Murdaugh Saga: Status Hearing Scheduled For Alleged Co-Conspirators

Cory Fleming and Russell Laffitte set to appear in court in Kingstree, S.C.

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The tangled web woven by convicted killer Alex Murdaugh is continuing to unravel for his co-conspirators. After learning their fates in federal court earlier this month, convicted fraudster Russell Laffitte and disgraced attorney Cory Fleming are due in Kingstree, South Carolina on Wednesday (August 23, 2023) for a status hearing on their state charges in front of circuit court judge Clifton Newman.

Both Laffitte and Fleming have been charged with assisting Murdaugh in multiple fleecings – depriving victims of millions of dollars.

According to attorney Eric Bland of Lexington, S.C., Fleming will be pleading guilty at the Kingstree hearing to at least some of the state charges filed against him. Bland added Fleming’s state sentencing would be scheduled at a later date.

Fleming’s attorney, Deborah Barbier of Columbia, S.C. declined to confirm reports of a plea deal, saying she could not comment on tomorrow’s hearing until it had concluded.

At this point, it is unclear whether Laffitte – who is currently appealing his federal convictions – also plans to plead guilty to the state charges he is facing.

Laffitte – the former chief executive officer of Palmetto State Bank (PSB) – was sentenced to seven years in federal prison on August 1, 2023 for his role in facilitating the financial schemes of Murdaugh. Laffitte was also ordered to pay $3.56 million in restitution.

(Click to View)

Corey Fleming (Sheriff Al Cannon Detention Center)

A motion (.pdf) filed in federal court last week indicated Laffitte had received his “designation letter” from the U.S. Marshals Service – notifying him he must report to them no later than 12:00 p.m. EDT on Thursday September 14, 2023. Laffitte was granted a one-week extension by the government and is now scheduled to report on September 21, 2023. In addition to his federal convictions, Laffitte is facing more than twenty state charges related to the Murdaugh saga.

Fleming — a former Beaufort, S.C. attorney – reached a deal with federal prosecutors to plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud earlier this year. U.S. district court judge Richard Gergel sentenced Fleming to forty-six months in federal prison last week for his “amazingly egregious conduct” in a scam that robbed Murdaugh’s insurers of nearly $4 million following the death of his family housekeeper, Gloria Satterfield. Fleming was also a cog in a criminal conspiracy that stole settlement funds from the mother of deaf quadriplegic Hakeem Pinckney.

Unlike Laffitte, Fleming opted to begin his federal sentence immediately and was taken into the custody by U.S. Marshals following the sentencing hearing.

Fleming is facing nineteen state charges related to the Satterfield scheme. Barring a plea, he is set to stand trial on those charges on September 11, 2023 in Beaufort, S.C.

Gergel indicated he took Fleming’s state charges into account in setting his federal sentence – noting the state had its own “agenda” in seeking to punish him.

The “agenda” Gergel referenced became evident soon after Murdaugh was criminally charged by the feds in late May of this year. That indictment sparked an ongoing battle between state and federal prosecutors over the disposition of the financial charges against him, Laffitte and Fleming.



State prosecutors issued a blunt statement after the federal charges were filed against Murdaugh setting the stage for what some legal analysts referred to as a “textbook political pissing contest.”

“The financial allegations in this case involve alleged abuse of state lawyer licenses dealing with state court legal actions before state court judges, with alleged misappropriation of state court approved settlements,” the statement noted. “The South Carolina attorney general’s office and the State Law Enforcement Division have occupied a primary and central role in this investigation from inception, and no action by any other entity will have any effect on our goals to ensure significant accountability in state court for any criminal conduct.”

Murdaugh has yet to stand trial at the state or federal level for any of the financial crimes of which he is accused. Worth recalling? He admitted to most of the financial schemes involving Laffitte and Fleming when he testified in his own defense in February of this year at his double homicide trial in Colleton County, S.C. A Colleton jury found Murdaugh guilty of murdering his wife and younger son on March 2, 2023 – and he was sentenced the following day to two consecutive life terms in prison by judge Newman.

Count on this news outlet for full coverage of the status hearing and to continue 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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Jenn Wood


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The Colonel Top fan August 23, 2023 at 9:46 am

Let’s see, 3 for 3 so far on jail time with at least 2-3 more trials to come, wonder where the “he didn’t do it” folks are now?

There have to be more culpable and clearly prosecutable folks/entities involved including PiMPED and the bank. We need to air the whole mess out and give “Elick” et al some company in the hoosgow! Allowing PiMPED and Palmetto “victim status” in the Lafitte mess is criminal in and of itself.

SubZeroIQ August 23, 2023 at 10:14 am

Alex Murdaugh (“AM”) did NOT do the murders. All he did were insurance scams on incompetent insurance companies, not that such is right or unimportant. What is more “criminal” is that the so-called “victim” Satterfield estate was all too happy to go along with the insurance scam so long as AM shared the loot with them. What they are really upset about is that AM kept all the loot to himself or tried to.
Looking for the AM “didn’t do [the murders] folks”? Here I am if you can manage a SCIENTIFIC discussion.

