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Crime News

Alex Murdaugh Sentenced to 27 Years for State Financial Crimes

"I'm not crying because of what you stole from me — I'm crying for what he did to everybody," Jordan Jinks, a friend and former client of Murdaugh's said Tuesday. 

By Elisabeth Ford
Alex Murdaugh stands in the courtroom

Disbarred South Carolina attorney Alex Murdaugh — who was already in prison after being convicted of killing his wife and son — was sentenced to 27 years Tuesday for a slew of financial crimes involving his personal injury clients.

Murdaugh accepted a plea deal on November 17, in which he confessed to exploiting his clients during his years as a personal injury lawyer.   

RELATED: Judge in Alex Murdaugh's Murder Trial Steps Down from Further Hearings Involving a Possible Retrial

Many of his former clients attended the hearing Tuesday, chastising the legal scion for taking advantage of them.

"I'm not crying because of what you stole from me — I'm crying for what he did to everybody. These kids. These people dying," said Jordan Jinks, who hired Murdaugh after he was injured in a 2016 car crash and was due roughly $150,000 from a settlement, according to NBC News. "I didn't want to come up here and bash you, but I got to ask you, what kind of animal are you?"

Alex Murdaugh Arrives In Court smiling wearing an orange jumpsuit

Also in attendance was an adult son of the Murdaughs' housekeeper, Gloria Satterfield, who died in a “trip and fall” accident at the family’s home in 2018. Murdaugh was accused of cheating the housekeeper's estate out of a $4 million settlement related to her death.

What did Gloria Satterfield's son Tony Satterfield say at Alex Murdaugh's sentencing for financial crimes?

"You lied, you cheated, you stole," Tony Satterfield said, according to NBC News. "You betrayed me and my family and everybody else." Satterfield added, "I want you to know that I forgive you. I will pray for you every day."

As part of Murdaugh's plea deal, his sentence in this state case will run at the same time as his federal sentence for similar financial crimes, according to NBC News. He has yet to be sentenced in his financial federal crimes case.

In March, Murdaugh was convicted of fatally shooting his wife, Maggie, and youngest son, Paul, in 2021. Prosecutors in that case had argued that he did it to deflect scrutiny after allegations that he committed various  financial crimes at his law firm. He was sentenced to life in prison without parole for the murders.

RELATED: Court Clerk in Alex Murdaugh Murder Case Denies Jury Tampering Accusations

Judge Clifton Newman, who presided over the murder trial, announced earlier this month that he would voluntarily step away from any future hearings involving Murdaugh's request for a new murder trial.

The judge oversaw the state financial crimes trial and accepted Murdaugh’s guilty plea Tuesday.

"Many of us do things that we shouldn't do," Newman said after calling Murdaugh’s soul “empty,” ABC News reported.

"It's just unimaginable — unimaginable to me that you have done some of the things that you've done," Newman added. "Whether it's you or someone you become upon using drugs or through the process of just committing the crimes over and over a period of years, I don't know. I don't know."

Judge Clifton Newman during the Alex Murdaugh trial

Murdaugh addressed the court in a lengthy statement Tuesday to apologize to his victims.

“I would like as time moves on to continue to reiterate just how sorry I am and how important it is to me that you know that,” the former attorney said, the Associated Press reported.

RELATED: Alex Murdaugh's Lawyers File Motion for New Murder Trial, Seek to Remove Judge

He also used his time in court to reiterate his denial of any involvement in the killings of his wife and son.

"I would never hurt Maggie, and I would never hurt Paul," he said Tuesday, according to ABC News.

Last month, his defense team was granted the ability to petition for a new murder trial for their client after they accused the court clerk of influencing the jury’s guilty verdict.

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