Murdaugh’s attorney says they’ll comply with SC judge’s request after bond denied

·2 min read

Alex Murdaugh’s attorney Dick Harpootlian said they’re “more than happy to comply” with a judge’s order that Murdaugh undergo a psychiatric evaluation before his bond is considered.

But the Columbia attorney maintained Tuesday his client was not the attorney handling the estate of the Murdaugh’s former housekeeper, Gloria Satterfield, and therefore should not be the prime focus of the state’s investigation into the alleged embezzlement of $3.4 million owed to her heirs.

Reporters peppered Harpootlian and his co-counsel, Jim Griffin, with questions Tuesday outside the Richland County Courthouse after Judge Clifton Newman denied Murdaugh bond, ordering him to undergo a psychiatric evaluation before his next bond hearing.

“Alex was not the lawyer, (Cory) Fleming was the lawyer,” Harpootlian said, referring to the now suspended Beaufort attorney who, with Hampton banker Chad Westendorf, handled Satterfield’s estate. “... Those guys have already settled the case with Cory.”

In September, Satterfield’s two sons filed a lawsuit against Murdaugh, alleging he stole millions of dollars in insurance proceeds from their mother’s estate. Using the allegations in the suit, the State Law Enforcement Division opened an investigation and charged Murdaugh with two felony counts of obtaining property by false pretenses.

“It’s amazing to us that the focus is on just Alex,” Harpootlian told reporters. “There are other people who participated in the process.”

Harpootlian said Newman could reconsider Murdaugh’s bond sometime next week.

“We’d like to get him back to treatment,” he said.

For weeks, Murdaugh had been in Georgia, then Florida getting treatment for a 20-year opioid addiction, his lawyers said.

In court Tuesday, Eric Bland, the attorney representing Satterfield’s sons, said Murdaugh was a “clear and present danger” to South Carolinians and to his family.

“Today is the day that Alex Murdaugh needs to get comfortable being uncomfortable,” Bland said.

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