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A South Carolina judge has officially frozen the financial assets of jailed legal scion Alex Murdaugh, according to local media reports this week.
On Tuesday, Circuit Judge Daniel Hall ruled that Murdaugh must submit to independent, court-appointed receivers, who will soon conduct an inventory of his financial holdings, Charleston station WCIV reported. Hall ultimately sided with Mark Tinsley, a lawyer representing the family of Mallory Beach, the 19-year-old who died during a boating wreck on Murdaugh’s boat while with his son, Paul Murdaugh, and others.
"Our judges now are consistently stating by their orders that putting a pen in Alex’s hand is just as dangerous as putting a gun in those same hands," Eric Bland and Ronnie Richter, lawyers representing family members of Murdaugh's late housekeeper Gloria Satterfield, said in a joint statement, Fox News reported. "Going forward, they have taken the pen away from him and his son."
John T. Lay and Peter McCoy, who were appointed to survey Murdaugh’s assets, have the authority to approve or deny when and how the jailed lawyer divests his capital.
"They are both principled and will be fair to all parties," Bland and Richter added in their statement. "They will have no friends to reward or enemies to punish. They are straight down the middle guys."
Paul Murdaugh's friend, Connor Cook, who sustained serious injuries in the 2019 boat wreck that left Beach dead, also requested that the courts freeze the scion's assets this month; so did the legal team representing the family of Satterfield, who died under uncertain circumstances after falling at the Murdaugh property in 2018.
Satterfield’s family has accused Murdaugh of pocketing $3.4 million in insurance revenue, which they have said they believe should go to them. Murdaugh apparently approached Satterfield's family and convinced them to sue him for an insurance payout, but then pocketed the money. He was taken into police custody last month in connection to these allegations while leaving a Florida drug rehabilitation clinic for an apparent opioid addiction.
“Our justice system in South Carolina is working as intended,” Bland and Richter added. “It is designed to protect victims from being further victimized by someone like Alex Murdaugh. Alex now realizes so many eyes are on him and that he is pretty tightly boxed in. Good lawyering and good judges will do that to guys like Alex Murdaugh."
In October, it was reported the FBI was also investigating Murdaugh’s alleged financial crimes.
Murdaugh’s life of privilege, generational wealth and power began to unravel publicly in June when his wife, Maggie Murdaugh, and son, Paul, were found shot to death at the family’s hunting estate in Colleton County in South Carolina’s Lowcountry. After several months, no arrests have been made in the double Murdaugh murder.
Murdaugh has been pummeled with a barrage of legal cases and has been arrested twice since their deaths. In September, the 53-year-old was arrested after an alleged botched suicide attempt in which police said he hired a client of his to shoot him to death, all so his surviving son, Buster Murdaugh, could cash in on a $10 million life insurance payout. Murdaugh was grazed in the head by a bullet and survived the ordeal. He was later charged with insurance fraud, conspiracy to commit insurance fraud and filing a false police report. In October, he was arrested on two new charges of obtaining property by false pretenses.
Curtis Smith, who authorities in South Carolina identified as the gunman in the Labor Day weekend roadside shooting, was charged with assisted suicide, insurance fraud, and other charges. The 61-year-old and his lawyer have since insisted the shooting was a set-up elaborately orchestrated by Murdaugh.
Jim Griffin, one of Murdaugh’s attorneys, didn’t immediately respond to Oxygen.com’s request for comment regarding the freezing of his client’s assets on Wednesday.
You can watch "Alex Mudaugh. Death. Deception. Power." here or on Peacock starting January 6.
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