Murdaugh’s financial dealings with a father-of-three lawyer and his son, Tony, were unintentionally defrauded
Attorneys for Murdaugh have previously acknowledged he struggles with an opiate addiction, and prosecutors showed evidence to support that claim on Friday.
Another prosecution witness this week spoke about Murdaugh’s financial dealings. The chief financial officer of the law firm told a jury that Murdaugh had been confronted about missing funds in the morning of June 7. Afterward, his coworkers offered him sympathy and gave him a reprieve on the financial issues.
Wilson is one of a series of witnesses who have accused Murdaugh of extensive financial wrongdoing at his namesake law firm. Murdaugh killed his wife and son in an attempt to distract attention from his financial crimes and a day of reckoning, prosecutors argued.
Prosecutors also have presented evidence that Murdaugh had opportunity to commit the murders. Audio from a Snapchat video recovered from his son’s phone places Murdaugh at the murder scene, prosecutors contend, contrary to his alibi to investigators that he was not there that night.
There is a lot more evidence about financial wrongdoing than about guilt in a murder case. The defence lawyer said last week that this was all about that.
He and Murdaugh had worked on a personal injury case together and won a verdict of $5.5 million, with each attorney earning about $792,000. Murdaugh asked Wilson to write the check to him personally rather than his law firm, and Wilson did as requested.
Much of the testimony this week has focused on Murdaugh’s financial issues. The judge overseeing the case said on Monday that proof of it would be needed to complete the story.
Also in court Thursday, Michael “Tony” Satterfield, the son of Murdaugh’s former housekeeper Gloria Satterfield, testified about being defrauded by Murdaugh.
Satterfield testified that his family heard of the settlement through media reports. He said when he asked Murdaugh about it in June 2021, Murdaugh told him “it was still making progress” and to be ready to settle by the end of the year.
Timing the Murdaugh Murders: Paul, Melody Beach, Mallory Beach and Anthony Cook, Malinowski and Vanessa Turrubiate-Simpson
Further, the CEO of a local bank testified for the jury that Murdaugh’s account was overdrafted by about $350,000. As of August 2021, Murdaugh had a total debt to the bank of $4.2 million, according to Palmetto State Bank CEO Jan Malinowski.
“Murdaugh Murders” features interviews with several key figures, including Paul’s girlfriend, Morgan Doughty; Mallory Beach’s friends Miley Altman and Connor Cook; and Mallory’s boyfriend, Anthony Cook. Mark Tinsley, an attorney for Beach’s family, lays out evidence of incidents when Paul and the Murdaughs were treated differently by authorities, which includes the fatal boating accident.
On Thursday, the prosecution asked Tinsley about how that lawsuit was proceeding. He testified he was seeking $10 million from Murdaugh, but was told Murdaugh was broke and might only be able to come up with $1 million. Tinsley was not cross-examined Thursday and is expected to resume his testimony Friday morning.
The CFO testified that the CFO wouldn’t harass him about money when he was worried about his mental state and his family had been killed.
Indeed, that “day of reckoning” didn’t come for another three months, when his law firm again confronted him about misappropriated funds, leading to his resignation, a bizarre murder-for-hire and insurance scam plot, a stint in rehab, dozens of financial crimes, his disbarment and, ultimately, the murder charges.
The defense has said the June 10 civil hearing was not a “day of reckoning” but just one in a series of hearings. Murdaugh faces 99 charges for various financial crimes – but those charges will be adjudicated in a separate case and are unrelated to the murders.
The day after Alex Murdaugh heard about the deaths of the Murdaugh family, he asked Turrubiate-Simpson if she was a friend.
“She was concerned about the amount of money that they were requesting in that lawsuit – $30 million is what she told me,” Turrubiate-Simpson said. She said she knew how much money they were asking for.
“He said there was going to be people probably stopping by and bringing food and stuff,” Turrubiate-Simpson said. “He said I just want the house to look the way Maggie would like for it to look. So, I said OK and I went to the house.”
The clerk of court in South Carolina said some Murdaugh relatives had to sit farther back in the courtroom this week due to inappropriate contact and conduct.
In court Wednesday, Alex Murdaugh’s sister Lynn Murdaugh Goettee passed him a book through a member of his defense team. It was not shared with the victim’s advocate, and Goettee had been admonished just five minutes before that, a source with knowledge of the incident told CNN.
Mark Tinsley’s testimony was reported as the one that began when Buster Murdaugh allegedly made an obscene gesture. It was wrong about John Grisham book being taken from Alex Murdaugh.
Hill said the youngerMurdaugh was admonished for the incident. Lynn Murdaugh Goettee and Buster Murdaugh have been warned that any more violations will result in them being barred from the courtroom.
The testimony was interrupted when a bomb threat was called into the clerk’s office, and the courthouse was evacuated. Court resumed hours later.
The lawyers estimated that the closing argument could start around February 23, weeks after the originally scheduled end date.
The state and defense need at least a week to finish their case, but the defense could use less time because of how long the testimony has been.
The defense has out-of-state expert witnesses who will require travel and lodging, Harpootlian said, pointing out the length of the state’s case is making that difficult and expensive to schedule. The state has called 44 witnesses so far and introduced more than 400 exhibits.
Harpootlian planned to ask the judge to let jurors visit Moselle, the hunting property where Maggie and Paul Murdaugh were killed, he said in opening statements.
Alex Murdaugh’s attorneys on Tuesday called his surviving son to testify in the disgraced South Carolina attorney’s double murder trial, as the defense tries to counter prosecutors’ allegations Murdaugh killed his wife and younger son.
Buster Murdaugh was called as the defense’s first witness of the day. He is expected to be followed by anaccident reconstructionist, who will most likely focus on the findings of the investigators and what conclusions they came from, a source told CNN.
Last week, the defense proposed that the killings could be related to a financial dispute with a drug gang, saying Murdaugh was buying $50,000 worth of drugs each week from a man with significant debt to a gang.
Coroner Harvey and the Murdaugh Family: The Case for a Killing of a Canine Paradox on a Boat in South Carolina
Upon returning home to the family’s sprawling estate, he told investigators, he found the bodies of his wife and son on the ground by their dog kennels and called 911.
Colleton County Coroner Richard Harvey, the defense’s first witness on Friday, said he estimated Paul and Maggie’s times of death to be around 9 p.m. on June 7, 2021, based on body temperature checks.
An almost minute-long video filmed on Paul’s phone beginning at 8:44 p.m. shows one of the family dogs and appears to have been taken at the kennels, Lt. The supervisor of the computer crimes center at the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division testified.
In his opening statement, defense attorney Dick Harpootlian said the audio showed Murdaugh and his wife having a “normal discussion” with “no animosity.” Harpootlian said that Paul was very happy. Nobody is threatening him. Daddy is not pulling out a shotgun and killing him.”
Landing on Netflix as the trial of Alex Murdaugh continues, “Murdaugh Murders: A Southern Scandal” will certainly benefit from its timeliness, but this three-part production isn’t as compelling as its subject matter. The project feels like it was written from the beginning to the end and finds the younger crowd to be poorly narrators of what transpired.
The producers of the docuseries decided not to use a narrator in the show but to let the group of friends who were washed up in the tragic boat accident speak for themselves.
Those who were on board speak of Paul, who often drank excessively, driving the boat, and the Murdaugh family – thanks to patriarch Alex, a well-connected South Carolina attorney – allegedly using its wealth and influence over the authorities to protect him.
There are inconsistencies in the Murdaughs’ story, including the case of Gloria Satterfield, who they claimed was injured by the family dog and died.