Alex Murdaugh’s attorney admits disgraced lawyer knows he’s going to jail
Criminal defense attorney Brian Claypool reacts to the latest development in the Murdaugh family murder mystery saga
As once-prominent South Carolina lawyer Alex Murdaugh seeks a reduction in his $7 million bond, a former highway patrolman injured in the line of duty is expected to deliver his victim impact statement in court Monday alleging the legal scion defrauded him out of over $100,000.
Included in the more than 50 charges Murdaugh is facing for alleged financial crimes are the allegations involving former South Carolina highway patrolman Thomas L. Moore. An indictment outlines how Murdaugh allegedly conned Moore out of $125,000 in settlement funds after the patrolman was injured in the line of duty, instead depositing the money into a fraudulent bank account for personal use.
Moore is expected to deliver a victim impact statement before Circuit Judge Alison Renee Lee in Richland County during a virtual hearing scheduled for 2 p.m. ET Monday.
“Closure is important. If you can’t get closure, if you can’t find the man to try him and convict him there will be no closure,” Moore told WCIV in an on-camera interview before the hearing. “I just want the court to understand from my perspective he does not need to be released from jail ever until he goes to trial. If he is found not guilty in trial that’s a completely different situation, but as things stand right now, he is a danger. He is a danger, he is flight risk and he is a danger to people as far as money.”
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Alex Murdaugh arrives at his bond hearing on Oct. 19, 2021, in Richland County, South Carolina. (Joshua Boucher/The State/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)
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Alex Murdaugh awaits the beginning of his bond hearing in the Richland Judicial Center in Columbia, South Carolina, Oct. 19, 2021. (AP Photo/Lewis M. Levine, Pool)
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Alex Murdaugh appeared in a new mugshot following his arrest in Orlando, Florida, on charges in connection to housekeeper Gloria Satterfield’s insurance settlements. (Orange County Corrections)
During the hearing Monday, the judge is to review a request from Murdaugh’s defense attorneys, Dick Harpootlian and Jim Griffin, to lower the $7 million surety bond set for their client. Lee decided in December that Murdaugh, who has been held at the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center since October, must pay that amount in full in order to be released, eliminating the 10% option.
“Mr. Murdaugh does not have $7 million or anything close to that amount,” his defense attorneys wrote in their request last week. “Mr. Murdaugh is a man who cannot pay his phone bill.”
Justin Bamberg, a South Carolina attorney and Democratic state lawmaker, told Fox News Digital he is representing four individuals named in indictments against Murdaugh. Those individuals are Johnny Bush, Chris Anderson, Angel Gary as a representative of the estate of Blondell Gary, and Jamian Risher.
They are named in indictments alleging Murdaugh defrauded his former legal clients out of hundreds of thousands of dollars. Combining all the counts of breach of trust with fraudulent intent, computer crimes, money laundering and forgery, state prosecutors said Murdaugh has stolen more than $6.2 million.
He was arrested in October over perhaps the most high-profile of those cases involving his dead housekeeper, Gloria Satterfield. In that case, Murdaugh allegedly stole some of $4.3 million in settlement money obtained in a wrongful death lawsuit intended for Satterfield’s sons.
Murdaugh is also accused of organizing his own death over Labor Day weekend so his surviving son, Buster Murdaugh, could collect on a $10 million life insurance policy. After charges came over the alleged botched shooting, Murdaugh was initially freed and received drug rehab treatment in Georgia and Florida.
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This photo shows Hakeem Pinckney, a deaf man who Murdaugh represented after he was rendered a quadriplegic in a 2009 car crash. (Justin Bamberg/Fox News Digital)
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This shows the aftermath of a 2009 car wreck that rendered Hakeem Pinckney a quadriplegic. Murdaugh was involved in the family’s lawsuit against the tire company. (Justin Bamberg/Fox News Digital)
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Former Palmetto State Bank CEO Russell Laffitte served as the conservator over the Pinckney family’s finances in the case. (Justin Bamberg/Fox News Digital)
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Former Palmetto State Bank CEO Russell Laffitte served as the conservator over the Pinckney family’s finances in the case. Murdaugh’s lawyer friend, Cory Fleming, represented Pamela Pinckney. (Justin Bamberg/ Fox News Digital)
Still no charges have come over the June double homicide of his wife, Maggie, and younger son, Paul. Murdaugh dialed 911 after allegedly finding their bodies on the family’s Colleton County estate.
Bamberg is also representing the family of Hakeem Pinckney, a deaf man who Murdaugh represented after he was rendered a quadriplegic in a 2009 car crash. So far, there have been no formal indictments related to Pinckney’s case, but Bamberg said he is working to file civil litigation in Hampton County.
The attorney says Murdaugh defrauded the young man and his family members also severely injured in the crash out of between $800,000 and $1 million with the help of former Palmetto State Bank CEO Russell Laffitte and Murdaugh’s former college roommate and lawyer friend Cory Fleming.
Bamberg said Pinckney’s mother, Pamela Pinckney, has been feeling depressed in having to relive her son’s death a decade later as the allegations against Murdaugh are finally coming to light.
“She went through whatever she went through to try to close that wound, and now she’s got to relive not just the wreck, which left her permanently disabled too, that pain – but relive his death again,” Bamberg told Fox News Digital on Monday before the bond hearing.
Laffitte was allegedly paid $60,000 for also serving as the personal representative of Pinckney’s estate after the young man died at a care facility when his ventilator became unexplainably unplugged, Bamberg told Fox News Digital, providing copies of the checks associated with the case.
Laffitte was fired Friday from the bank his family founded in 1907.
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