What did Alex Murdaugh do? Explaining the story so far, as judge sets bond at a whopping $7 million  

Former lawyer Alex Murdaugh faces $7 million bond charges for permission of house arrest (Image via Joshua Boucher/Getty Images)
Former lawyer Alex Murdaugh faces $7 million bond charges for permission of house arrest (Image via Joshua Boucher/Getty Images)
Barsha Roy

South Carolina lawyer Alex Murdaugh, accused of staging his death and involvement in numerous financial crimes, spoke publicly for the first time during his bond hearing on Monday, December 13, 2021.

The controversial attorney was arrested in September after he ordered his former client Curtis Smith to shoot him in the head in an attempt to let his son collect a $10 million life insurance policy.

The incident happened just a few days after Murdaugh’s wife Maggie and another son Paul were shot dead outside their home. The lawyer faced intense scrutiny in the double homicide case but denied involvement in the murders.


But Murdaugh began facing several other legal woes shortly after the shooting, including accusations of money laundering and defrauding millions of clients and associates. In the latest court hearing, the former lawyer took responsibility for his actions and agreed to face the charges:

“I made a terrible decision that I regret and frankly I’m embarrassed about. I’m not in that place now. My head is on straighter, I’m thinking clearer than I have in a long, long time. I want to deal with these charges appropriately and head-on. I want to repair as much of the damage that I’ve done as I can. I want to repair as many of the relationships as I can.”

Alex Murdaugh faces 48 counts of financial crimes for laundering more than $6 million from clients and his former law firm. He also faces a separate set of charges for arranging his shooting and attempts at insurance fraud.

BREAKING: Alex Murdaugh has finally spoken out about the infamous Sept. 4 botched suicide insurance plot.“I made a terrible decision that I regret and frankly I'm embarrassed about. I'm not in that place now.”…

During the bond hearing, Judge Allison Renee Lee set a whopping $7 million bond to allow Murdaugh to enter house arrest along with GPS monitoring, regular counseling, and random drug tests. The defendant was also asked to surrender his passport and refrain from contacting victims, witnesses or co-defendants.

Alex Murdaugh’s attorney requested Judge Lee to reconsider the amount stating the former has “no money.” The judge mentioned that she could rethink and reduce the bond to $6.2 million, the same amount he is accused of laundering.

A look into the Alex Murdaugh controversy and investigation

Alex Murdaugh was accused of staging his shooting and dozens of financial crimes (Image via Joshua Boucher/Getty Images)
Alex Murdaugh was accused of staging his shooting and dozens of financial crimes (Image via Joshua Boucher/Getty Images)

The Murdaugh family garnered national attention earlier this year after Alex Murdaugh’s wife Maggie and their son Paul were shot dead at their Islandton home about 65 miles from Charleston. Alex reported the death once he discovered the bodies upon returning home on June 7, 2021.

Sources close to the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) told The Inside Packet at the time that Maggie was shot with an AR-15 assault rifle, while Paul was killed with a shotgun. Alex Murdaugh was declared a “person of interest,” but no evidence was found against the lawyer in relation to the murders.


On September 4, 2021, Alex Murdaugh made another call to 911 stating he had been shot in the head while changing his tire on a highway in Old Salkehatchie Road:

“I got a flat tire and I stopped and somebody stopped to help me and when I turned my back, they tried to shoot me somewhere on my head.”

Alex Murdaugh was airlifted to the hospital, where authorities declared that he suffered from “superficial wounds.” The incident occurred just a day after he resigned from his Peters Murdaugh Parker Eltzroth & Detrick (PMPED) law firm to enter rehab for his 20-year-long addiction issues.

Things took a shocking turn when officials arrested Alex Murdaugh on September 16, 2021, on charges of “insurance fraud, conspiracy to commit insurance fraud, and filing a false police report.”


Officials alleged that Murdaugh conspired with gunman Curtis Smith to stage the shooting to enable his surviving son Buster to access a $10 million insurance scheme.

SLED senior special agent Jeff Croft further confirmed the situation in an official statement:

“On September 13, 2021 Mr. Murdaugh provided a statement to SLED admitting to the scheme of having Mr. Smith murder him for the purpose of his son collecting a life insurance policy valued at approximately ten million dollars.”

In response, Alex Murdaugh’s attorneys Griffin and Harpootlian cited his opium addiction and alleged that arranging a suicide was the former’s only option at the time:

“For the last 20 years, there have been many people feeding his addiction to opioids. During that time, these individuals took advantage of his addiction and his ability to pay substantial funds for illegal drugs.”

Meanwhile, on October 6, 2021, Alex Murdaugh’s law firm PMPED filed a lawsuit against the attorney accusing him of stealing millions of dollars from the company’s fund and its clients by transferring the amount into his bank account:

“Alex was able to covertly steal these funds by disguising disbursements from settlements as payments to an annuity company, trust account or structured settlement for clients or as structured attorney’s fees that he earned when in fact they were deposited into a fictitious account he created at Bank of America under the name ‘Alexander Murdaugh d/b/a Forge.’”

The firm also revealed that Alex Murdaugh was terminated from his position and did not resign according to his own will:

“He lied and he stole from us. No member of PMPED was aware of Alex’s scheme. When we learned he betrayed our trust, we requested his resignation immediately.”

Alex Murdaugh was initially released on bond but arrested for the second time in October after being accused of laundering his dead housekeeper’s $4.3 million insurance payout. Murdaugh family housekeeper Gloria Satterfield died in February 2018 after suffering fatal injuries from a trip and falling inside the family home.

Murdaugh then encouraged Gloria’s sons Brian and Michael to file a death suit against him and helped them secure $4.3 million in a settlement. However, it was later reported that the brothers did not receive any money.

On November 19, 2021, a South Carolina Grand Jury charged Alex Murdaugh with “obtaining signature or property by pretenses, money laundering, and computer crime.”


Additionally, the Murdaugh family is also facing lawsuits for a 2019 boat crash caused by Alex’s late son Paul Murdaugh for boating under the influence resulting in one death and a few injuries. Murdaugh’s attorneys repeatedly attempted to release the former lawyer on bond, but all requests were denied.

The latest bond hearing saw Judge Allison Renee Lee setting a $7 million bond to grant Alex Murdaugh monitored house arrest. However, the amount surpassed the recommendation made by prosecutors.

The judge was requested to either set a $6.2 million bond equaling the amount of Murdaugh’s charges or a lesser figure of $4.7 million, around $100,000 for each count.

All together, Alex Murdaugh is facing 506 years in prison and $3.5 million in fines, prosecutor Creighton Waters said at the bond hearing this morning. He’s going through each indictment.

Alex Murdaugh was initially detained at a rehabilitation facility in Orange County but was later extradited to South Carolina. He currently remains in prison in Richland County and could reportedly face more than 500 years in prison if convicted of all the charges.

Edited by Srijan Sen


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