Alex Murdaugh is asking a South Carolina judge to throw out a confession he made about the death of his former housekeeper, Gloria Satterfield,
Lawyers for the twice-convicted killer, who is serving a life sentence after a jury found him guilty of murdering his wife, Maggie, and son Paul, filed a motion in court this week to set aside a May 31, 2021 judgment confession signed by Murdaugh to the Satterfield estate for $4.3 million.
That confession included what Murdaugh now says is the false claim that Satterfield, the family’s longtime cook, nanny and housekeeper, died after her dogs knocked her down the stairs outside their home.
Murdaugh admitted during his murder trial earlier this year that after Satterfield’s death he had his sons file an insurance claim against him that said his dogs were responsible for their mother’s death.
When Nautilus paid that claim, Murdaugh said he placed the funds in an account for himself and never told the boys.
The sons are Michael “Tony” Satterfield and Brian Harriot, whose mother died after falling down the stairs of Murdaugh’s home in South Carolina. Once they caught wind of Murdaugh’s deception, they sued him and the attorneys involved in the case, eventually winning $7.5 million.
Lawyers involved in the settlement said they assume Murdaugh gave the two men the money paid by the claim.
Now, however, Murdaugh says his dogs had nothing to do with Satterfield’s downfall.
“Simply put, the fact that Mr Murdaugh lied about his own responsibility in Ms Satterfield’s death to fraudulently obtain insurance proceeds to perpetuate her severe opioid addiction, while very disconcerting, is hardly incredible considering held of Mr. Murdaugh’s acknowledged actions and financial transactions during this time,” reads the motion obtained by Inside Edition Digital. “This is another chapter in a dark and heartbreaking story of a man brought to his knees by crippling drug addiction, who also had the means and knowledge to cause great financial harm to others to feed that addiction. “
The motion goes on to say that because Murdaugh lied about responsibility for his employee’s death, no one was entitled to the $4.3 million insurance payout. And if no one was entitled to the $4.3 million payout – which was pocketed by Murdaugh – then Satterfield’s sons had no right to take legal action against Murdaugh which ended in a $7.5 million judgment in their favour.
ALEX MURDAUGH RELIEF MOTION
Murdaugh told first responders, police and later his insurance company that Satterfield told her his four dogs had knocked him down when he arrived to find her at the bottom of the stairs in 2018.
Satterfield was airlifted to hospital with a head injury on February 2 and later died in hospital on February 26 at the age of 57.
Murdaugh then successfully filed two claims: a $505,000 death settlement with Lloyd’s of London and the $4.3 million settlement of Murdaugh’s own insurance policy with Nautilus after an investigation concluded that he was responsible for Satterfield’s death as the owner of the dogs that caused his downfall.
The sons never saw any of that money, and in this new motion, Murdaugh and his lawyers argue that they were never entitled to any part of the Nautilus Colony.
Murdaugh and his lawyers are even suggesting that Nautilus recoup its $4 million loss on the $7.5 million settlement the sons received after suing Murdaugh and his lawyers for not telling them about the insurance settlement. .
“Banks and others paid restitution for the money Mr. Murdaugh stole because they realized they might share some of the blame with Mr. Murdaugh for his thefts. They paid restitution to the Satterfield family and their lawyers not as a gift or an expression of sympathy, but because they believed Mr Murdaugh had stolen their money,” the motion reads. “If they had known the money was stolen from someone else, they would have paid that someone else.”
Murdaugh and his attorneys previously made that argument in a May 1 filing in the case.
When asked to comment, Eric Bland, one of the attorneys at the Bland Richter firm that represents the two sons, provided Inside Edition Digital with a press release that read in part: “The May 16 petition of Alex Murdaugh is yet another filing in a long line of legal toilet paper rolls that Dick Harpootlian and Jim Griffin have filed in the slew of civil and criminal lawsuits on behalf of their client who is a liar, thief and convicted murderer. twice.
In his statement, Bland called the lawsuit “frivolous” and accused Murdaugh’s attorneys of “using the court process for ulterior motives to harass and re-victimize the Satterfields.”
“This motion is nothing more than the endless, incessant chatter of losing lawyers,” Bland said. “We welcome addressing these arguments in court. They’ve lost nearly every significant claim they’ve filed on behalf of their miscreant client Alex Murdaugh in the past two years.
STATEMENT BY LAWYERS FOR TONY SATERFIELD AND BRIAN HARRIOT
Prosecutors alleged during his trial earlier this year that Murdaugh’s motives for murdering his wife and son were financial, saying he defrauded clients of millions of dollars, embezzled company funds family and faces a potentially costly lawsuit following a fatal boating accident involving her son Paul.
In court documents obtained by Inside Edition Digital, prosecutors described Murdaugh as “an allegedly shady lawyer and drug addict who borrowed and stole wherever he could to stay afloat and be one step ahead of detection.”
Prosecutors say Murdaugh was asked to account for missing funds from the family business on the day of the murders.
At the same time, he was also being asked to hand over a detailed account of his finances in a wrongful death lawsuit against his son Paul, who had been accused of crashing a boat while intoxicated, resulting in the death of a young woman. Paul pleaded not guilty to all charges related to this fatal accident prior to his death.
Murdaugh claimed he had visited his mother at the time of the murders and returned to find the bodies of his wife and son.
Another investigation is currently underway regarding a death near the family property. The body of Stephen Smith, a classmate of Buster Murdaugh, was exhumed last month and an autopsy determined the cause of his death to be homicide. Alex and Buster Murdaugh deny having any involvement or knowledge of Smith’s death.