Watch South Carolina lawyer Alex Murdaugh is arrested on new felony counts – NPR News Headlines

South Carolina lawyer Alex Murdaugh is arrested on new felony counts

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Alex Murdaugh walks right into a bond listening to final month in Varnville, S.C.

Mic Smith/AP

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Mic Smith/AP

Alex Murdaugh walks right into a bond listening to final month in Varnville, S.C.

Mic Smith/AP

COLUMBIA, S.C. — A distinguished South Carolina lawyer has been charged with stealing insurance coverage settlements meant for the sons of his late housekeeper {that a} lawsuit stated complete greater than $4 million, state police stated Thursday.

Alex Murdaugh was arrested at a drug rehab facility in Orlando, Florida, the place his attorneys stated he has spent the previous six weeks since claiming he was shot within the head on the facet of a lonely highway close to his house, authorities stated.

The arrest is the newest improvement in six state police investigations into Murdaugh, together with the deaths of his spouse and son, thousands and thousands of {dollars} lacking from the large legislation agency based a century in the past by his great-grandfather and attempting to rearrange his personal loss of life so his surviving son may gather on a $10 million life insurance coverage coverage.

Thursday’s arrest on two felony counts of acquiring property by false pretenses entails Murdaugh’s housekeeper for many years, Gloria Satterfield, the State Regulation Enforcement Division stated in a press release.

Murdaugh instructed Satterfield’s sons at her February 2018 funeral that he would get insurance coverage settlements for her loss of life and maintain them, in line with a lawsuit filed by the sons. Murdaugh managed to safe greater than $4 million from his insurers, however he solely instructed the sons a few $500,000 settlement after which by no means despatched them a dime, the lawsuit stated.

Murdaugh took the settlement cash by making a fraudulent checking account with a reputation just like a authorized consulting agency that handles settlements, the lawsuit stated.

Satterfield’s household referred to as it a bittersweet day in a press release launched by their attorneys.

“Avarice and betrayal of trust are at the heart of this matter,” legal professionals Eric Bland and Ronald Richter stated of their assertion.

The Murdaugh household instructed the sons their mom tripped over the household canine and died weeks later from her lingering accidents. The loss of life was by no means reported to the Hampton County coroner, who requested state police to analyze why she was not referred to as to evaluate what she would think about an unintended loss of life.

The sons additionally took Murdaugh’s recommendation to rent lawyer Cory Fleming to be executor of their mom’s property with out telling them Fleming was a longtime buddy, previous school roommate and godfather to at the very least considered one of Murdaugh’s sons.

The legislation licenses of each Fleming and Murdaugh have been suspended because the investigations proceed.

Murdaugh is being held on the Orange County jail in Florida to await extradition, investigators stated. His legal professionals promised at a bond listening to on totally different fees final month that Murdaugh would return to South Carolina with out a battle if charged with further crimes.

Murdaugh’s legal professionals stated in a press release that he “intends to fully cooperate with this investigation, as he has with the investigation into the murder of his wife and son. He deeply regrets that his actions have distracted from the efforts to solve their murders.”

The deaths of Murdaugh’s son and spouse at their Colleton County house in June stay unsolved. Murdaugh stated he discovered Maggie Murdaugh, 52, and their son Paul, 22, shot to loss of life after he returned house from visiting his father within the hospital, in line with authorities.

In September, Murdaugh was charged with insurance coverage fraud and different counts after reporting that his head was grazed by a bullet when somebody tried to shoot him.

Curtis “Eddie” Smith is charged with firing at Murdaugh. He instructed The Related Press final month that Murdaugh requested for his assistance on Sept. 4 however did not inform him he needed Smith to shoot him till he was on the facet of the highway.

Smith stated the gun went off as he tried to stop Murdaugh from capturing himself. He bristled at recommendations from Murdaugh’s legal professionals that he was a drug vendor, saying he was good mates with Murdaugh after the lawyer helped him in a employee’s compensation case.

“With a friend like that, who needs enemies?” Smith instructed an AP reporter as he limped round his property.

Smith stated final month that he wasn’t certain if the bullet hit Murdaugh or not, saying he grabbed the gun, instantly drove away and ditched the weapon.

In an interview with The Today Present aired Thursday, Smith stated he was 1,000% sure Murdaugh was not shot.

“There was no blood on me; there was no blood on him,” Smith stated.

Murdaugh’s legal professionals have stated they noticed medical data displaying Murdaugh was lined in blood when taken by helicopter to a hospital however haven’t proven them to the general public.

The Thursday arrest is simply one other step within the lengthy course of for justice in all the investigations, State Regulation Enforcement Division Chief Mark Keel stated in a press release.

“As I have said previously, we are committed to following the facts wherever they may lead us and we will not stop until justice is served,” Keel stated.

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