Former South Carolina lawyer Alex Murdaugh has been handed a hefty sentence for his role in a state financial crimes case.
The saga, which has attracted national media attention (and an exhilarating Netflix series), has seen Murdaugh fall from grace in a scandalous sequence of events that has embroiled the disgraced attorney in legal battles.
Alex had pleaded guilty earlier this month to 22 counts in the breach of trust, financial fraud, and money laundering case. So, let’s remind ourselves of his many legal troubles.
Back in July 2022, Alex was found guilty of murder.
The murder of his wife and son
The horrific case unfolded over several months and centered around the deaths of his wife, Maggie, and their son, Paul, who was shot and killed in June the prior.
Found shot at their family estate, the brutal crime seemed at first to be a devastating tragedy for the 55-year-old.
However, as investigators began to dig deeper into the case, unsettling revelations about Murdaugh and his family began to surface.
But things got even stranger.
In September 2021, Alex was shot in the head in what appeared to be an assassination attempt.
Yet, he survived the attack, and the narrative took an unsuspecting turn.
It was later revealed that Murdaugh had orchestrated his own shooting in an elaborate suicide-for-insurance scheme to provide for his surviving son.
Alex stole millions in settlement funds from clients
The plot thickened further when investigations into the Murdaughs’ financial affairs unearthed evidence of embezzlement for years.
It was alleged that Alex Murdaugh had stolen millions from his law firm, which led to his arrest and the subsequent charges of misappropriation of funds.
The culmination of these revelations led to the most shocking twist of all.
Alex was charged and found guilty of the murders of his wife and son.
The man who had first appeared as a grieving husband and father was now revealed to be a cold-blooded killer.
A Netflix show based on Alex Murdaugh’s life and controversies captivated audiences not only with its sensational storyline but also with its exploration of deeper themes.
Released in September 2023, it delved into the American legal system’s intricacies, the power dynamics in a small southern town, and how tragedy can unravel even the most prominent families’ lives.
Viewers said it detailed an intimate look into how privilege can shield individuals from justice or exacerbate their downfall. Eric Bland, an attorney for several victims, continued, “I just want you to know that we are very satisfied that this is a very, very strong sentence that has been agreed to by the parties.”
Given Netflix’s track record of producing successful true-crime documentaries and series, this Alex Murdaugh show seemed like a natural fit.
It was one of the most-watched shows on the platform that very same month.
His actions, which included misappropriation of client funds and insurance fraud, have not only stained his reputation but also left deep scars on the victims of his wrongdoings, including his deceased family members.
The court’s gavel came down hard on Alex Murdaugh on Tuesday, sentencing him to 27 years in prison for his involvement in several financial crimes.
Murdaugh’s case has been one of the most high-profile financial crime investigations in recent times, which was followed by a slew of shocking revelations.
Alex’s devious and troubling ways
The disgraced attorney was found guilty of siphoning off funds from his law firm and clients, which he used to maintain a lavish lifestyle.
“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,” Alex’s former friend, Jordan Jinks, said in court.
Jinks had previously hired Alex after getting injured in a 2016 car crash.
“I didn’t want to come up here and bash you, but I got to ask you, what kind of animal are you?”
He tricked his clients out of millions
His actions were not just a blatant disregard for the law, but a gross betrayal of the trust placed in him by his clients and associates, per NBC News.
Alex was also accused of cheating the estate of former housekeeper, Gloria Satterfield, who died at the Murdaugh family home after a “trip and fall accident.
He allegedly cheated the family out of a $4 million settlement.
Her son, Michael, told Alex in the courtroom, “You lied, you cheated, you stole. You betrayed me and my family and everybody else.”
He continued, “I want you to know that I forgive you. I will pray for you every day.”
Meanwhile, chief prosecutor Creighton Waters had said that the reason why a lot of victims of Alex hadn’t come forward was because they didn’t believe justice would be served.
People feared coming forward
“There was a palpable fear because of the power, because of the influence, because of the belief that nothing would be done,” he said.
“I heard over and over again, ‘Mr. Waters, I have to live there. You don’t know what they are capable of.'”