Murdaugh released on bond after insurance fraud, filing false police report arrest

Published: Sep. 15, 2021 at 8:27 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 17, 2021 at 6:02 AM EDT
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HAMPTON COUNTY, S.C. (WTOC) - Alex Murdaugh has been arrested on charges of insurance fraud, conspiracy to commit insurance fraud and filing a false police report.

Murdaugh was arrested Thursday morning after turning himself in at the Hampton County Detention Center.

Murdaugh appeared before Hampton County Judge Tonja Alexander Thursday afternoon for a bond hearing. She said she does not think Murdaugh is a risk to the community and set his bond for a total of $20,000 for all three charges. He must also surrender his passport to law enforcement, and his bond will be revoked if he leaves the drug rehab facility he is a patient of, which his attorney says is out of state, without the court’s permission.

His bond was broken down by each charge:

  • Filing False Police Report of a Felony - $5,000
  • Criminal Conspiracy - $5,000
  • Insurance/False Statement - $10,000

Murdaugh did post bond Thursday evening and is now back at a rehab facility. He is not expected back in court until October 25.

Before turning himself in, his lawyer Dick Harpootlian says Murdaugh left the hospital, detoxed and headed to rehab.

“This is being paid for by insurance. Not out of his pocket. I can tell you as a result of the recent events, he is not a man of significant means anymore,” said Harpootlian.

Harpootlian says Murdaugh’s 20 year opioid addiction and the murders of Maggie and Paul Murdaugh lead him to conspire with Curtis Smith in the suicide attempt.

“Before any of that falling happened, his wife and son were brutally murdered and that has had an extraordinary affect on him.”

You can watch the bond hearing below:

According to Murdaugh’s attorney Jim Griffin on Wednesday evening, he was planning to voluntarily surrender himself after there was a warrant for his arrest.

Griffin provided the following statement to WTOC on Wednesday evening: “We have been informed that there is a warrant for his arrest for conspiracy to commit insurance fraud. He plans to voluntarily surrender tomorrow, and the arraignment and bond hearing will be held at 4 p.m. at the Hampton County magistrate court.”

Curtis Edward Smith is charged with trying to help Murdaugh in a suicide attempt. Murdaugh told investigators that Smith shot him so his son, Buster, could collect his $10 million life insurance policy. Smith then admitted to being involved in the shooting.

Smith’s facing a number of charges in connection to this shooting, plus drug charges in a separate case in South Carolina.

Murdaugh’s wife and son, Margaret and Paul, were found shot to death at a family home in Colleton County in early June. No arrests have been made in this case.

Paul Murdaugh was charged in the death of 19-year-old Mallory Beach after he crashed his father’s boat into a bridge near Parris Island in February 2019. Those charges have been dropped after his death.

The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division has reopened an investigation into the death of a 19-year-old man in Hampton County in 2015. SLED reopened the probe into Stephen Smith’s death in Hampton County based on information agents gathered as they continue to investigate the shooting deaths of Maggie and Paul Murdaugh, SLED spokesman Tommy Crosby confirmed.

SLED has also opened a criminal investigation into the death of a Murdaugh housekeeper in 2018. Murdaugh family housekeeper Gloria Satterfield died from injuries she sustained after “a trip and fall accident,” according to a copy of the wrongful death settlement. The Murdaugh family and Satterfield’s estate reached a settlement of $500,000. An attorney for Satterfield’s estate has filed a lawsuit, claiming that not “one single dime” has been paid in that settlement.

Members of the Murdaugh family served in the 14th Circuit Solicitor’s Office for about 87 years, which covers Allendale, Beaufort, Colleton, Hampton and Jasper Counties in South Carolina. Last week, 14th Circuit Solicitor Duffie Stone recused himself from prosecuting any cases related to the shooting deaths of Paul and Margaret Murdaugh.

A complete timeline of the Murdaugh case can be found below:

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