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Murdaugh Madness Just Won’t Quit

Criminal, civil webs still unspooling …

In case you missed it, the madness surrounding Alex Murdaugh has kept on churning months after the disgraced South Carolina attorney was convicted on two counts of murder and sentenced to life behind bars for those crimes. Those of you following this case know the murder charges against Murdaugh were just the beginning of the odyssey involving this 55-year-old former lawyer – a scion of one of the most powerful families in the Palmetto State.

On March 2, 2023, a Colleton County jury found Murdaugh guilty of killing his wife, 52-year-old Maggie Murdaugh, and his younger son – 22-year-old Paul Murdaugh – back on June 7, 2021 at Moselle, the family’s hunting property. The following day, S.C. circuit court judge Clifton Newman sentenced him to two life sentences.

Murdaugh is also facing a myriad of other charges – including more than 100 counts of alleged financial crimes handed down by the South Carolina statewide grand jury over the past two years. Additionally, he is facing three local charges stemming from a September 2021 roadside shooting incident – the event which initiated his public unraveling. Drug charges have also been filed against Murdaugh and his alleged dealer/ check casher, Curtis “Eddie” Smith – the man accused of shooting him in the head during the roadside incident.

Finally, Murdaugh has been accused of obstruction of justice tied to a fatal 2019 boat crash involving his late son – and has become embroiled in a maze of civil actions (including a high-profile wrongful death case tied to the boat crash, which claimed the life of 19-year-old Mallory Beach of Hampton, S.C.).



Prior to his spectacular unraveling, the Hampton, S.C.-based “House of Murdaugh” enjoyed near-dictatorial power over a five-county region in the southernmost tip of South Carolina. 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.

Last month, this story shifted gears – or at least venues – when Alex Murdaugh was charged federally with 22 counts of wire fraud, bank fraud, conspiracy and money laundering related to alleged schemes to steal money from various individuals and institutions. Murdaugh answered to these charges in U.S. district court in Charleston on Wednesday, May 31, 2023 before magistrate Molly Cherry. As expected, he entered a plea of not guilty – but his attorney Jim Griffin said a follow-up hearing would need to be scheduled soon at which time that plea would likely change.

Why? Because Murdaugh is in a rush to plead guilty to the federal charges … much to the chagrin of state prosecutors (stay tuned for much more on that prosecutorial pissing contest).

Many of the federal charges Murdaugh is facing involve cases covered extensively by the media during the November 2022 federal trial of convicted white collar criminal Russell Laffitte. The former president of Palmetto State Bank (PSB), Laffitte was found guilty of conspiracy, wire fraud, bank fraud and three counts of misapplying bank funds for his role in various Murdaugh-related fleecings.

Other charges stem from a case currently generating significant attention in civil court – the fleecing of two insurance companies (Lloyd’s of London and Nautilus) following the suspicious death of Murdaugh’s longtime housekeeper, Gloria Satterfield. Murdaugh previously signed a confession of judgement acknowledging liability and wrongdoing in the Satterfield case, but his attorneys are now trying to have that confession thrown out.

The Satterfield case has resulted in a federal plea deal and prosecution agreement with another alleged Murdaugh co-conspirator, Beaufort S.C. attorney Cory Fleming – who is referred to as “attorney 2” in the Murdaugh indictment. Fleming entered a guilty plea last month on a federal conspiracy charge – telling the court he was aware Murdaugh was stealing money but that he didn’t know how much.

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(Via: U.S. District Court)

In addition to the federal charges, Murdaugh, Fleming and Laffitte are all facing state charges related to the same alleged scams. n fact, Fleming is scheduled to stand trial on these charges in September while Murdaugh is (or was) expected to stand trial the following month.

State prosecutors are positively livid at the feds for waiting until after this prosecutorial timeline was made public to move forward with their charges against Murdaugh and Fleming.

“This is a textbook political pissing contest,” Los Angeles attorney Sara Azari tweeted in a lengthy thread after the federal charges were filed.

