Alex Murdaugh charged in connection to stolen death settlement funds, police announce

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Source: Orange County jail; Maggie Murdaugh/Facebook

Oct. 14 2021, Published 10:54 a.m. ET

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South Carolina Attorney Alex Murdaugh has been charged with two felonies in connection to stolen money in a death settlement case.

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South Carolina Law Enforcement Division officials announced the arrest on Oct. 14 as Mrudaught was released from a drug rehabilitation facility in Florida. The arrest is in connection to stolen funds in a civil settlement over the death of Gloria Satterfield.

Satterfield was the Murdaugh’s housekeep and she died after falling down stairs.

The arrest is the latest charges for Murdaugh, who also faces accusations he tried to arraign his suicide to collect insurance money. The Murdaugh family, once one of South Carolina, most prominent, has been embroiled in controversy and legal issues for years.

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The family’s public persona started to unravel when Paul Murdaugh was charged in connection to a fatal boat crash in 2019. Investigators say he was behind the wheel of a boat drunk when it hit an embankment.

The boat was filled with college students and Mallory Beach, 19, was tossed from the vessel and killed.

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Paul Murdaugh wasn’t immediately arrested, which led some to cry favoritism for the family. The South Carolina Attorney General’s Office filed charges months after the boat crash.

The charges were active when in June 2021, Alex Murdaugh called 911 to say his wife, Maggie, and his son, Paul, were shot at the family’s hunting lodge. Paul and Maggie’s deaths were classified as homicides, though police have yet to make any arrests in the case.

That double-murder led the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division to investigate the killings. Some have wondered if the murders were ties to the boat crash. As police investigated, they unraveled a web of related cases, a trail of dead bodies and just as many questions.

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As agents were handling the Murdaugh murders, police announced they were reopening the investigation of Stephen Smith’s death. He was found dead near the Murdaugh’s property in 2015. Smith’s death was initially called a hit-and-run, and there have been no arrests. Smith’s mom said she believed her son, who was gay, was murdered.

In 2018, Gloria Satterfield worked as a housekeeper for the Murdaughs. She died after a fall in the Murdaugh’s home. Recently, state investigators said they were relaunching an investigation into her death.

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Then, after the double murder, Alex Murdaugh resigned from his law firm amid allegations of embezzled money. Again, state investigators said they were looking into those allegations as a criminal manner.

Days after that, Alex Murdaugh was shot and found along a road. However, investigators would later describe his wound as a graze. The shooting was part of an elaborate suicide deal, police said.

Allegedly Alex Murdaugh and another man, Curtis Smith, conspired for Smith to help Alex Murdaugh commit suicide. The plan was to allow Alex Murdaugh’s oldest son to collect $10 million in life insurance money. Both Alex Murdaugh and Smith were criminally charged in connection to the suicide attempt.

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Earlier this month, a new settlement was announced in the civil suit over Satterfield's death. The settlement paid her family about $4.3 million.

But, included were accusations that a previous settlement was both never paid out and a document never filed with the court.

The Oct. 14 arrest of Alex Murdaugh is in connection to the allegations of misused money in the Satterfield case.

Murdaugh is being held in the Orange County jail in Florida until he can return to South Carolina to face the charges.

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