For Imprisoned Alex Murdaugh, the Legal Woes Continue

Lawyers for convicted killer still dealing with multiple financial cases
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 7, 2023 6:01 AM CDT
For Imprisoned Alex Murdaugh, the Legal Woes Continue
Alex Murdaugh speaks with his legal team before he is sentenced to two consecutive life sentences for the murder of his wife and son by Judge Clifton Newman at the Colleton County Courthouse, March 3, 2023, in Walterboro, S.C.   (Joshua Boucher/The State via AP, Pool, File)

Alex Murdaugh may be serving a life sentence for killing his wife and son, but the legal system is far from done with him. As he sat in his South Carolina prison cell this week, Murdaugh’s lawyers dealt with large financial claims against him, per the AP. They told an insurer looking to force him to repay $3.4 million it awarded in a wrongful death settlement over Murdaugh's housekeeper that he lied about the circumstances of her death. Murdaugh's first version of events was designed to force the insurer to pay, the lawyers said. The imprisoned Murdaugh now says he doesn't remember the events of five years ago.

Meanwhile, Jim Griffin, who helped lead the defense in the murder case, is asking Judge Daniel Hall to release an additional $160,000 from Murdaugh's retirement account to pay for his appeal of his life sentence because the six-week trial exhausted the $600,000 they were initially given. Murdaugh, 54, was convicted in March. Prosecutors said he stole millions of dollars and found himself teetering on financial disaster, which led him to shoot to death his 22-year-old son, Paul, and 52-year-old wife, Maggie, at their Colleton County home. Also pending against Murdaugh is a lawsuit filed by the family of Mallory Beach. They say she was killed when Paul Murdaugh drove a boat into a bridge piling while he was drunk in 2019. Her family sued the Murdaughs and the owner of the convenience store that sold the underage Paul the beer.

Almost all of Murdaugh's assets are frozen as courts sift through claims from the clients whom he allegedly stole from and others who have sued. But he was allowed to pay his attorneys though $600,000 out of his 401K retirement account since that money was legitimately earned. Murdaugh is awaiting trial on over 100 other criminal charges, including insurance fraud for trying to arrange his own death and money laundering. He also is charged with tax evasion. From 2011 to 2021, Murdaugh made about $16 million as a lawyer, while stealing about $9 million from his law firm, settlement money for clients and other places, according to indictments. (Separately, police are re-investigating the death of a teen near the Murdaugh property in 2015.)

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