June 7, 2021, 10:07 p.m.
The call to 911 by Richard Alexander Murdaughson of a third-generation 14th Circuit attorney, reporting the shooting deaths of his wife, Maggie, and younger son, Paul, would propel a scandal-ridden Lowcountry family into the national spotlight.
Tuesday marked one year since Maggie and Paul died of multiple gunshot wounds at their rural estate in Colleton County. Their images persist in family photographs splashed across magazines and TV news, tabloids and blogs. Their names proliferate in police records and court documents and echo on podcasts and TV shows.
A year later, the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) had made no arrests, announced no leads or suspects, and released few details of the ongoing investigation.
Even as the SLED investigates the murders, a lot has happened Alex Murdaughthe man who made that chilling call to 911. Here’s a look back at last year.
Randolph Murdaugh III died three days later
Three days after the killing by Alex Murdaugh father, former 14th Circuit attorney Randolph Murdaugh III, died of apparent natural causes June 10leaving the Murdaugh clan to bury three of their own in a week.
In a 2018 interview with The Hampton County Guardian, the elder Murdaugh said he didn’t want to be remembered as a man who ‘put people’ in jail, but as a lawyer who was trying to help people. Tragically for the Murdaugh family, his legacy would be associated with something else.
New evidence emerges in old homicides
As state police investigated the double homicides, new evidence of old homicides emerged.
Stephane Smitha Hampton County nursing student, was found dead in the middle of Sand Run Road on July 8, 2015, with deep gashes to the head. At the time, his death was ruled a hit-and-run, a decision disputed by his family and some investigators, and almost immediately rumors linking the Murdaugh family to the case began circulating around the county.
On June 23, 2021About two weeks after the double murder, state police said they were taking a “fresh look” at Smith’s homicide with this statement: “SLED has opened an investigation into the death of Stephane Smith based on information gathered during the investigation into the double murder of Paul and Maggie Murdaugh.”
However, the police never revealed what they found that led to this development.
The outcome of the Murdaugh case
* September 4, 2021: His Labor Day weekend, but instead of boating to the family river house, Murdaugh is on the side of a backcountry road and calls 911 to report he has been shot.
* September 6, 2021: Murdaugh’s family law firm releases statement saying he has resigned and is “no longer associated with PMPED in any way”, while accusing him of embezzlement. Murdaugh releases a statement that he struggles with a long-term opioid addiction that has been aggravated by the death of family members. He apologizes to the people he has hurt and pledges to enter rehab.
* September 8, 2021: SC Supreme Court suspends Murdaugh’s license to practice law pending the outcome of the charges. Murdaugh’s brother and associate, Randy Murdaughreleases a statement: “I was shocked, along with the rest of my PMPED family, to learn that my brother, Alex, was a drug addict and was stealing money. I love my law firm family and I also love Alex as my brother. While I will support him in his recovery, I do not support, condone or condone his flighty conduct by manipulating his most trusted relationships.”
* September 13, 2021: SLED opens investigation into allegations of embezzlement of law firm PMPED by Murdaugh, pledging to move forward “no matter where the facts take us”.
* September 14, 2021: Curtis Edward Smith61, is charged with assisted suicide, aggravated assault, robbery and presentation of a firearm, insurance fraud and conspiracy to commit insurance fraud in connection with the September 4 road accident.
* September 15, 2021: SLED announces an inquest into the death of Murdaugh’s housekeeper Gloria Satterfield and the management of his estate. The heirs to the Satterfield estate file a civil suit against Murdaugh and his alleged accomplices.
* September 16, 2021: SLED arrests Murdaugh for insurance fraud, conspiracy to commit insurance fraud and filing a false police report after the traffic incident. Murdaugh is warned at Hampton County Detention Center.
* September 16, 2021: Murdaugh gets a $20,000 bond and returns to rehab at an undisclosed location.
* October 14, 2021: Murdaugh is arrested for a crime related to Satterfield’s insurance scheme.
