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What's next for Alex Murdaugh? Convicted of murder, he still faces over 99 charges

Murdaugh's six-week double murder trial likely won't be his last time in a courtroom.
/ Source: TODAY

Alex Murdaugh will spend the rest of his life in prison for murdering his wife and youngest son, but his six-week trial for their killings likely won’t be the last time he’s in a courtroom.

His attorneys have said they plan to appeal the life sentence delivered after his murder conviction, signaling more legal matters for the disgraced, disbarred South Carolina lawyer.

Murdaugh also still faces dozens of charges stemming from financial crimes he allegedly committed for over a decade while he still worked at his law firm, Peters, Murdaugh, Parker, Eltzroth & Detrickhe. While on the stand for his murder trial, Murdaugh admitted to fraud: “I took money that was not mine and I shouldn’t have done it,” he testified.

He has not entered any plea for the 99 financial crimes he's charged with, South Carolina Attorney General’s Office Communications Director Robert Kittle told, citing the Clerk of Court of the State Grand Jury.

As shown in the Netflix documentary “Murdaugh Murders: A Southern Scandal,” Murdaugh was also named in a wrongful death lawsuit regarding the death of 19-year-old Mallory Beach, who died in a boat crash when Murdaugh’s youngest son Paul was driving.

The Murdaugh family also has ties to several mysterious deaths, including the death of their family housekeeper Gloria Satterfield at their home in 2018, and an alleged hit-and-run incident involving Stephen Smith, a classmate of Murdaugh’s oldest son, Buster Murdaugh, in 2015.

Here’s what to know about the legal troubles that are still looming for the Murdaugh family.

Nearly 100 financial crimes charges

Murdaugh, 54, has been indicted on 99 charges in several different counties throughout South Carolina for allegedly defrauding his former clients out of about $8.8 million and the state out of about $486,000, according to the South Carolina Attorney General’s Office.

Murdaugh faces 32 counts of embezzlement, 21 counts of computer crimes, 14 counts of money laundering, 11 counts of obtaining signature or property by false pretenses, nine counts of tax evasion, seven conspiracy counts, three counts of making false statements and two counts of forgery, according to the indictments.

When Murdaugh took the stand in his own defense in his murder trial, he admitted he had stolen money from his clients and his law firm.

“I took money that was not mine and I shouldn’t have done it,” he testified. “I hate the fact that I did it.”

He has not entered any plea for the 99 financial crimes charges, South Carolina Attorney General’s Office Communications Director Robert Kittle told, citing the Clerk of Court of the State Grand Jury.

Murdaugh housekeeper Gloria Satterfield's fall

Eleven of Murdaugh’s 99 financial crimes charges are connected to a wrongful death settlement following his housekeeper’s death at his Colleton County, South Carolina, residence in 2018.

Gloria Satterfield, the Murdaugh family’s housekeeper, died in February 2018 in what was described in a 911 call as a fall.

Hampton County Coroner Angela Topper said the death was not reported to the coroner, and an autopsy was never performed, according to local news outlet WLTX.

Murdaugh agreed to a $4.3 million wrongful death settlement for Satterfield’s family, but Satterfield’s adult sons testified in the murder trial Murdaugh never told them about the settlement, or ever received the funds.

Attorneys for the Satterfield family also released documents in October 2021 that claimed to prove Murdaugh had defrauded Sattferfield’s sons out of a wrongful death settlement, according to NBC officiate WCBD.

Authorities arrested Murdaugh on Oct. 14, 2021 as he was leaving a rehab facility in Florida, NBC News reported, on two felony counts of obtaining property by false pretenses.

The South Carolina Attorney General’s Office announced Murdaugh had been indicted on nine additional charges in connection with the Satterfield settlement in November 2021, including three counts of money laundering, three counts of computer crimes and three counts of obtaining signature or property by false pretenses.

Murdaugh admitted he owed the Satterfield family $4.3 million in June 2022 and admitted “liability to the (Satterfields) for the claims asserted against him” in a confession of judgment filed in June 2022, according to court documents obtained by NBC affiliate WCBD.

Murdaugh also asked the court to uphold a judgment ordering him to pay the amount in restitution, according to the court documents.

South Carolina authorities announced a criminal investigation into Satterfield’s death on Sept. 15, 2021, NBC News reported, and on June 3, 2022, South Carolina authorities said they had permission from Satterfield’s family to exhume her body as part of the investigation.

