This case one involves murder, fraud, suicide for hire, it is impossible to categorise under a single crime.
We are going to discuss the case of the Murdaugh family from South Carolina, specifically Margaret and Richard Alexander ‘Alex’ Murdaugh, and their sons Richard (also known as Buster) and Paul.
The Murdaughs are a well known family in the lowcountry region of South Carolina. Their notoriety goes all the way back to 1920:
From 1920 to 2006, three members of the family consecutively served as solicitor (i.e. district attorney), in charge of prosecuting all criminal cases in the state’s 14th circuit district, leading locals to call the five-county district “Murdaugh Country”.
Alex Murdaugh met Margaret (Maggie) Kennedy Branstetter in the late 1980’s while they were both attending the University of South Carolina. He graduated from USC in 1990, she graduated in 1991. Alex then went on to graduate from the USC School of Law in 1994. He then joined the Murdaugh family law firm. The couple had two sons together – Richard ‘Buster’ and Paul. Paul was born in 1999.
The family are/were seemingly very wealthy. This excerpt is from a NY post article:
The couple would become the leading lights in otherwise mostly poor Hampton County, holding forth from one of their three estates. Maggie Murdaugh, who favored furs when the weather was cold enough, preferred to stay at the couple’s hunting lodge just outside the town of Hampton where their two sons, Buster and Paul, liked to shoot wild animals. In the summer the Murdaugh’s spent time on their 17-foot powerboat.
The first event that will eventually become relevant happened on July 8, 2015: Stephen Smith (19) was found dead in Hampton County, SC. His body was found in the middle of a road and he had gashes on his forehead.
Stephen’s mother Sandy spoke to the media and said “I just couldn’t believe it,” she said. “When they told me hit and run I said that’s impossible because Stephen wouldn’t have been walking in the road to start with. He would’ve cut through the woods. He would not have been in the highway.”
“They said he was shot in the head,” said Sandy. “Then it turned to, it was a hit and run and then he was beat up. So the story just kept changing.”
The death is classified as a hit and run at the time and the case went cold. The only connection at the time to the Murdaugh’s was that Stephen was a classmate of Richard ‘Buster’ Murdaugh. Stay tuned!
On February 26, 2018: Gloria Satterfield, a Murdaugh family employee of more than 20 years passed away.
According to legal documents, Gloria died “as a result of injuries sustained in a trip and fall accident” at the Murdaugh family’s home. Her death certificate said her manner of death was “natural.” No autopsy was done. Her complete cause of death was “acute subdural hemorrhage” due to a stroke.”
Articles I have read indicate that Gloria died three weeks after the initial fall at the Murdaugh home. It is not clear if she had a stroke and fell at the home or if she had a stroke at the hospital.
The coroner’s office was not notified of Gloria’s death.
Gloria’s fall at the home reportedly happened around February 2, 2018. Alex Murdaugh’s version of events is that Gloria tripped over the family’s dogs and fell down stairs. There is some contention as to which Murdaugh property this occurred at – they owned homes in both Hampton and Colleton Counties.
Gloria’s sons negotiated an initial settlement with Alex Murdaugh that was reported to be around $4million with their first lawyer Cory Fleming. They never received any of this money.
2019 was the year that things started to really go wrong for the Murdaugh’s.
On February 24, 2019, Paul Murdaugh was having a party with five friends – Mallory Beach (19), Mallory’s boyfriend Anthony Cook, Anthony’s cousin Connor, plus two more people.
The group started their party on February 23 at around 7pm. Paul Murdaugh bought $45 worth of booze with his older brother’s ID at a Parker’s convenience store in Ridgeland. The stash includes a 15-pack of Natural Light beer bought on special.
The group had a few drinks at “The Island,” a $1.45 million property owned by Murdaugh’s grandfather on Chechessee Creek. They then got on the boat.
Their intended destination was an oyster roast at Kristy and James Wood’s home – around 20 nautical miles away.
