A virtual bond hearing has been scheduled for disgraced South Carolina attorney Alex Murdaugh, who was recently hit with 27 felony charges related to financial crimes, according to South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson‘s Office.
The bond hearing on Murdaugh’s 27 new charges will be held online at 9 a.m. Friday, according to Wilson’s office.
Judge Alison Lee will preside over the hearing Friday due to a recent move by the S.C. Supreme Court.
Judge Clifton Newman was hand-picked in September to handle criminal matters related to Alex Murdaugh. Last week, the S.C. Supreme court issued an order stating that the current responding judge of the state grand jury will handle initial bail matters for Alex Murdaugh on charges that were brought by the state grand jury.
Lee is the current judge over the state grand jury.
Lee has been criticized by this news outlet multiple times for giving bond to violent offenders in the past.
In fact, she was blocked from becoming a federal judge because of her penchant for excessive judicial leniency.
Lee also was denied a seat on the S.C. appeals court because lawmakers were concerned about her doling out bond to violent criminals.
According to Wilson’s office, Lee made the decision to hold the bond hearing online, which has been “her common and usual practice throughout the pandemic.”
Murdaugh, 53, who was named a person of interest in the June 7 murders of his wife, Maggie, and son Paul, has been held without bond in the Richland County Detention Center for over a month on larceny charges in the Satterfield case.
On November 19, the South Carolina Grand Jury handed down five indictments against Murdaugh — totaling in 27 new felony charges.
The new indictments include:
- 7 counts of money laundering
- 7 counts of obtaining signature or property by false pretenses
- 8 counts of computer crimes
- 1 count of forgery
- 4 counts of breach of trust with fraudulent intent.
The indictments involve alleged crimes from five South Carolina counties — Bamberg, Orangeburg, Beaufort, Colleton and Allendale.
The bulk of the stolen money — nearly $3.5 million — was taken from the Satterfield family in Beaufort County. None of the charges stem from cases in Murdaugh’s home county of Hampton County — where he worked at the law firm started by his great-grandfather, Peters, Murdaugh, Parker, Eltzroth and Detrick (PMPED), until he resigned in September just a day before an alleged suicide-for-hire incident.
The 27 counts are a result of a multi-agency investigation involving the S.C. state grand jury, South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED), FBI and the S.C. Attorney General’s Office.
In November, Murdaugh’s “bulldog” defense team filed a habeas corpus appeal with the S.C. Supreme Court in an attempt to get Murdaugh out of jail after the court ruled that he was a danger to himself and society. That petition has not been heard yet.
According to sources close to the investigation, even if Lee grants bond on Friday, Newman’s decision would still stick and Alex Murdaugh would remain behind bars.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR..
Mandy Matney is the news director at FITSNews. She’s an investigative journalist from Kansas who has worked for newspapers in Missouri, Illinois, and South Carolina before making the switch to FITS. She currently lives on Hilton Head Island where she enjoys beach life. Mandy also hosts the Murdaugh Murders podcast. Want to contact Mandy? Send your tips to [email protected].