Alex Murdaugh admits he 'invented' the story for insurance about housekeeper tripping over the dogs to her death
Convicted murderer Alex Murdaugh made up a story about dogs causing his former housekeeper's fatal fall on his property in 2018, his attorneys wrote in a Monday court filing.
Gloria Satterfield, the Murdaugh family's housekeeper, died in what was described as a fall during a 911 call from Murdaugh's wife and younger son in October 2018.
Nautilus Insurance Co. sued Murdaugh for allegedly committing life insurance fraud after Satterfield's death, and attorneys for Murdaugh revealed in a May 1 filing that he "invented the critical facts" surrounding her death to receive a settlement from Nautilus.
"No dogs were involved in the fall of Gloria Satterfield on February 2, 2018," the filing said. "After Ms. Satterfield's death, (Murdaugh) invented Ms. Satterfield’s purported statement that dogs caused her fall to force his insurers to make a settlement payment, and he stated that she was not on the property to perform work."
Murdaugh also "acted to assist the Satterfield estate succeed in a claim on those facts, which the representatives of the Satterfield estate believed were true," his attorneys wrote in the filing.
However, according to the filing, Murdaugh “did not act in concert with any “co-conspirators” for the purpose of causing Nautilus to pay a fraudulent claim.
Jim Griffin, an attorney for Murdaugh, said in a statement to NBC News the amended answer to the Nautilus complaint admitted "she was not pushed or knocked down stairs by dogs, the story was made up, and insurance claim fraud."
Griffin added the Satterfield family and their attorneys, Eric Bland and Ronnie Richter, "should be added to case because they have ultimately recovered the fraudulent insurance proceeds."
Bland slammed Murdaugh's court admission in a series of tweets on Tuesday.
"Since when did Alex become the modicum of honesty and credibility," Bland asked, adding that a judge and jury in South Carolina have found he is not credible in relation to the murders of Murdaugh's wife Maggie Murdaugh and youngest son Paul Murdaugh
He added the Satterfield family has not received any money from Nautilus, but they had recovered funds from other parties.
"These insurers had investigators investigate the claim thoroughly before they paid on the claim," he said. "This is nothing but noise. Just gutless people trying to continue to victimize Gloria’s siblings and children."
Attorneys for Satterfield's family alleged her sons never received any of the funds Murdaugh, a lawyer at the time, said he would help them obtain through a wrongful death settlement, since the incident occurred on his property.
Murdaugh admitted he owed the Satterfield family $4.3 million and asked the court to uphold a judgement ordering him to pay the amount in restitution, according to court documents obtained by NBC affiliate WCBD in June 2022.
Murdaugh has been indicted on 11 charges in connection with the Satterfield settlement: three counts of money laundering, three counts of computer crimes and five counts of obtaining signature or property by false pretenses, according to the South Carolina Attorney General's Office.
Including the 11 counts, he still faces nearly 100 charges stemming from financial crimes he allegedly committed for over a decade when he was still working as a lawyer. He has not entered a plea for any of the charges, South Carolina Attorney General’s Office Communications Director Robert Kittle told TODAY.com in March.
South Carolina authorities also announced the opening of a criminal investigation into Satterfield's death in September 2021.
Murdaugh is currently serving a life sentence after he was convicted of murdering his wife and son. His attorneys have appealed the sentence.
This article was originally published on TODAY.com