Kristy Wood was the principal of Brunson Elementary in the Hampton District One Schools. She and her husband allowed the underage group to consume alcohol at their home.
It is not entirely clear what time Paul’s group left the oyster roast, but their next stop was downtown at Luther’s Rare & Well Done, described as “Beaufort’s best bar for nightlife and live entertainment” in the city’s 2019 Water Festival poster. More alcohol was consumed at the bar and the group got aboard the boat at around 2am.
Paul was driving the boat and he got into an argument with Anthony, as Anthony thought he was too drunk to drive.
Anthony pulled Mallory onto his lap and they sat together as the boat moved off.
Not long after the argument, Paul crashed the boat into a piling of the R.C. Berkeley Bridge.
Anthony was knocked unconscious into the water. When he came to, he started screaming for Mallory. She was nowhere to be seen.
At 2.26am, a 911 call is made. The dispatcher hears screams on the other end of the line.
“Mallory! Mallory! Mallory!”
Connor Cook, Anthony’s cousin, tells the dispatcher there’s been a boat crash in Archers Creek. Anthony is still in the water, searching for Mallory.
“Uh, a female named Mallory Beach is missing,” Connor tells a dispatcher.
As he describes the scene, a woman in the background screams about losing blood.
At 2.40am, police arrive at the scene. Five boaters are accounted for. Mallory remains missing.
Paul,who just has boxer shorts on, is talking on the phone, a police report notes. He starts to sob as he tells the person on the phone that Mallory is missing.
At 2.54am, a dispatcher woke up the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office emergency management director.
“We have a water emergency,” the dispatcher says. “We had a boat crash, and it’s gonna be at Archers Creek, right up on Malecon Drive by Parris Island.”
“All right,” he responds.
“Had a boat crash, six people on board. One is missing. A 19-year-old girl,” she continues.
At 3.19 am, an ambulance takes three patients to hospital. Paul is among the injured. Paul was uncooperative and “almost aggressive” toward EMS personnel, a police report says. A deputy rides in the ambulance for everyone’s safety.
Mallory’s boyfriend Anthony refused to goto the hospital, and stayed at the crash scene.
Reports say that around 3.44am, Paul’s father and grandfather arrived at the hospital. They told police they were lawyers and they stopped all questioning and sobriety tests.
At around midday, articles were published in The Island Packet and Beaufort Gazette. 20 of Mallory’s family were at the crash scene, as police helicopters and divers kept searching for her. Anthony also remained at the scene – he had not left since the accident.
DNA swabs are taken from various locations on the boat during the day, a police report says.
The boat has been sitting in the open for more than 12 hours, including during periods of rain, waiting to be processed for evidence.
Law enforcement officers find no usable fingerprints.
The boat had a large split in the hull and blood in the main compartment, a police report said.
The search was stopped for the day at 6pm as night fell.
Mallory’s family went to the crash site every day for a week and police conducted numerous searches for her. On March 3, Mallory’s family went via their church to pray for her, instead of going straight to the scene.
Around 1 p.m, some volunteers launched their boat and began searching near Broad River Boat landing,
About 20 minutes into the search, and near low tide, the brother on the T-top sees blond hair floating in the marshline.
They call 911 and remain there until law enforcement and the county coroner arrive.
Mallory had been found.
Mallory’s funeral was held on March 7, 11 days after the boat crash. More than 500 people attended.
“She went early; she went young; she loved her family; she loved her friends; she loved her rescued pets,” the Rev. Nelson Foster says. “I’m blown away by the legacy this teen woman leaves behind.”
The reverend recalls the words Beach had scribbled on a chalkboard in her room when she was about 12:
“Be strong in the Lord and never give up hope,” it reads. “He’s gonna do great things. I already know.”
Police continued to investigate the crash and were finally able to bring charges on April 18, the same day that Mallory would have turned 20. Paul Murdaugh was indicted on three felony criminal charges: one boating under the influence causing death, and two counts of boating under the influence causing injury. He was never jailed, is out on a $50,000 personal recognizance bond. He was also free to travel throughout the state.
