Murdaugh denied bond; judge orders psychiatric evaluation
COLUMBIA, S.C. (WTOC/WIS) - A Richland County judge has denied bond for Alex Murdaugh and is requiring him to undergo a psychiatric evaluation.
The 53-year-old is charged with two felony counts of obtaining property under false pretenses.
Judge Clifton Newman said he was considering the financial resources and mental condition of Murdaugh.
Murdaugh’s lawyer, Dick Harpootlian, made a similar argument as he did in Hampton County about a month ago when Murdock had a bond hearing on charges related to attempted suicide. Harpootlian said his client is not a flight risk or danger to the community and has been battling drug addiction for 20 years. The lawyer claims that after Murdaugh’s six weeks of treatment, he is now off the drugs he was addicted to.
“We knew it was going to be an uphill battle obviously with all the public interest and the enormity of the accusations, but we’re glad that the judge is concerned about his mental condition,” Harpootlian said.
On the other hand, the attorney general’s office and the lawyers of Gloria Satterfield’s estate said that Murdaugh stole millions and asked the judge to either deny bond or set it at $4.3 million.
“We think it’s a good decision and a good day for justice,” Eric Bland said. Bland is a lawyer for Satterfield’s estate.
“It was important to demonstrate that influence and power does not create a second tier of justice in this state,” said Ronnie Richter, another lawyer for Gloria Satterfield’s estate.
Harpootlian said that they will have Murdaugh evaluated quickly and they hope to have him back in front of a judge again in about a week.
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