss of his wife and son, Maggie and Paul. The pair were found fatally shot on June 7 on their 1,770-acre lodge in Colleton County. No arrests have been made in connection with their slayings.
“Things were moving really quickly and really negatively,” Murdaugh said, according to the Daily Beast. “My world was caving in.”
During Monday’s hearing, prosecutor Creighton Waters also detailed 12 indictments against Murdaugh, who is accused of stealing $6.2 million from clients and associates between October 2015 through 2020.
Murdaugh allegedly deposited the stolen money into his fraudulent bank that he labeled “Forge” — which authorities said he also used to make car and loan payments, and write checks to family members and associates.
If released, Murdaugh will be placed under GPS monitoring and house arrest. The Island Packet reported that he will also be subjected to random drug testing and drug treatment.
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[Featured image: Alex Murdaugh/Orange County Sheriff’s Office]