Paul’s blood alcohol content on the night of the crash was found to be .286, almost three times the legal limit for operating a motor vehicle, but the judge denied a prosecutorial request that he wear an alcohol monitor.
The lawsuits relating to Mallory’s death are still ongoing. Mallory’s mother, Renee Beach, has filed a wrongful death suit, naming the Parker’s store where the lawsuit says Paul purchased alcohol, as well as Alex Murdaugh and his eldest son Richard.
Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance also has sued, asking the court to relieve the company of financial responsibilities for any claims by 20-year-old Paul Murdaugh’s father and brother.
There are some updates in the lawsuits that we will discuss in chronological order later in this blog.
The Murdaugh family kept bumbling along. Interestingly, at some point between the boating accident and June 2021, Maggie arranged for a forensic accountant to review the family finances.
There are also online rumors that Maggie spoke to a divorce lawyer in late April 2021.
On June 7, 2021, yet another huge twist in this case occurred. Maggie and Paul were shot dead on their property on Moselle Road in Islandton. The victims were shot multiple times, the coroner said, reportedly with a semi-automatic assault rifle and a shotgun. He ruled the deaths a double homicide. Each victim had been killed with a different gun.
Some neighbor’s spoke to the media after the murders:
“Mrs. Maggie don’t deserve this,” said Gabby Thomas, 62, whose hunting club is adjacent to the Murdaughs’ lodge. “She’d give you the shirt off her back, that one. Wonderful woman. Them others? I don’t know. But she sure spoiled Paul. I heard him talk back to her once so bad in the beauty parlor once that I made him apologize.”
Paul was still facing felony charges for the boating crash and death of Mallory Beach at the time he was murdered.
In a formality, the state Attorney General’s Office officially dropped the charges against Paul in August 2021.
On Friday, June 25, Alex Murdaugh released a statement to the press saying, “I want to thank everyone for the incredible love and support that we have received over the last few weeks. Now is the time to bring justice for Maggie and Paul. Buster (Murdaugh’s other son) and I, along with Maggie’s mother, father and our entire family, ask that anyone with helpful information immediately call the SLED tip line or Crime Stoppers.”
On June 27, Alex Murdaugh announced that he would be offering a $100,000 reward for information about the murder of his wife and son.
To be eligible for the $100,000 reward, the person(s) claiming the reward must submit the tip that leads to an arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible to SLED or Crime Stoppers on or before September 31, 2021.
Some media reports say that police said at the time there was no risk to the public – our favorite saying.
Following the murders, police began to look into the ‘hit and run’ death of Stephen Smith from 2015.
After police began investigating the Murdaugh murders, they uncovered information relating to Stephen’s case.
Nobody has elaborated on what info was found.
Stephen’s mother Sandy has been speaking to the media in recent weeks. She said she is suspicious of the investigation into the Murdaugh homicides.
“I think they’re setting up a fake crime scene just like they did with my son,” Smith said. “I’m not buying it. I seen how they handled what happened to Stephen.”
Sandy has also alluded that she thinks Stephen’s death may be a hate crime as he was openly gay.
On July 7, 2021, Connor Cook, one of the occupants of the boat on the night of the fatal crash, came out and said that he believes unnamed people may have intended to frame him as the driver of the boat.
Connor believes that some of the evidence taken from the scene is now missing and his lawyers want to question officers about the investigation.
Joe McCulloch and Kathy Schillaci, lawyers for Connor, filed a petition to new depositions from the separate wrongful death suit on behalf of Mallory Beach’s estate. They show at least five law enforcement officers were interviewed by attorneys about their actions during the boat crash investigation.
This info comes from the Island Packet newspaper (this source has a ton of info on the case):
The petition, called a Rule 27 petition, is typically filed by a person who wants to provide testimony before a suit is filed. It precedes a lawsuit alleging a civil conspiracy or “other actions” related to the boat crash investigation, the filing says.
