OAN’s Elizabeth Volberding
3:15 PM – Tuesday, November 28, 2023
Convicted murderer Alex Murdaugh was sentenced to 27 years in prison for several financial crimes including embezzlement, forgery, tax evasion and more.
Murdaugh, a previously convicted double murderer, pleaded guilty at Beaufort County Courthouse in South Carolina to fraud and money laundering charges earlier this month.
On Tuesday, Murdaugh was given a 27 year sentence in state prison, which is the harshest crime sentence ever issued by the state for white collar offenses, according to The State.
Murdaugh was charged with 101 crimes in total after stealing millions of dollars from his friends, family, and legal clients.
Judge Clifton Newman approved Murdaugh’s guilty plea and the plea agreement at Tuesday’s hearing.
During the hearing, Newman made cutting remarks, calling it a “stern sentence.”
“It’s so disappointing to see you again in this setting,” Newman said, also stating that he takes “no joy at all in imposing this sentence.”
Newman also portrayed Murdaugh as being “empty.” However, he said that he hoped “something would emerge within his soul.”
“Many of us do things that we shouldn’t do,” Newman said. “It’s just unimaginable — unimaginable to me that you have done some of the things that you’ve done. Whether it’s you or someone you become upon using drugs or through the process of just committing the crimes over and over over a period of years, I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t even know who I’m speaking to now.”
Earlier this month, Murdaugh, 55, pleaded guilty to 22 counts for charges including fraud and money laundering after being accused of stealing millions of dollars from his law firm and clients.
State Prosecutor Creighton Waters said that the plea deal was a “unique and unprecedented sentence” regarding financial crimes and “the likes of which no one can find another example, state or federal, throughout the country.”
Murdaugh, who is currently serving two life sentences without parole for the murders of his son and wife, was first charged with over 100 state counts pertaining to financial crimes involving 18 victims.
Murdaugh robbed more than $12 million within a decade, including stealing from helpless clients who trusted him, while employed as a personal injury attorney at his Hampton County law firm.
Among the victims was the family of Gloria Satterfield, his former housekeeper, who passed away in February 2018 at Murdaugh’s house after a fall. The prosecution claimed that Murdaugh embezzled $3.8 million from her estate settlement for his own benefit.
Jordan Jinks, who was another victim, broke down as he spoke to the court about the money that Murdaugh stole from him.
“What kind of animal are you?” Jinks, who prosecutors said lost $150,000, asked Murdaugh.
Jinks told the judge that he approved of a 27-year sentence.
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