Alex Murdaugh Returns to South Carolina Amid New Accusations He Worked With Satterfied Family For Payout: SLED

Alex Murdaugh appears in two mug shots. The first, left, when he turned himself into South Carolina authorities in September, and the second, right, when he was arrested upon release from an Orlando, Florida drug rehabilitation facility.
Alex Murdaugh will be in court Tuesday morning for a bond hearing.Handout

Alex Murdaugh was arrested upon release from a Florida drug rehabilitation facility, and returned to South Carolina ahead of a bond hearing in Richland County Tuesday morning.

Alex Murdaugh has been returned to South Carolina following his arrest in Florida on two felony charges related to former housekeeper Gloria Satterfield’s settlement, which he allegedly worked with Satterfield’s family to obtain, South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) said in a newly released affidavit.

"Mr. Murdaugh coordinated with (Gloria) Satterfield's family to sue himself in order to seek an insurance settlement with the stated intent to give the proceeds to the Satterfield family to pay for funeral expenses and monetary compensation for Satterfield's children,” according to the affidavit released by SLED Saturday, CNN reported.

The new accusations and arrest comes after a lawsuit last month the Satterfield family filed against Murdaugh, claiming they never received any of the $4.3 million they were owed in her wrongful death settlement. Satterfield slipped and fell while working on Murdaugh's property in 2018, which ultimately led to her death.

The affidavits alleged that after the insurance settlement was brokered, Murdaugh directed the attorney to write a check in the amount of what was owed to the family to a bank account he personally owned, CNN reported.

Murdaugh then attempted to move settlement money away from Satterfield's heirs by making checks of the correct amount to the incorrect recipient, then mailed to a P.O. Box in Hampton County, South Carolina, according to photos of the checks shared in the September lawsuit, published by the Slate.

Eric Bland, attorney to the Satterfield family, disputed the accusations. “These were legitimate claims that were brought in connection with Gloria Satterfield’s death,” he told CNN. “The claim was not fabricated and Alex appropriately referred them to an attorney.”

The attorney, Cory Fleming, that was referred to Satterfield’s sons Tony Satterfield and Brian Harriot, was actually college roommates with Murdaugh, according to Island Packet.

Bland added in his statement that Satterfield’s family “was unaware of the extremely close relationship between Fleming and Alex Murdaugh,” according to CNN.

Fleming did eventually refer another associate take over the case as the Satterfield’s family’s representative, Island Packet reported.

He has also come out to apologize for his role in the settlement, and said he was also deceived by Murdaugh in the insurance payout to Satterfield’s family, according to a statement shared by Island Packet.

“When it came time to disburse the settlement funds, Mr. Fleming trusted his close friend and colleague to deal with him truthfully and honorably, only to be misled and deceived in one of the worst possible ways for a lawyer: Alex Murdaugh lied to Mr. Fleming to steal client funds,” the statement said, according to Island Packet.

The law firm he had been a partner at for the last 25 years – once known as Moss Kuhn & Fleming – appears to have scrubbed Fleming’s name from their website, Island Packet reported. The law firm also now appears to have renamed itself to Moss & Kuhn.

Fleming had received an interim suspension from his firm earlier this month, and had his license to practice law suspended by the South Carolina Supreme Court shortly after.

Murdaugh is currently being held at the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center in Columbia, according to inmate records, after having been arrested upon release from an Orlando drug rehabilitation facility and waiving extradition proceedings. He is facing two counts of obtaining property by false pretenses.

He will face a bond hearing in Richland County Tuesday morning.

"Alex intends to fully cooperate with this investigation, as he has with the investigation into the murder of his wife and son," Murdaugh's attorneys Dick Harpootlian and Jim Griffin said in a statement in response to the most recent charges, according to CNN. "He deeply regrets that his actions have distracted from the efforts to solve their murders."

The Murdaughs, once a prominent South Carolina family, have been under scrutiny since the double homicide of Murdaugh's son and wife in June, in which he has been named a person of interest, his attorney Jim Griffin said.

Related Stories