The petition names the S.C. Department of Natural Resources, the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office and “Unknown Others,” as defendants. In 20 days, Connor Cook will ask a judge for an order allowing him to depose, and obtain the personal and law enforcement cell phones of, the officers who investigated the boat crash, according to the filing.
The petition says the following law enforcement officers, who investigated the boat crash, may have information on a collusion to blame Connor Cook for the crash instead of Murdaugh:
▪ Former SCDNR officer and current S.C. Law Enforcement agent Michael Brock;
▪ SCNDR officer Austin Pritcher;
▪ Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. John Leroy Keener, III;
▪ Former SCDNR officer Robin Camlin;
▪ Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Troy Andrew Krapf.
If a judge approves the order, Cook’s attorneys will ask the law enforcement officers about:
▪ The boat crash investigation;
▪ Statements collected from the boat crash passengers on body cameras and other video and audio footage;
▪ Physical evidence collected;
▪ DNA and other biological evidence collected;
▪ Phone, verbal and other communications throughout the investigation;
▪ “Investigative failures and deficiencies;”
▪ The officers’ relationship to the people involved in the investigation.
Cook believes law enforcement officers failed to conduct an appropriate investigation, according to the petition.
That failure includes the fact officers did not give Murdaugh a sobriety test and “other investigative irregularities,” according the filing. It led to the loss of evidence, the filing said.
Brock, Pritcher, Kenner, Camlin and Krapf may “have information as to a ‘campaign’ to cloud the investigatory issues and disseminate false information in the community with the intention of misleading law enforcement and prosecution charging parties, and the public, into wrongly and falsely believing Connor Cook should be arrested and charged as the boat operator with multiple counts of Felony Boating Under the Influence,” the filing said.
As a bit of an aside, recordings taken from the night of the crash have also been released this summer.
You can hear Mallory’s boyfriend Anthony Cook, yelling at Paul, who tells police Paul was driving the boat when it crashed and Beach was thrown into the swirling current.
“That motherf—– needs to rot in f—ing prison,” Anthony said about Paul. “He ain’t gonna get in no f—ing trouble.”
When Paul allegedly smiled at Anthony, Anthony erupted, screaming, “You f—ing smiling like it’s f—ing funny? My f—ing girlfriend’s gone!”
Solicitor Duffie Stone told South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson in a letter that he intended to recuse himself from the investigations into the Murdaugh deaths.
Stone asks Wilson to “assume all prosecutorial functions in this matter effective immediately” and states the request came “considering the events of today” in the State Law Enforcement Division’s investigation of the double shooting.
The letter does not specify what details Stone is referring to in making the request.
On September 3, Alex Murdaugh resigned from his position at his law firm. There were allegations that he had been misappropriating funds from the firm for years.
Things start getting even wilder here. On September 4, at 1.34pm, Alex Murdaugh made a 911 call. He told the dispatcher that he had been shot in the head while changing the tyre of his car.
Alex’s story was that a truck passed him while he was working on his car, turned around and came back, and someone in the truck shot him.
Alex was airlifted to Memorial Health University Medical Center in Savannah, his lawyer said, and was able to speak with family members by cellphone from the hospital.
The family released a statement late Saturday afternoon.
“The Murdaugh family has suffered through more than any one family can ever imagine. We expect Alex to recover and ask for your privacy while he recovers,” the statement said.
It turns out that the gunshot was ‘superficial’ – I wonder why he was airlifted for that? Seems extra.
His lawyers maintain that his injuries were a brain bleed, a fractured skull, and an entry and exit wound from the shooting.
Two days after the ‘shooting’, September 6, Alex Murdaugh released a statement and told us that he would be entering drug rehab.
“The murders of my wife and son have caused an incredibly difficult time in my life,” according to the statement.
“I have made a lot of decisions that I truly regret.
