Judge sets date for Alex Murdaugh’s 'first white-collar crime trial': report
Convicted double murderer Alex Murdaugh was presented with the "anticipated start date of his first white-collar crime trial" on Thursday, The Daily Beast's Pilar Melendez reports.
Murdaugh was found guilty by a jury of killing of his wife Maggie and son Paul on June 7th, 2021 and was sentenced to two life terms in prison.
"Donning an orange prison jumpsuit and a buzzed haircut, a shackled Murdaugh smiled and greeted each of his lawyers before he sat at the defense table in Beaufort County Court for the status hearing in connection with state charges alleging he stole upward of $4.3 million in insurance money intended for the family of his late housekeeper, Gloria Satterfield," Melendez writes.
"During the fiery hearing, defense attorney Dick Harpootlian argued for a delay of the trial and change of venue on the state charges, arguing that his team needs to prepare after Murdaugh's February murder trial," Melendez explains. "The lawyer also alleged that the South Carolina attorney general's office is attempting to make this latest case a national spectacle and noted there is still too much pretrial publicity, asking, 'Where are you going to get a jury? Mars?'"
Melendez continues, "Prosecutor Creighton Waters pushed back on the allegations, calling the request for a delay an assault on the judiciary. Judge Clifton Newman, who also presided over Murdaugh's murder trial, ignored the defense’s protests and scheduled the Satterfield trial for November 27th."
Melendez further adds, "Prosecutors say that in 2018, after Satterfield died from a fall at Murdaugh's home, the former lawyer urged her two sons to file a claim against him to collect on his homeowner's insurance policy. Then, instead of handing them the payout as agreed, Murdaugh allegedly conspired with his longtime friend Corey Fleming to divert the funds for his financial gain. The Satterfield sons did not learn about the payout until after the 2021 double homicide of Murdaugh's wife, Maggie, and son Paul. (Murdaugh has since agreed to pay the Satterfields the missing money and apologized for the scheme). Fleming was sentenced to 46 months in prison last month after pleading guilty to federal charges for his role in the Satterfield theft. On Thursday afternoon, Fleming was also sentenced to 10 years in prison on similar state charges."
Melendez's full article is available at this link (subscription required).