However now, the household has been carefully related to a bloody tragedy, allegations of embezzlement and a weird murder-for-hire plot to attain tens of millions in life insurance coverage.
The most recent blow to the household’s identify got here this week as Alex Murdaugh was indicted on a cost of homicide for the 2021 killings of his spouse and son.
So what had been the twists and turns that led up to now? This is a timeline of every part we all know concerning the Murdaugh household saga:
Over three generations, a member of the Murdaugh household has served because the 14th Circuit Solicitor, which leads prosecutions for Allendale, Beaufort, Colleton, Hampton and Jasper counties within the southern a part of South Carolina.
Randolph Murdaugh Sr. was elected to the 14th Circuit Solicitor’s Workplace in 1920 and served within the place till his demise in 1940.
His son, Randolph Murdaugh Jr., then took over the place and served till his retirement in 1986.
Murdaugh Jr.’s son, Randolph Murdaugh III, was then elected to the function in 1987 and served via the tip of 2005. Alex Murdaugh is his son.
Gloria Satterfield, a housekeeper for the Murdaugh household, dies in what’s described as a “journey and fall accident” on the Murdaugh house, in line with lawyer Eric Bland, who’s representing her property.
After Satterfield’s demise, a $500,000 wrongful demise declare was filed towards Alex Murdaugh on behalf of her property, Bland mentioned.
A ship crashes at a bridge close to Parris Island in Beaufort County, South Carolina, on February 24, killing 19-year-old Mallory Seaside, in line with the South Carolina Legal professional Normal in paperwork obtained by CNN.
Six folks had been on board the boat on the time of the crash, together with Alex Murdaugh’s 19-year-old son, Paul. Murdaugh owns the boat.
Stone, the solicitor, recuses himself from the case due to private connections.
Paul Murdaugh is indicted in April on fees of cruising below the affect (BUI) inflicting nice bodily hurt and inflicting demise in connection to the crash, court docket information present. He pleads not responsible.
Summer season 2021
June 15: The state legislation enforcement division releases primary details about the June 7 killings, saying Alex Murdaugh known as 911 at 10:07 p.m. and investigators collected proof that night time and the following morning.
June 22: The state legislation enforcement division reopens an investigation into the unsolved demise of 19-year-old Stephen Smith, whose physique was discovered on the highway in 2015 in Hampton County. The company says the probe is being reopened based mostly on info gathered whereas investigating the deaths of Maggie and Paul Murdaugh.
June 25: Alex Murdaugh and his different son, Buster, announce a $100,000 reward for info resulting in the conviction of the particular person or individuals liable for the killings of Maggie and Paul.
September 3: Alex Murdaugh resigns from the legislation agency Peters, Murdaugh, Parker, Eltzroth & Detrick (PMPED), in line with the agency.
September 7: The legislation agency says Murdaugh resigned “after the invention by PMPED that Alex misappropriated funds in violation of PMPED requirements and insurance policies.”
“That is disappointing information for all of us. Relaxation assured that our agency will cope with this in a simple method. There is not any place in our agency for such habits,” the legislation agency says in a press release. PMPED says it plans to retain a forensic accounting agency “to conduct a radical investigation” and has contacted legislation enforcement and the South Carolina Bar.
September 8: The South Carolina Supreme Court docket points an order suspending Alex Murdaugh’s license to apply legislation within the state.
In response to the court docket, his license “is suspended till additional order of this Court docket.” The 14th Circuit Solicitor’s Workplace additionally confirmed to CNN that Murdaugh was stripped of his privilege of prosecuting instances as a volunteer.
September 10: A household spokesperson points a press release about Alex Murdaugh’s taking pictures that signifies the harm was extra critical than a superficial wound.
“After the taking pictures, Alex had an entry and exit wound, his cranium was fractured and it was not a self-inflicted bullet wound,” in line with the assertion.
The spokesperson additionally added extra particulars about what led as much as the incident.
“Alex pulled over after seeing a low tire indicator mild. A male driver in a blue pickup requested him if he had automotive troubles, as quickly as Alex replied, he was shot,” the assertion mentioned.
September 13: The state legislation enforcement division releases a press release saying it has opened an investigation into Alex Murdaugh “based mostly upon allegations that he misappropriated funds in connection to his place as a former lawyer with the Peters, Murdaugh, Parker, Eltzroth, & Detrick (PMPED) legislation agency in Hampton, South Carolina.”
Curtis Edward Smith, 61, who allegedly shot Murdaugh, was charged with assisted suicide, assault and battery of a excessive and aggravated nature, pointing and presenting a firearm, insurance coverage fraud and conspiracy to commit insurance coverage fraud, in line with the state legislation enforcement division.
Prepare dinner — who filed the lawsuit — additionally alleges that Alex Murdaugh ought to have been conscious that his underage son, Paul, had alcohol points and shouldn’t have been allowed to make use of his boat. The lawsuit claims that Alex Murdaugh was negligent in his actions and that he deliberately inflicted emotional misery on Prepare dinner.
September 26: The legislation agency Peters, Murdaugh, Parker, Eltzroth & Detrick, the place Alex Murdaugh was as soon as a accomplice, points a press release claiming he “lied and stole from us.”