“I’m resigning from my law firm and entering rehab after a long battle that has been exacerbated by these murders.
“I am immensely sorry to everyone I’ve hurt, including my family, friends and colleagues.
“I ask for prayers as I rehabilitate myself and my relationships.”
Alex had been released by the hospital by this stage.
His former lawfirm PMPED released a statement about the misappropriation of funds by Alex. “This is disappointing news for all of us,” PMPED said in a statement obtained by The Island Packet, noting that the firm had cut all ties with Murdaugh. They noted that millions of dollars were missing.
His former law firm sent PEOPLE a statement saying, “PMPED is focused on representing our valued clients. Alex Murdaugh is no longer associated with our firm in any manner. Questions related to Alex’s arrest should be directed to the appropriate law enforcement agencies.”
Alex’s brother Randy also released his own statements: “I was shocked, just as the rest of my PMPED family, to learn of my brother, Alex’s, drug addiction and stealing of money. I love my law firm family and also love Alex as my brother. While I will support him in his recovery, I do not support, condone, or excuse his conduct in stealing by manipulating his most trusted relationships.”
On September 15, SLED announced that a former legal client of Alex’s, Curtis Edward Smith had been arrested for having conspired with Alex to kill him in the shooting earlier in the month. The motivation was that his remaining son Buster would receive a $10 million insurance payout. Curtis Smith was charged with assisted suicide, aggravated assault and battery, and insurance fraud. Alex, suffering from “massive depression” and wanting to kill himself, admitted to concocting the assisted suicide as murder scheme because he wrongly believed his son would not receive the insurance money if he committed suicide.
Curtis Smith was also allegedly the source for Alex’s drugs – oxycodone seems to have been his drug of choice.
On this day, SLED also announced that they would be opening an investigation into the 2018 death of the Murdaugh family housekeeper, Gloria Satterfield.
“The decedent’s death was not reported to the Coroner at the time, nor was an autopsy performed,” coroner Angela Topper wrote. “On the death certificate the manner of death was ruled ‘Natural,’ which is inconsistent with injuries sustained in a trip and fall accident.”
September was a badddddddd month for Alex. He turned himself into police on September 16 and was arrested. He was charged with insurance fraud, conspiracy to commit insurance fraud, and filing a false police report.
“I can assure you that SLED agents will continue working to bring justice to anyone involved with any criminal act associated with these ongoing investigations,” said SLED Chief Mark Keel. “The arrests in this case are only the first step in that process.”
An arraignment and bond hearing was held Thursday at 4 p.m. at the Hampton County Magistrate’s Court. During the hearing, Alex was granted a total of $20,000 in personal recognizance bonds on the three charges. He was required to surrender his U.S. Passport.
Prior to the hearing, when asked what Murdaugh’s state of mind was, one of his attorneys, Dick Harpootlian, said, “He’s in the jail. That’s his state of mind.” Poor Alex, sad face lol.
When his attorney Dick spoke to the court that day, he said that Alex was not a danger to the community, and that the only violence he had committed “was against himself.” He also said that Alex was not a flight risk
“Alex has fallen from grace,” he said. “He is not a man of means anymore. He doesn’t have the financial means to leave the country.”
During the hearing, Dick spoke about the murders of Paul and Maggie – Alex got upset and began crying.
Wearing a chain connecting handcuffs and ankle restraints, along with a beige jumpsuit, Alex only addressed the court by saying “Yes ma’am” when answering a direct question by the judge.
Dick also revealed that Alex’s opioid had spanned twenty years.
“On September 4, it became clear Alex believed that ending his life was his only option. Today, he knows that’s not true. 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. One of those individuals took advantage of his mental illness and agreed to take Alex’s life, by shooting him in the head. Fortunately, Alex was not killed by the gunshot wound. Alex is fully cooperating with SLED in their investigations into his shooting, opioid use and the search to find the person or people responsible for the murder of his wife and son. Alex is not without fault but he is just one of many whose life has been devastated by opioid addiction.”
