THE legal dynasty heir at the center of grim saga of bloodshed and financial scandal is preparing to hand himself in to police, it emerged Wednesday – after investigators announced a probe into the death of his housekeeper.
Alex Murdaugh – whose wife and son were shot dead earlier this year – is due to appear for a bond hearing in Hampton County, South Carolina, at 4pm on Thursday, his lawyer said.
It comes after state investigators claimed Murdaugh, 53, had hired a hitman to kill him so his remaining son could inherit a $10million life insurance windfall.
He had been non-fatally shot in the head as he allegedly changed a tire near Charlston a day after he was ousted from his leading legal firm over allegations he had misappropriated millions in company funds.
Murdaugh is planning to turn himself into authorities to face conspiracy to commit insurance fraud, his attorney Jim Griffin told WCBD-TV.
The Sun has reached out to Murdaugh’s attorney for independent confirmation.
HOUSEKEEPER DEATH PROBE
The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) announced on Wednesday it is reopening a cause-of-death probe into Murdaugh’s housekeeper Gloria Satterfield, who was originally believed to have fatally tripped and fell in 2018.
“The decedent’s death was not reported to the Coroner at the time, nor was an autopsy performed,” wrote Hampton County Coroner Angela Topper.
“On the death certificate the manner of death was ruled “Natural,” which is inconsistent with injuries sustained in a trip and fall accident.”
Investigators are also taking a closer look at what happened to her money and valuables after she died.
An SLED spokesman said: “Based upon a request from the Hampton County Coroner Earlier today, as well as information gathered during the course of our other ongoing investigations involving Alex Murdaugh, SLED is opening a criminal investigation into the death of Gloria Satterfield and the handling of her estate."
On Tuesday, Murdaugh was accused of trying to cash in a $10million insurance policy by paying a hitman to assassinate him after the double homicide of his wife and son.
Murdaugh is an attorney and heir to Peters, Murdaugh, Parker, Eltzroth & Derrick – one of South Carolina’s most affluent legal dynasties that was founded by his great-grandfather back in 1910, according to the firm's website.
His biography details that Murdaugh also serves as a "part-time prosecutor for the 14th district" – which includes Colleton County.
After his shooting, Murdaugh – whose brother claimed suffers from an opioid addiction – announced he would be checking into rehab.
He was shot one day after Murdaugh was ousted from his law firm for allegedly misappropriating millions in funds.
‘TRIP AND FALL’
Satterfield had served as the Murdaugh family housekeeper and nanny for nearly 25 years when she reportedly took a mysterious spill that caused a fatal brain injury following inside the Murdaugh family home.
She held on for several weeks at Trident Medical Center before passing away, according to her obituary.
She was remembered as a tennis aficionado who also “loved kids and her favorite color was purple.”
“Most of all, she will be remembered for her laughter and her outgoing personality,” the obituary noted.
After the incident, Satterfield’s estate squared away a $500,000 wrongful death settlement for “a trip and fall accident,” WTOC reported.
“My client has not been paid one single dime since this was settled in 2020,” said Eric Bland, an attorney who represents Satterfield’s estate.
“My job is to get information and find out why these boys didn’t get any money when there was a settlement.”
SLED said that hit had opened a criminal investigation inter Satterfield's death based on a request from the Hampton County Coroner, as well as
Murdaugh settled a wrongful death claim with the housekeeper's family for $500,000 in 2018.
However, Satterfield's family sued Murdaugh, Wednesday claiming he had not paid out 'one single dime' of the settlement.
SLED’s pursuit to find out more about how the Murdaugh family’s nanny and housekeeper died comes after authorities have been circling the legal scion over his part in the untimely deaths of his wife Maggie and son Paul who were were shot dead at the family's hunting lodge on June 7.
The affluent lawyer told a 911 dispatcher that he came home to find the bullet-riddled bodies of Maggie Murdaugh, 52, their 22-year-old son Paul, lying in one of his kennels.
“I been up to it now – it’s bad,” a distressed Murdaugh said during the 10:07pm call on June 7 with a Colleton County dispatcher.
The unsolved case has dragged on for three months without any arrest.
'HIRED HITMAN' BOMBSHELL
On Sept. 4, Alex Murdaugh was shot in the head while he was changing a tire outside of Charleston, South Carolina.
Authorities nabbed Curtis Edward Smith, 61, for the shooting and booked into the Colleton County Detention Center.
Officials now say Murdaugh allegedly was in cahoots with Smith to carry out the assassination of himself in an effort to help his son collect $10million life insurance policy.
Authorities say Murdaugh gave Smith a gun and instructed him to fatally shoot him in the head.
Investigators said Murdaugh provided a statement to SLED on Monday and confessed to the shooting scheme so his son could get a "death benefit beneficiary."
Smith apparently failed to murder Murdaugh.
The alleged hired hitman took aim on Murdaugh while he was on the 15000 block of Salkehatchie Rd.
But Murdaugh only suffered from a graze wound to the head.
SLED investigators contend in the incident report that after Smith shot Murdaugh in the roadway, he drove to an unknown area to get rid of the gun.
Smith is now facing assisted suicide, assault and battery of a high aggravated nature, pointing and presenting a firearm, insurance fraud, and conspiracy to commit insurance fraud charges.
THIRD MYSTERIOUS DEATH
The questionable death of Scatterfield is the third mysterious homicide case attached to the Murdaugh family, which gained national attention following the double murder of Paul and Maggie.
The Murdaugh family was already under duress as son Paul Murdaugh was facing charges he was under the influence in the 2019 boating death of teenager Mallory Beach.
Authorities accused Paul of killing a passenger in a boat that he crashed while heavily intoxicated.
Police have also investigated the family for possible ties to the 2015 death of gay teen Stephen Smith, which was ruled a hit-and-run, though no suspects have ever been named or charged.
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