“We had been shocked and dismayed to study that Alex violated our rules and code of ethics. He lied and he stole from us,” PMPED mentioned in a press release on their web site. They mentioned no member of the agency was conscious of “Alex’s scheme” or his drug dependancy, acknowledged by his lawyer in an interview beforehand with NBC’s “In the present day.”
The agency additionally mentioned it nonetheless has “a number of questions on Alex and what has just lately come to mild” and vowed to proceed aiding legislation enforcement.
After Satterfield died, a $500,000 wrongful demise declare was filed towards Murdaugh on behalf of her property, Bland advised CNN. The property has not obtained any of the cash owed as the results of a 2018 civil settlement, in line with lawyer Eric Bland, who’s representing her property.
The agency’s grievance learn, partly: “PMPED has decided that Alex Murdaugh was capable of covertly steal these funds by disguising disbursements from settlements as funds to an annuity firm, belief account or structured settlement for purchasers or as structured lawyer’s charges that he had earned when in reality they had been deposited into the fictional account at Financial institution of America.”
The grievance additionally claims Murdaugh “used agency property in an unauthorized method and with out the consent or data of his different shareholders to additional his scheme to defraud.”
He was charged with two felony counts of acquiring property by false pretenses, the South Carolina Regulation Enforcement Division mentioned.
October 15: Alex Murdaugh waives an extradition listening to in Florida, in line with the Orange County Corrections Workplace, and returns to South Carolina a day later to face fees associated to the misappropriation of settlement funds.
The waiver of extradition, supplied by Orange County Corrections, mentioned Murdaugh agreed to “waive the issuance and repair (warrant) and all different procedures incidental to extradition proceedings,” and agreed to stay in custody with out bail.
“There isn’t a method this court docket can set a bond at the moment,” Decide Clifton Newman mentioned. “I’m due to this fact denying bond at the moment and would require Mr. Murdaugh to bear a psychiatric analysis to be submitted to the court docket for additional consideration at a later date.”
October 22: State police in South Carolina launch an audio recording of the 911 calls made after Alex Murdaugh was shot on a roadway in September in what authorities allege was a failed insurance coverage fraud scheme.
The recordings embody two calls made by Murdaugh himself and a 3rd made by passersby, who advised the 911 dispatcher they didn’t cease as a result of the scene “seems to be like a setup.”
“The Satterfields and the legislation agency have reconciled their variations,” lawyer Eric Bland, who represents the Satterfield property, advised CNN on the time.
“After contemplating the arguments of counsel, the (psychiatric) analysis submitted, pending fees and different investigations, and the obvious character and psychological situation of the defendant, the Court docket finds that the Defendant is a hazard each to himself and the group,” Newman’s order reads.
The indictments embody 4 counts of breach of belief with fraudulent intent; seven counts of acquiring signature or property by false pretenses; seven counts of cash laundering; eight counts of laptop crimes; and one rely of forgery.
“Altogether, Murdaugh is charged with respect to alleged schemes to defraud victims and thereafter launder $4,853,488.09,” mentioned the Legal professional Normal’s workplace in a information launch.
The extra indictments convey the overall variety of fees confronted by Murdaugh to 48 after a state grand jury investigation. All the fees stem from an alleged wide-ranging scheme that sought to defraud victims of greater than $6 million.
The recent indictments allege Murdaugh stole greater than $2.2 million meant for 4 purchasers. The brand new fees embody 19 counts of breach of belief with fraudulent intent and 4 counts of laptop crimes.
Murdaugh now faces a complete of 71 fees stemming from accusations he defrauded victims of practically $8.5 million in numerous schemes.
The exhumation stems from a Hampton County coroner’s request that led to the state legislation enforcement division opening a prison investigation into Satterfield’s demise.
“The decedent’s demise was not reported to the Coroner on the time, nor was an post-mortem carried out. On the demise certificates the style of demise was dominated ‘Pure,’ which is inconsistent with accidents sustained in a visit and fall accident,” the coroner’s request to the legislation enforcement division mentioned.
June 28: Alex Murdaugh and former acquaintance Curtis Edward Smith are indicted on two counts of prison conspiracy by a South Carolina state grand jury, in line with an announcement from South Carolina Legal professional Normal Alan Wilson.
Smith allegedly shot Murdaugh in an tried insurance coverage rip-off in June 2021, in line with SLED.
The indictment supplies particulars of Murdaugh giving Smith “tons of of checks with the frequent understanding that SMITH would convert the checks into money.” The indictment states that over a variety of years, the proceeds went to Murdaugh’s “profit with the intent of carrying on and concealing myriad illegal actions.”
The fees towards the 2 males concerned “roughly 437 checks totaling roughly $2.4 million that went from Murdaugh to Smith from October 7, 2013 via February 28, 2021,” mentioned a information launch from Wilson’s workplace.
Smith was additionally indicted on 4 counts of cash laundering over $100,000, forgery and “three different drug offenses, together with allegedly trafficking over ten grams of methamphetamine,” the discharge mentioned.