Alex’s former lawfirm PMPED released another statement in late September.
“He lied and he stole from us,” a statement from the law firm of Peters, Murdaugh, Parker, Eltzroth, Detrick read. “No member of PMPED was aware of Alex’s scheme. When we learned he betrayed our trust, we requested his resignation immediately. We have yet to speak to anyone who was aware of his addiction to opioids.”
The law firm says the funds Murdaugh allegedly took from their firm will not affect the business’ operations.
“No client of PMPED will suffer a financial loss as a result of Alex’s misconduct,” stated a press release from the law firm who said they have lots of questions about Murdaugh and are assisting law enforcement in efforts to find the truth.
The law firm also spoke about the death of Gloria Satterfield and claims that there was a substantial amount of money that was collected in a death settlement case that her family hasn’t seen any money from.
“We have read the media reports about the lawsuit and settlement resulting from the death of Gloria Satterfield. If these reports are accurate, we are stunned at what occurred. It’s important for everyone to know that PMPED did not represent Alex in that case,” the firm said. “His insurance company hired counsel to represent him.”
In the past few weeks, there have been a few updates:
– A change of venue motion was filed by the attorneys representing Parkers 55, a convenience store in Ridgeland that the lawsuit accused of selling alcoholic beverages to Paul before the boat crash that killed Mallory.
A judge denied that request. This info is from Fox News:
South Carolina’s 16th Circuit Judge Daniel D. Hall denied a change of venue motion, ruling that defendant Greg Parker, the CEO of Parker’s convenience stores, failed to present enough evidence that changing the venue would “promote convenience of witnesses and ends of justice,” the decision filed in Hampton County Common Pleas Court Friday says. The plaintiff, Beach’s mother, Renee Beach, as well as the other two defendants, Alex Murdaugh and his son, Buster Murdaugh, are all from Hampton County and had opposed the change of venue.
Just a few days ago, a settlement in the Gloria Satterfield case was reached. In a statement on behalf of the Satterfield family, Bland Richter, LLP said a settlement was reached Friday between Satterfield’s estate, Cory Fleming, and the insurance carrier connected to the lawsuit.
“Mr. Fleming and his firm agreed that the Estate will be paid back all legal fees and expenses Mr. Fleming and his law firm received from the $4,300,000 they recovered for the Estate in connection with the claims asserted against Alex Murdaugh for the death of Gloria Satterfield,” wrote attorney Eric Bland.
In an interesting turn of events, it turns out that Cory Fleming was referred to Gloria’s sons by Alex Murdaugh. Cory was also one of Murdaugh’s “best friends and college roommate.”
New court documents were released on October 5. We learned that Alex diverted more than $3.5 million in death settlement money meant for Gloria Satterfield’s sons to an account said to be fraudulent.
Gloria’s sons said they trusted Alex to handle the insurance proceeds correctly, and then Murdaugh, and his team all “lied” to the court in their handling of the money.
The court documents show photocopies of checks and letters as exhibits, showing how Alex allegedly directed others to move settlement money away from Gloria’s family,
Copies of checks are attached to the filing showing the exact dollar amounts of death settlement money that was approved in court by a circuit judge but never reached its intended recipients. The checks had a false name for its recipient and were sent to a P.O. Box in Hampton.
Over the next few months, Beaufort Attorney Cory Fleming made two separate wrongful death claims for Satterfield’s sons: one for $505,000, and one for $3.8 million.
Of the $3.8 million, the sons were supposed to receive $2.76 million, with the rest going to attorneys’ fees.
The attorneys met with Judge Mullen on both claims, and both were approved, according to the lawsuit.
However, checks attached to the filing show that for both claims, Fleming wrote the settlement checks to an account titled “Forge.”
