Alex Murdaugh pleads guilty to federal financial charges

  • Alex Murdaugh was convicted in murder of wife, son
  • He pleaded guilty to 22 separate federal financial charges Thursday
  • Murdaugh still faces about 100 financial charges in state court

CHARLESTON, S.C. (NewsNation) — Disbarred South Carolina attorney Alex Murdaugh, already convicted in the murders of his wife and youngest son, pleaded guilty to numerous federal financial charges Thursday.

Court documents show these 22 charges include conspiracy to commit wire fraud, bank fraud and money laundering, NewsNation local affiliate WCBD reported.

As part of the plea agreement, Murdaugh is required to surrender a minimum of $9 million — the amount he stole from his former clients.

Some of the crimes Murdaugh admitted to Thursday are stealing from money meant to provide care for a man paralyzed from the neck down in a wreck; from two sisters who were children when they lost their mother and brother in a crash as well as from the estate of his housekeeper Gloria Satterfield, who died in a fall at the family home.

He is set to be sentenced for these at a later date.

In court, Murdaugh, becoming emotional, told the judge he wants to be held accountable and do right by his living son.

“I want to take responsibility. I want my son to see me take responsibility. It’s my hope that by taking responsibility that the people I’ve hurt can begin to heal,” Murdaugh said.

When asked if he was sober by the judge, Murdaugh, who had an addiction to painkillers, said he has been “proudly clean” for 744 days.

Murdaugh was sentenced to life without parole in March and is currently in a South Carolina prison for the shooting deaths of his wife and son. He has denied any role in their deaths, and maintained his innocence when he testified at his own murder trial earlier this year.

However, Murdaugh’s lawyers are now requesting a new trial, as they claim the Colleton County Clerk of Court pressured jurors into returning a guilty verdict. The clerk, meanwhile, denied all allegations to the Hampton County Guardian newspaper.

On Nov. 27, Murdaugh will be in state court, where he faces about 100 other financial charges.

Murdaugh’s lawyer Jim Griffin said instead of a reduced sentence based on his cooperation, his client will get a recommendation that whatever sentence he receives for his federal charge will run concurrent to his state sentence for the same offenses.

That same plea agreement states that Murdaugh will sit for a polygraph test if asked to, and also waives his appeal and post-conviction rights.

“Whether they’ll ever ask, I don’t know,” Griffin told reporters.

Murdaugh’s other attorney Dick Harpootlian said they believe Murdaugh “feels good” about the plea, per WCBD.

“This is, we believe, the first step for him in putting this behind him,” Murdaugh’s other attorney Dick Harpootlian said.

Federal prosecutors, meanwhile, said Murdaugh’s financial crimes were “calculated and heartless” and that they hoped to ensure he is never a free man again, WCBD wrote.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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