* December 13, 2021: After being denied bail, Murdaugh receives a $7 million bond with no 10% option and is imprisoned in Richland County. During the hearing, he said, “I made a terrible decision that I regret, that I’m sorry about, and frankly, I’m embarrassed about,” adding, “I want to fix as much damage as possible, and fix as many relationships as possible.”
Wave of indictments before the grand jury
Murdaugh is hit with wave after wave of indictments by the state grand jury of November 2021 at May 2022tied to a multi-million dollar, multi-county, decade-long financial scheme.
“This is by Alex Murdaugh version of Black Friday,” Satterfield’s attorney said. Eric Bland when the first charges were handed down.
* November 19, 2021: Attorney General SC Alain Wilson announces that the state grand jury has released its first state-level indictments against Murdaugh, totaling 27 criminal charges.
* December 9, 2021: The grand jury issues seven more indictments consisting of 21 new charges.
* January 21, 2022: The state grand jury issues four indictments consisting of 23 new charges, reflecting alleged criminal acts much older than before, dating back to 2011.
* March 16, 2022: Other alleged conspirators start falling out with Murdaugh as grand jury unseals new substituted indictment against Murdaugh and Cory Howerton Fleminga suspended Beaufort County attorney, in connection with the Satterfield case.
* May 4, 2022: Grand jury issues three more superseding indictments, with charges against former Palmetto State banker Russell Lucius Laffitte as well as Murdaugh and Fleming.
Murdaugh faces a total of 82 criminal charges — 79 state grand jury indictments and three local indictments — and, theoretically, more than seven centuries in prison.
Civil lawsuits pile up for Murdaugh and associates
Widely charged in criminal courts, Murdaugh was also drowning in civil lawsuits, which led the court to place his assets under the control of legally appointed joint receivers.
Following the March 2019 wrongful death lawsuit involving Mallory Beachother boating accident passengers – and other financial victims – have begun filing personal injury lawsuits.
* September 15, 2021: Satterfield’s estate is filing a lawsuit against Murdaugh over allegations he conspired with others to steal his death settlement and insurance money.
* September 20, 2021: survivor of a boating accident Connor Cook files a lawsuit alleging a civil conspiracy against multiple parties, claiming the Murdaughs tried to blame him as the driver.
* October 6, 2021: PMPED, the law firm founded by Murdaugh’s great-grandfather Randolph father., is suing Murdaugh to recover money he allegedly stole from the company and its customers.
* October 28, 2021: Alex’s older brother and former attorney partner Randolph “Randy” Murdaugh IV files lawsuit for collecting $46,500 that he said he lent his brother but never got paid back.
* October 29, 2021: former legal partner of Murdaugh John E. Parker files a lawsuit claiming that Murdaugh owes him $477,000 in unpaid loans.
* December 2, 2021: survivor of a boating accident Keith Cook files a complaint for the injuries he suffered in the accident.
* February 15, 2022: survivors of a boat accident Miley Altman and Morgan Doughty each sue for bodily injury from accidents.
* May 11, 2022: An amended version of a federal lawsuit is filed in United States District Court speak Nautilus Insurance Companyone of the companies that paid claims in the Satterfield settlement, naming Murdaugh, Fleming, State Bank of Palmetto and others.
* June 2, 2022: Another civil lawsuit is filed against Murdaugh, Laffitte and State Bank of Palmetto behalf Arthur Badgera former legal client of Murdaugh – and financial victim – who was injured when his wife was killed in a car accident in 2001.
Murdaugh faced 11 lawsuits naming him directly — 10 states, one federal — and was linked to several others.
by Alex Murdaugh fall out of favor
During the bond hearings, Murdaugh’s attorneys said their client had truly fallen out of favor. With his assets seized and subject to scrutiny and investigation, he’s a man who ‘can’t pay his phone bill’ and ‘can’t even buy underwear’, lawyer says . Richard Harpootlian.
Meanwhile, the media is looking for every detail they can learn about him, even broadcasting phone calls between Murdaugh and his family members and publishing lists of personal items he buys from the prison police station. The accused lawyer is even the subject of mocking memes on social networks.
Murdaugh remains detained in the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center in Richland County.