Disgraced legal scion Alex Murdaugh was paraded on a leash Thursday as he appeared in a South Carolina court for the first time since he was given two life sentences for the murder of his wife and son.
Murdaugh, 65, appeared before Beaufort County Court Judge Clifton Newman to set a hearing date for the first of his trials stemming from his alleged $8.8 million fraud.
Murdaugh was brought into the courtroom in an orange prison jumpsuit and handcuffs, and on a leash controlled by three officers, a live feed showed.
The convicted murderer appeared to have lost weight behind bars and was seen grimacing at times as his lawyers attempted to delay his trial date until next fall, along with a change of venue.
Murdaugh’s attorney, South Carolina state Sen. Dick Harpootlian, a Democrat, argued in vain that his client could not get a fair trial in the Palmetto State on the 101 state charges related to financial crimes against him.
“Where are you going to get a jury? “Mars?” Harpootlian asked the judge, who also presided over Murdaugh’s trial for murdering his wife, Maggie, and his son, Paul.
Murdered convict Alex Murdaugh was led on a leash to Beaufort County Courthouse Thursday. News 19 WLTX
The belt was controlled by three agents. News 19 WLTX
“This case was tried and finished six months ago … on national television,” he said of the televised trial, the outcome of which Murdaugh is appealing over allegations that the court clerk improperly influenced the jury.
Newman responded sharply to Harpootlian, saying he “wasn’t assuming that a jury can’t be formed…based on speculation.”
“First you have to get a jury, according to the law,” the judge reprimanded, while setting the trial date for November 27 in the case that the state considered most serious: the alleged theft of some 3.5 million dollars from the estate of Gloria Satterfield. , a long-time family servant who died under suspicious circumstances at the Murdaugh residence in 2018.
Murdaugh listened as a judge set a Nov. 27 hearing date in connection with his alleged theft of millions of dollars from the family of his former housekeeper Gloria Satterfield, who died suspiciously at her home. News 19 WLTX
Murdaugh allegedly set up his children with his cohort, personal injury attorney Cory Fleming, ordering him to send the death settlement checks to his own bank account and tell his family that the settlement was never reached. .
Murdaugh also faces federal charges in connection with the alleged fraud, and was expected to plead guilty to a litany of charges next week in a Charleston court, marking the first time he would face any of his misdeeds.
He is charged with money laundering, wire fraud, bank fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and bank fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud in connection with his alleged decades-long fraud of client agreements.
Alex Murdaugh was seen communicating with his attorneys, but did not address the court. AP
The admitted opioid addict is also accused of stealing $7 million from his family’s law firm and laundering $2.4 million through a drug ring he helped run.
Murdaugh also allegedly hired his drug dealer to shoot him to death so his surviving son, Buster, would receive a $10 million life insurance payout, but the bumbling hitman botched the job and delivered a non-fatal shot. in the head. He is also accused of evading nearly half a million dollars in state taxes.
Murdaugh was seen whispering with his lawyers on Thursday, but did not address the court.
There were also hearings for his co-defendants Fleming, who is awaiting state sentencing after pleading guilty in the Satterfield case, and former banker Russell Laffitte, who was convicted by the feds of helping him orchestrate his vast fraud ring and is awaiting court sentencing. . rehearsal.