Image: Alex Murdaugh
Alex Murdaugh is led to the Colleton County Courthouse by sheriff's deputies for sentencing Friday, March 3, 2023 in Walterboro, S.C., after being convicted of two counts of murder in the June 7, 2021, shooting deaths of Murdaugh's wife and son. Chris Carlson / AP

Boat accident

Prosecutors alleged in Murdaugh’s murder trial that his youngest son Paul Murdaugh’s boat 2019 accident was the event that started his alleged wrongdoing to emerge.

South Carolina law enforcement officials said Paul Murdaugh was steering when the boat crashed into a bridge, killing Mallory Beach and injuring several others, per the Island Packet’s reporting in 2019.

Paul, Maggie and Alex Murdaugh.
Paul, Maggie and Alex Murdaugh.Facebook

On Feb. 23, 2019, then 19-year-old Paul Murdaugh took several of his friends out on the Beaufort River for a night of partying on his boat.

Before getting in the boat, Paul used his older brother's ID to purchase alcohol for night, NBC affiliate WSAV reported.

Survivors of the collision alleged in the documentary that Paul Murdaugh was steering when the boat crashed into a bridge, killing Beach and injuring several others.

Paul Murdaugh was charged with three felony boating under the influence counts in May 2019, to which he pleaded not guilty. Paul Murdaugh never faced trial for the charges, as his father murdered him on June 7, 2021. At the time of his death, he was out on bail.

Authorities dropped the charges against Paul Murdaugh after receiving his death certificate, and Alex Murdaugh was never criminally charged in the incident, but a civil lawsuit that names Alex Murdaugh is still making its way through the legal system.

Beach’s mother filed a legal claim against Alex Murdaugh and others in January 2022 to get money they believe they are owed as a result of the accident, NBC News reported.

A settlement was reached between Beach’s parents and other survivors of the crash in January 2023, according to court documents published by WTOC. Maggie and Buster Murdaugh’s names were dropped from the lawsuit, paving the way for the victims of the crash to be awarded hundreds of thousands of dollars from others still named in the lawsuit.

Alex Murdaugh's botched murder-for-hire plot

In addition to the 99 financial crimes charges, Murdaugh is also facing three separate charges stemming from a September 2014 roadside shooting.

Jim Griffin, one of Murdaugh‘s attorneys, said Murdaugh had pulled over after his vehicle got a flat tire in Hampton County, South Carolina, on Sept. 4, 2021, when a person inside a pickup truck passed by and opened fire.

Murdaugh suffered a “superficial head wound” and was expected to survive the shooting, officials said on Sept. 5.

A week and a half later, authorities alleged Murdaugh had arranged for a friend, Curtis Edward Smith, to shoot and kill him so his oldest son, Buster Murdaugh, could collect on his $10 million life insurance policy, NBC News reported.

Murdaugh turned himself in to authorities on Sept. 16 after he was hit with three charges: insurance fraud, conspiracy to commit insurance fraud and filing a false police report, NBC News reported.

Smith was arrested on Sept. 14 on charges of assisted suicide, assault and battery of a high aggravated nature, pointing and presenting a firearm, insurance fraud and conspiracy to commit insurance fraud, local news station WTOC reported. Smith later admitted his involvement in the scheme to authorities, according to WTOC.

The mysterious death of Buster's high school classmate

Image: Alex Murdaugh
Alex Murdaugh walks into the courthouse before his double murder trial at the Colleton County Courthouse on Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2023, in Walterboro, S.C.Andrew J. Whitaker / The Post and Courier via AP

“Murdaugh Murders” also mentions the mysterious 2015 death of Buster Murdaugh’s friend from high school, Stephen Smith, which remains unsolved.

Smith was found dead in 2015 on a rural road a few miles from one of the Murdaugh family properties. His death was ruled a hit-and-run, according to the pathology report.

Investigators reopened the case into Smith’s death after the deaths of Maggie and Paul Murdaugh, S.C. Law Enforcement Division spokesperson Tommy Crosby said in a June 2021 statement.

Smith’s mother, Sandy Smith, said in an interview with Court TV aired on March 6 said she thinks her son was beaten to death.

“It was more than one person that done this, and somebody knows,” she said. “They set him up on that road to make it look like a hit and run.”

No one in the Murdaugh family has been named a suspect in Smith’s death, nor have they commented on the case.