Alex Murdaugh, a 55-year-old former attorney from South Carolina, was sentenced to 27 years in state prison for a series of financial crimes, according to recent court proceedings. This sentence comes in addition to the two life sentences without parole Murdaugh is already serving for the murders of his wife and son.
Murdaugh’s latest sentencing is the culmination of a legal case in which he faced over 100 state counts related to financial misconduct involving 18 victims. He pleaded guilty to 22 counts earlier this month, including fraud and money laundering charges, after being accused of misappropriating millions of dollars from his law firm and clients.
State prosecutor Creighton Waters described the plea deal as unprecedented in its severity for white-collar crimes. According to the plea agreement, Murdaugh is required to serve at least 85% of his sentence, amounting to more than 22 years. Judge Clifton Newman, who also presided over Murdaugh’s murder trial, accepted the guilty plea and the plea agreement.
During the sentencing hearing, Judge Newman expressed his dismay at Murdaugh’s actions, reflecting on the gravity of the offenses. He made no secret of his disappointment, noting the impact of Murdaugh’s actions on himself and others.
The prosecution detailed how Murdaugh stole over $12 million over a decade, exploiting the trust of vulnerable clients. One notable instance involved the misappropriation of $3.8 million in settlement funds related to the death of his housekeeper, Gloria Satterfield. Members of Satterfield’s family, including her son Tony and sister Ginger Hadwin, addressed the court to express their pain and disbelief at Murdaugh’s actions.
Another victim, Jordan Jinks, emotionally recounted his personal loss due to Murdaugh’s actions, supporting the 27-year sentence.
Murdaugh, who appeared in court in an orange prison jumpsuit, spoke for nearly an hour, apologizing to the victims and expressing remorse for his actions. He acknowledged the pain he caused and hoped for a future where the victims could move past the hurt he inflicted.
In addition to these state charges, Murdaugh faces separate federal charges for similar financial crimes, for which he has also pleaded guilty but has not yet been sentenced. Furthermore, he faces additional state charges, including insurance fraud and filing a false police report, related to an incident where he allegedly attempted to stage his own murder for insurance purposes.
Murdaugh has also been seeking to overturn his double murder conviction, with his attorneys filing a motion for a new trial. This motion alleges jury tampering by a Colleton County court clerk, a claim denied by the clerk in an affidavit.