South Carolina’s statewide grand jury handed down additional indictments against convicted killer Alex Murdaugh last week, sources familiar with the situation confirmed to this news outlet.
Murdaugh was indicted last Thursday (April 20, 2023) on multiple charges related to alleged income tax evasion, the sources confirmed. A formal release related to these charges is reportedly coming this week from the office of attorney general Alan Wilson – whose prosecutors are handling all of the charges against Murdaugh and his network of alleged co-conspirators.
The income tax evasion charges would represent the first criminal indictments handed down against Murdaugh since Wilson’s office (narrowly) secured guilty verdicts against him on two counts of murder and related weapons charges in connection with the savage 2021 slayings of his wife and younger son.
Murdaugh, 54, was convicted on March 2, 2023 by a Colleton County jury of killing his wife, 52-year-old Maggie Murdaugh, and younger son, 22-year-old Paul Murdaugh, on June 7, 2021 at Moselle, the family’s hunting property. He was sentenced him to life in prison the following day.
Murdaugh’s trial – the main event of the ‘Murdaugh Murders’ crime and corruption saga – garnered international attention given his status as a member of one of the Palmetto State’s most influential legal dynasties. Three generations of Murdaughs – including Alex’s late father, Randolph Murdaugh III – held the post of S.C. fourteenth circuit solicitor between 1920-2006. Murdaugh himself was a badge-carrying assistant solicitor in the office at the time of his spectacular unraveling in 2021.
According to the prosecution’s theory of motive, Murdaugh executed his family members in the hopes of postponing a day of reckoning regarding his alleged “schemes to defraud” victims of nearly $9 million. Prior to his murder trial, Murdaugh was already facing nearly 100 criminal charges related to those schemes.
This is not the first time Murdaugh has been indicted on tax charges. Last December, he was accused of failing to report nearly $7 million of income “earned through illegal acts” between 2011-2019. According to prosecutors, this deprived the state of nearly $500,000 in revenue.
A source close to the latest round of indictments hinted they addressed the “two years we were waiting to get more information on.” That would certainly imply the indictments relate to Murdaugh’s income from 2020 and 2021 – although we will await the formal release from Wilson’s office.
According to S.C. Code of Laws (§ 12-54-44), it is a crime in the Palmetto State “to evade or defeat a tax or property assessment imposed by a title administered by the (state) or the payment of that tax or property assessment.”
What is the status of the charges against Murdaugh?
As we reported last week, S.C. circuit court judge Clifton Newman – who is presiding over all the Murdaugh-related cases – held a status conference on Friday at the Hampton County courthouse in Hampton, S.C. At that conference, trial dates were set for several individuals linked to his alleged financial crimes – including Beaufort, S.C. attorney Corey Fleming, who is facing more than twenty criminal charges tied to at least two of Murdaugh’s alleged fleecings.
In addition to the financial crimes he stands accused of committing, Murdaugh is also staring down drug charges and allegations of obstruction of justice tied to a fatal 2019 boat crash involving his late son. He and one of his check cashers, Curtis “Eddie” Smith, are also facing fraud charges tied to a bizarre roadside shooting incident on Labor Day weekend in September of 2021 that attracted international headlines.
Smith was recently released from a Midlands, South Carolina detention center after Newman reinstated his bond for cooperating with prosecutors during Murdaugh’s double homicide trial.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR …
Will Folks is the founding editor of the news outlet you are currently reading. Prior to founding FITSNews, he served as press secretary to the governor of South Carolina. He lives in the Midlands region of the state with his wife and seven children.
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