Murdaugh mystery: Alex Murdaugh to turn himself in on insurance fraud charge

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HAMPTON COUNTY, S.C. (NewsNation Now) — A prominent South Carolina lawyer who found the bodies of his wife and son three months ago and tried to arrange his own death earlier this month will turn himself in to law enforcement on Thursday, his attorneys say.

According to Alex Murdaugh’s attorney, Jim Griffin, a warrant was issued Wednesday for Murdaugh’s arrest on a charge of conspiracy to commit insurance fraud.

On Tuesday, we learned Alex Murdaugh tried to arrange his own death so his son would get a $10 million life insurance payment, but the planned fatal shot only grazed his head, state police said.

This photo provided by the Colleton County sheriff’s office shows Curtis Edward Smith. (Colleton County Sheriffs Office via AP)

He was shot while changing a tire on a rural county road Sept. 4.

The shooter, Curtis Edward Smith, was charged with assisted suicide, insurance fraud and several other counts in the shooting of Murdaugh on a lonely highway in Hampton County, the State Law Enforcement Division said in a statement.

The shooting came just days after Murdaugh resigned from his law firm over accusations of misallocating millions of dollars in funds, which Murdaugh vowed to repay to the firm. He also announced that he would be entering rehab for an opioid addiction.

Murdaugh apologized and said that the recent murder of his wife and son exacerbated his issues.

“The murders of my wife and son have caused an incredibly difficult time in my life. I have made a lot of decisions that I truly regret,” Murdaugh said without going into details.

A few hours later, the PMPED Law Firm announced Murdaugh had taken money from the business and was fired from the firm. The amount of money has not been announced.

Still unsolved are the June 7 killings of 52-year-old Maggie Murdaugh and her 22-year-old son Paul Murdaugh. Alex Murdaugh discovered the bodies of his wife and son at their Colleton County home. Both had been shot multiple times.

Margaret Murdaugh, left and Paul Murdaugh, right, were found shot dead at family hunting lodge in Colleton County in June. (Photo via WSAV)

Along with the killings of Maggie and Paul Murdaugh and the shooting of Alex Murdaugh, SLED is investigating the missing money, whether anyone tried to obstruct an investigation into a 2019 boat crash in which Paul Murdaugh was eventually charged and a July 2015 hit-and-run death in Hampton County.

On Wednesday, we learned South Carolina investigators are also now looking into the death Murdaugh’s former housekeeper.

The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) made the announcement, adding investigators will also be looking into the handling of Gloria Satterfield’s estate.

Satterfield died in 2018 after what was described as a trip and fall accident at the Murdaugh’s home. Satterfield’s death was not reported to the corner at the time, nor was an autopsy performed, according to the Hampton County Coroner’s Office.

A lawsuit was filed Wednesday against Alex Murdaugh concerning the delayed payment of $500,000 awarded in a wrongful death settlement involving Satterfield.

In 2018, the wrongful death claim was filed on behalf of Satterfield’s two sons, Michael Satterfield and Brian Harriott. The new lawsuit claims that following Satterfield’s death, Alex Murdaugh said “he was going to take care of the boys because he was going to ‘sue [himself]’ for the death.”

Murdaugh admitted negligence and that he was at fault, and the parties came to a settlement of $505,000.

However, according to the recently filed lawsuit, “Tony and Brian did not participate in the settlement negotiations; Neither Tony, nor Brian signed any settlement agreements; Neither Tony, nor Brian, were told that any money was recovered for them.”

NewsNation spoke with WCBD reporter Riley Benson about the latest developments in the case.

The suit demands a jury trial and calls for “real answers to… questions surrounding the death of [Satterfield] and the disposition of the monies supposedly paid for their benefit.”

Murdaugh’s father, grandfather and great-grandfather all held the office of solicitor in the area for more than 80 years, and other family members were prominent civil attorneys in the region.

Murdaugh’s bond hearing is set for 4:00 p.m. Thursday at the Hampton County Magistrate Court.

NewsNation affiliate WCBD and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

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