Alex Murdaugh needs psychiatric assessment, rules rules

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Disgraced lawyer and now widower arrested twice Alex murdaugh will remain behind bars after a judge this week denied requests for him to remain free on bail as he awaits trial for his alleged theft of millions of dollars from an insurance payment intended for the housekeeper’s sons from the beloved family who died on their property in 2018.

Tuesday in a Hampton County courtroom, Circuit Judge Clifton Newman has heard bail applications from prosecutors and defense attorneys for Murdaugh. Seeking a $ 200,000 bond, GPS monitoring, surrender of his firearms and travel restrictions, the state called the 53-year-old a “danger to himself” and to others. His defense team demanded his release on a personal pledge and conceded that Murdaugh should undergo a drug test; it was stopped last week after leaving a drug rehab center for what his lawyers said was opioid addiction.

Newman denied the demands of both teams. Citing “safety concerns” that make Murdaugh a potential danger to the community, the judge said he had to undergo a psychiatric assessment before bail could be considered and returned him to his jail cell.

“There is no way this court can issue a bond at this time,” Newman said, according to a Law & Crime media report. “So I deny the connection.”

Newman said he would reconsider his decision after to receive more information on Murdaugh’s mental state; Defense lawyer Dick Harpootlian said after the hearing that therapists who recently saw his client will send their files to a local psychiatrist, who will prepare a report, the Associated Press reported.

Further describing his decision, the judge said Murdaugh’s alleged financial ploy was “reckless,” then detailed his alleged botched plot to die by assisted suicide over the Labor Day weekend, and spoke about the addiction. apparent of the accused to the drug – which occurred or came. over the past four months as his life as a father has quickly and publicly unraveled.

Murdaugh’s life began to escalate on June 7, the night he called authorities to tell them he had found his wife and son shot dead on the homestead. Now he faces two counts of obtaining property under false pretenses and separate felony charges related to what may have been his failed attempt to die by assisted suicide. The fraud case in question Tuesday concerns the estate of Gloria Satterfield, the late housekeeper who worked for the wealthy and powerful family in their homes in the South Carolina Lowcountry before dying in a alleged “trip and fall” accident – the circumstances and consequences of which are currently being re-examined by the State authorities.

Prosecutors and a lawyer for the sons of Satterfield allege Murdaugh, the descendant of a multi-generational legal dynasty in the region, used his power and prestigious reputation to push the men out of a major settlement, they say brazenly encouraging grieving sons to continue at their mother’s funeral. Prosecutors said Murdaugh asked his roommate and best friend, recently suspended South Carolina lawyer Corey Fleming, to negotiate a settlement of Murdaugh’s umbrella insurance policy to the tune of approximately $ 4.3 million. dollars.

Satterfield’s sons, Michael “Tony” Satterfield and Brian Harrio, never saw a penny from the insurance payment, their lawyer, Eric Bland, said previously Oxygen.com. In fact, they only learned of the existence of the petition for a settlement regarding their mother’s death after reading a newspaper article regarding the tragic death of local woman Mallory Beach, who was killed in 2019 an accident while aboard Murdaugh’s motorboat Sea Hunt Triton with the now deceased Paul Murdaugh when he crashed onto a bridge on an alleged nighttime excursion while intoxicated.

“Today is the day Alex Murdaugh has to get comfortable to be uncomfortable,” Bland said in court on Tuesday. “It is a crime of a lawyer who steals money. … A man who stole money from the very family of the housekeeper who helped raise her children. It is a crime that we have never seen it before.

“He flew,” he concluded. “He’s a liar, and he’s a cheater.”

Murdaugh’s defense attorneys told the judge their client was not a flight risk and was a law-abiding family man – until he was crippled with drug addiction.

“The Alex Murdaugh who is not addicted to drugs lived a good and fruitful life – a life of law abiding,” said attorney Jim Griffin, according to the AP. “It wasn’t until he got hooked on opioids that things got really bad and he really regrets his behavior.”

Last week’s arrest was the second for Murdaugh in less than two months. In September, he was arrested by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division in connection with the September 4 bombing. alleged failed assisted suicide attempt. Investigators say Murdaugh enlisted his client, Curtis Edward Smith, to kill him, even supplying him with a gun and asking him to shoot him in the head on the side of a rural road. Smith, however, insisted that he had been “trapped” by Murdaugh and that the two struggled with the gun after he arrived to find his lawyer wielding the gun that day. Murdaugh was shot in the head but survived after being airlifted to a hospital. He would have wanted his death to appear as a homicide so that his surviving son, Buster Murdaugh, could cash in on $ 10 million in life insurance.

A torrent of revelations about Alex Murdaugh and his family came to light after his wife, Maggie Murdaugh, 52, and their 22-year-old son, Paul Murdaugh, were found shot dead at the Colleton County homestead in late spring . Alex Murdaugh was not named a suspect or person of interest by authorities in their death; however, last week his lawyer said WHNS local news station that Murdaugh has always been a person of interest in double homicide. He also assured producers that his client had not killed his wife and son.

Now South Carolina and local authorities are investigating Satterfield’s alleged travel and fall accident, as inconsistencies have been discovered regarding what happened after his death; his death was not reported to the local coroner at the time, and no autopsy was performed, according to Hampton County Coroner Angela Topper, who also recently revealed that her cause of death was classified as ” natural ”, which is incongruous with death resulting from brain injury.

Meanwhile, the former law firm of Murdaugh, Peters, Murdaugh, Parker, Eltzroth and Detrick has filed a complaint against him alleging that he was embezzling client and firm money for his personal use while providing legal services to the firm; Murdaugh’s great-grandfather founded PMPED in 1910.

Murdaugh faces up to 10 years in prison for each charge of obtaining property under false pretenses. The separate felony charges related to the alleged failed suicide attempt could earn him up to 20 years in prison.

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