– Alex Murdaugh –
Alex Murdaugh, a prominent South Carolina lawyer, has agreed to pay a $4.3 million (£3.25 million) settlement to the family of a former housekeeper who claimed he stole settlement funds following her death in 2018.
Mr. Murdaugh and the alleged would-be assassin, Curtis Edward Smith, have been charged with conspiracy and insurance fraud, among other things.
The September shooting occurred just three months after Mr. Murdaugh’s wife and other sons were discovered shot dead, the latest crime twist in a string of tragedies and scandals for the family.
Here is what we know so far about the case.
Who are the Murdaughs?
In June, Mr. Murdaugh’s wife Margaret, 52, and son Paul, 22, were found murdered near their home.
Paul was also facing criminal charges at the time of his death in connection with a 2019 incident in which authorities say he drunkenly caused a boating accident that killed a woman.
The law firm later claimed he misappropriated funds, which he allegedly used to fund an opioid addiction, according to his lawyer. Mr Murdaugh checked into rehab a few days after the shooting.
What Has Happened Since Then?
On November 4, the South Carolina Attorney General’s Office issued indictments against Mr. Murdaugh and Mr. Smith, both 61.
The conspiracy charge is punishable by up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine, whereas the fraud charge is punishable by up to ten years in prison.
Mr. Smith has acknowledged his involvement.
Mr. Murdaugh was discovered on the 4th of September with “superficial” head wounds after being shot on the roadside.
In mid-September, police claimed – and Mr Murdaugh’s lawyers admitted – that he arranged for a man to shoot him in order for his surviving son to collect the insurance money.
Alex Murdaugh’s attorney stated in September that he devised the plan under the mistaken belief that his son would be unable to collect insurance money if he committed suicide.
According to NBC’s Dick Harpootlian, “he called this guy [Mr. Smith], who met him on the side of the road and agreed to shoot him in the head.”
“It was his desperate attempt to protect his child.”
Mr. Harpootlian continued, saying that Mr. Murdaugh is cooperating with authorities and does not want a “fake crime” to divert attention away from the murders of his wife and son.
What Other Charges was Murdaugh Facing?
Alex Murdaugh was also accused of stealing settlement funds from the estate of a housekeeper who died in 2018.
Gloria Satterfield, 57, worked as a housekeeper and nanny for the Murdaughs.
In February 2018, she tripped over a dog and fell down steps at her home, according to the family.
She died several weeks later in the hospital, never regaining consciousness.
Ms. Satterfield’s family stated earlier this year that they had not received any portion of a multimillion-dollar settlement.
Alex Murdaugh Trial
According to court affidavits released the same day by the Sled, he “coordinated with Satterfield’s family to sue himself in order to seek an insurance settlement with the stated intent to give the proceeds to the Satterfield family to pay for funeral expenses and monetary compensation for Satterfield’s children.”
According to the affidavits, Alex Murdaugh deposited $3 million from the settlement into one of his own accounts.
Following the September shooting incident, Alex Murdaugh was reportedly in a Florida drug rehabilitation facility for approximately six weeks.
Alex Murdaugh’s attorney announced on December 14 that he had reached an agreement with the Satterfield family.
However, the judgment is subject to approval by a court-appointed receiver who currently has control of Mr. Murdaugh’s assets.
Are the shootings linked?
In an interview with NBC’s Morning in September, Mr. Harpootlian denied any involvement with their deaths.
Mr. Harpootlian described him as “completely distraught.” “He did not assassinate them.”
The Murdaugh case also prompted police to launch an investigation into the 2015 death of Stephen Smith.
Authorities have also launched an investigation into the death of the family’s long-term housekeeper, 57-year-old Gloria Satterfield.
In 2018, after her sons claimed Mr. Murdaugh has yet to pay them any compensation for her death.
Mr. Murdaugh claimed at the time that the nanny had tripped over his dogs and fallen down the stairs.
But Satterfield’s autopsy was inconsistent with “slip and fall injuries,” according to the county coroner.
Who killed Paul and Margaret Murdaugh?
The police have made no comments about possible suspects in the deaths of Paul and Margaret in June.
Following the murders, Mr. Murdaugh’s brothers, Randy and John, stated that they had no idea if the family had enemies.
According to Mr. Harpootlian, Mr. Murdaugh has no idea who murdered his family.
“We expect to know this week whether the one suspect under investigation merits further investigation,” he said.
“We will provide that information to law enforcement.”
1. who is Alex Murdaugh
According to the state attorney general, Alex Murdaugh, the suspended South Carolina attorney accused of financial wrongdoing and establishing a suicidal insurance fraud scheme, was charged with 23 new crimes in four new grand jury indictments returned Friday.
2. who is Alex Murdaugh’s wife
3. who is Alex Murdaugh sons
Paul Murdaugh, Alex Murdaugh’s son, had been charged in connection with Beach’s death but was assassinated before his criminal trial could begin.