SubZeroIQ August 23, 2023 at 10:05 am

Before asking why a rocket scientist lives in Louisiana, I have to note that while all South Carolina is talking about is how its incompetent lawyers have run insurance schemes aroud each other, India just became the FIRST COUNTRY to land a craft on the south pole OF THE MOON.
And while I am at it, China has just appointed five top scientists to its top governing council. If they ever called it “polit-bureau,” I think they do no longer.
The rise of India and China is fueled by SCIENCE.
While in the U.S. in general, and South Carolina in particular, a coroner has NO THERMOMETER and “determined” the time of death of Paul and Maggie Murdaugh by putting the coroner’s hands in the armpits of the deceased. And that in a case where the PRECISE time of death OF THE HUMAN BEINGS, not their cell phone batteries, is the difference between guilt and innocence.
From Labron James’ philanthropic school in L.A. to SC’s public and even private schools, students cannot do basic math; and there are not even enough native math teachers for them. Import foreign teachers? The problem with that is SC cannot overcome its compulsion to make immigrants’ lives miserable, even when those immigrants can make the difference between SC’s ignorant arrogance and its joining the 21st Century with a healthy respect for the fact that intellectual and artistic talents are note, and never were, a WASP monopoly.
The worst thing about South Carolina’s judicial system is, not that the General Assembly elects state family court, circuit court, Court of Appeals, and Supreme Court judges and justices, but that it is anti-scientific.
Prime example, Kaizer Kittredge, the sole current candidate for SC Chief Justice, has an only daughter who fills FaceBook with her anti-vaxer rants. That is, of course, her free speech rights. What is NOT right is Kittredge’s cowardly use of his position as an SC Supreme Court Justice to attack Dr. Marie Faltas for having been the FIRST ONE to alert the public AND THE COURTS that Governor McMasters’ first ever (March 2020) statement on what was then just called “Corona” “it’s not air-borne; just wash your hands,” is SCIENTIFICALLY WRONG and DANGEROUS.
Kaizer Kittredge did not just coward-like castigate Dr. Faltas for advocating a true scientific approach to things; he actually put her in Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center (“ASGDC”) under fake contempt-of-court charges where Kaizer Kittredge was the judge, jury and executioner, for having sent an e-mail to Rasputin-Shearouse asking him to alert the courts that “Corona” is or can be air-borne and that proper ventilation in places of human congregation is essential.
Did Kaizer Kittredge repent of his tyranny when Dr. Marie Faltas was fully scientifically vindicated and it is now universally accepted, even to Kittredge’s girl, that CoViD-19 is airborne? Kaizer Kittredge did the opposite: he decreed that Dr. Marie Faltas, who (at age 70) has difficulty with stairs, cannot use the existing back ramp of SC’s Supreme Court’s building on Sumter and Gervais.
Worse yet, Kaizer Kittredge is forcing the current SC Supreme Court clerk, the sweet Patricia Howard, to LIE in a written letter put in the U.S. mail and pretend that ANOTHER “ADA ramp” is being built at the front of that building.
One need not have Dr. Marie Faltas’ engineering talents or her family’s engineering pedigree to know that is physically impossible. All that is needed is one look at the front of that building. There is simply NO ROOM for a ramp in the front of that building, and incidentally, 33 years after the American with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) no plans to build one. And there should not be since there is a satisfactory ramp at the back of the building. Only Kaizer Kittredge wants to punish WITH PHYSICAL TORTURE anyone who understands the virology the Kittredge girl cannot.
What does this have to do with this post other than Jen Wood’s husband being a rocket scientist living in Louisiana? Alan Wilson’s grand-standing about lawyers abusing their law licenses. ALAN WILSON SHOULD CLEAN HIS OWN HOUSE FIRST. He should look at the 373 lies, forgeries, fabrications and subornations of perjury his own assistant, Hatchet for Hire Heather (Savitz Weiss) used against Dr. Marie Faltas in the thank-God-failed effort to frame her for “harassment in the first degree.”
Unless Alan Wilson does that, his protestations of cleaning the legal profession ring worse than hollow: they ring of glorified hypocrisy.
BTW, Judge Clifton Newman has had OBJECTIVE documentation of Heather Savitz Weiss’ mafeasances in Judge Newman’s own court for at least five years now.
I will go there and say it to Judge Clifton before history says it of him: unless he seriously looks into the power-connected Weiss’ malfeasances using her law license and prosecutorial power, Judge Clifton would have NO MORAL AUTHORITY to sentence Laffitte, Fleming, or even Alex Murdaugh.
The first words out of Judge Clifton Newman’s mouth when Creighton Waters, Don Zelenka, and/or Alan Wilson enter Judge Clifton’s courtroom FOR ANY REASON should be, “what is your answer to Dr. Marie Faltas’ documentation of subornation of perjury by Heather Weiss?”


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