Forge Consulting LLC, an Atlanta-based company, is known for creating settlement structures to stretch out settlement payments over time. Forge recently released a statement saying it had “no involvement in or knowledge of the alleged inappropriate conduct of Alex Murdaugh.”
Fleming was directed by Murdaugh to write the checks to “Forge,” which were sent to “a P.O. Box in Hampton, South Carolina,” the filing alleges.
The “Forge” on the checking account has nothing to do with Forge Consulting LLC, the lawsuit said.
In total, more than $3.5 million was sent by Fleming via Murdaugh to “Forge,” according to the documents.
More info from the Island Packet:
Peters, we Murdaugh, Parker, Eltzroth and Detrick filed the suit Wednesday in Colleton County court, alleging its former employee “was able to covertly steal these funds by disguising disbursements from settlements as payments” to Alex’s fraudulent account, the firm alleges.
In a statement about the lawsuit, PMPED said Alex submitted to the firm and clients false documentation that allowed him to funnel stolen money into “fraudulent bank accounts.”
Alex, the statement said, used firm assets “in an unauthorized manner and without the consent or knowledge of his former partners to further his scheme to defraud.”
The firm’s lawsuit seeks to find out where Alex’s alleged stolen money went and “if any of it is hidden away,” the statement said.
PMPED also wants to know whether Alex has signed any agreements that would allow him to make money from books, interviews or other publicity, the statement said.
Jim Griffin, a lawyer for Alex Murdaugh, said Wednesday he had not seen the lawsuit and could not comment at this time.
“I know it is is a very sad day for all the members of that firm and whom Alex holds in highest esteem,” Griffin said. “He has pledged his full cooperation to get these issues resolved.”
Cory Fleming, who we spoke about earlier released a statement just yesterday about the whole mess.
“When it came time to disburse the settlement funds, Mr. Fleming trusted his close friend and colleague to deal with him truthfully and honorably, only to be misled and deceived in one of the worst possible ways for a lawyer: Alex Murdaugh lied to Mr. Fleming to steal client funds,” the statement said.
The court Fleming is facing an interim suspension for “other misconduct.” The definition of other misconduct says that with “sufficient evidence demonstrating that a lawyer poses a substantial threat of serious harm to the public or to the administration of justice, the Supreme Court may place the lawyer on interim suspension pending a final determination in any proceeding under these rules.”
Alex Murdaugh has also issued a statement to People about their reporting of Maggie allegedly consulting a divorce lawyer:
“The most recent allegations by People Magazine regarding the state of Maggie and Alex Murdaugh’s marriage are totally inconsistent with what we have been told by friends and family members. Also, we have reviewed many years of text messages on Alex’s phone, and the conversations between Alex and Maggie portray a very loving relationship. It is our hope that the media will continue to focus on covering the investigation of the person or people responsible for the murder of Maggie and Paul and not reporting salacious stories with no credible sources connected to the Murdaugh family.”
On October 13, Alex’s attorney revealed that Alex IS a person of interest in the murders of Maggie and Paul.
Jim Griffin, one of the scion’s attorneys, confirmed that the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) began investigating Murdaugh “from the get-go”.
“You would think that if Alex was the one who did it, that SLED would have been able to establish that pretty easily that night,” Griffin said. “You would think they would have searched his house and found blood somewhere. You would think they would have found the murder weapons on the property. You would think they would come up with something to link Alex to the murders, forensically or independent evidence. To my knowledge, they have not done that.”
Griffin, however, admitted that state authorities “are not sharing information but I believe if they had that [information] they would have charged Alex and they have not charged him.” SLED did not respond to The Daily Beast’s request for comment about Murdaugh being a person of interest.
“He loved his wife. He loved his son. The murders were done in the most brutal fashion,” Griffin said, noting that he had reviewed Murdaugh’s text messages with his wife and there was no indication of a “domestic dispute.”
“He didn’t do it. I feel strongly that he didn’t do it,” Murdaugh’s lawyer added. “Nobody wants to solve these murders as much as Alex.”