In other Murdaugh-related news, a flurry of civil motions were filed in Hampton County this week by attorneys for wealthy Savannah, Georgia convenience store magnate Greg Parker. After S.C. circuit court judge Daniel Hall refused to dismiss Parker and his company from the aforementioned boat crash case, his attorneys went to work on another case connected to this story.

Parker is also a defendant in a conspiracy lawsuit filed by the Beach family related to the unauthorized disclosure of confidential mediation materials by those in his employ. Both of these cases stem from the February 24, 2019 crash which killed Beach – and thrust the now-notorious Murdaughs into the statewide limelight.

S.C. circuit court judge Bentley Price issued an order last month regarding the alleged disclosure of confidential mediation materials – which were sought by Beach family attorneys Mark Tinsley and Tabor Vaux under subpoena. The documents in question were compiled by a private investigator named Sara Capelli and two companies owned by veteran South Carolina political operative Wesley Donehue. Parker’s attorneys previously argued these documents should be protected under attorney-client privilege.

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Witness Mark Tinsley, the attorney for Mallory Beach’s family, is questioned by prosecutor Creighton Waters during Alex Murdaugh’s trial for murder at the Colleton County Courthouse on Thursday, February 9, 2023. Joshua Boucher/The State/Pool

Last May, Price issued an order stating the materials should be produced to the attorneys for the Beach family within fifteen days. The order issued by Price this May sought to determine which of these documents were not protected under attorney-client privilege.

Last week, Parker’s attorneys submitted a motion to alter or amend Price’s order – arguing he “failed to rule on all of the documents contained within the Parker’s defendants’ privilege log” and allegedly “committed errors of law in finding a number of documents.” According to Parkers’ attorneys, Price failed to address the status of multiple documents “over which the Parker’s defendants have asserted privilege.”

Also last week, Parker’s attorneys filed a motion to compel production of documents requested pursuant to valid subpoenas. In question are investigatory reports authored and compiled Capelli. According to Parker’s attorneys, Tinsley and Vaux obtained these documents without going through the proper channels and procedures, failed to inform the court they had these files, and denied receiving any documents from Capelli.

Parker’s attorneys also state in the motion how these documents were obtained is among many the multiple grounds they have stated in prior pleadings as to why they believe Mark Tinsley should be disqualified. A motion was filed September 27, 2022 requested his disqualification stating Tinsley is a “necessary witness” in the conspiracy case “because his testimony is material and relevant to the issues being litigated in this action.”

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Vicky Ward (Wikimedia Commons)

The filing on September 27 cited information obtained from Vicky Ward — a journalist who co-produced a recent documentary related to the Murdaugh saga. According to Tinsley, Ward told him in September of 2022 that she had recently purchased portions of a “Beach case file” from attorneys representing Parker.

Ward has repeatedly denied purchasing any such materials – and Parker has denied providing them to her.

Nonetheless, the September filing claimed Tinsley was the “only witness (who) could testify to the alleged statements” attributed to Vicky Ward.

“There is no other support for them,” the complaint asserted.

Tinsley disputed that contention – stating he is not required to testify in the upcoming trial because there are other witnesses to Ward’s statements.

“I’m not the only one she said it to,” Tinsley said.

Count on this news outlet to keep our audience in the loop on all the major developments in these various Murdaugh-related prosecutions and civil cases.



Jenn Wood (Provided)

Jenn Wood is FITSNews’ incomparable research director. She’s also the producer of the FITSFiles and Cheer Incorporated podcasts and leading expert on all things Murdaugh/ South Carolina justice. A former private investigator with a criminal justice degree, evildoers beware, Jenn Wood is far from your average journalist! A deep dive researcher with a passion for truth and a heart for victims, this mom of two is pretty much a superhero in FITSNews country. Did we mention she’s married to a rocket scientist? (Lucky guy!) Got a story idea or a tip for Jenn? Email her at



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