Alex Murdaugh is set to be sentenced today for nearly 2 dozen financial crimes
Nov 28, 2023, 10:33 AM
(CNN) — Alex Murdaugh – the disgraced former South Carolina attorney serving two life sentences for the murders of his wife and son – is set to be sentenced on Tuesday for nearly two dozen state financial crimes, including money laundering, breach of trust, conspiracy, forgery and tax evasion.
Tuesday’s sentencing hearing comes after Murdaugh pleaded guilty earlier this month in a plea deal that prosecutor Creighton Waters of the South Carolina Attorney General’s Office said would ensure Murdaugh remained “in state prison for a very long time.”
Murdaugh was facing dozens of state charges that accused him of carrying out a variety of schemes to defraud his clients, his law firm partners and other victims of millions of dollars.
In court on November 17, Waters recounted the details of the charges, scheme by scheme and victim by victim. Asked by Judge Clifton Newman if he agreed with the description of the crimes, Murdaugh responded, “I agree that I wrongly took all of that money and did all of those crimes. I disagree with some of the narrative.”
“I am guilty and I believe I would be found guilty,” he said. “I am glad to finally be given the opportunity to plead guilty.”
Newman will have to ultimately approve the deal, and he said at the time of Murdaugh’s plea hearing that his acceptance would be contingent on its meeting all requirements from the state’s Victims’ Bill of Rights.
“Alex Murdaugh’s guilty plea will finally allow his financial victims to begin the process of healing,” Eric “EB” Bland and Ronnie Richter, attorneys for some of the victims, said in a statement at the time of the plea hearing. “Justice is rarely pretty or perfect, but there should be no confusion that justice was served in this case.”
Murdaugh’s victims will have the opportunity to face him in court, according to Bland and Richter’s statement.
Murdaugh separately pleaded guilty in September to nearly two dozen federal charges that similarly alleged he stole millions of dollars from his clients. He has not been sentenced on those charges.
While Waters said the state plea deal would bring “finality” to the matter of Murdaugh’s financial crimes, his legal saga could continue: Murdaugh started the process to appeal his convictions of the murders of his wife, Maggie, and son, Paul, at the family’s hunting estate in June 2021.
But the appeal is on hold, while his defense team pursues a motion for a new trial based on allegations that Colleton County Clerk of Court Becky Hill tampered with the jury. She has denied those allegations.
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