State police have charged Alex Murdaugh with two felonies

ORLANDO, Fla. (WCIV) — State police have charged Alex Murdaugh with two felonies related to the missing life insurance settlement money from his late former housekeeper, Gloria Satterfield.

In a news release Thursday morning, the State Law Enforcement Division says Murdaugh has been taken into custody by state police in Florida after exiting a drug rehabilitation facility he was attending.

Gloria Satterfield (left) and Alex Murdaugh (right). (WCIV)

SLED has formally charged Murdaugh with two counts of obtaining property by false pretenses. He’s now awaiting extradition back to South Carolina for a bond hearing.

“I want to commend the hard work and dedication that our agents have shown over the last four months,” SLED Chief Mark Keel said Thursday morning. “They will continue to work tirelessly on behalf of those who were victimized by Alex Murdaugh and others. As I have said previously, we are committed to following the facts wherever they may lead us and we will not stop until justice is served.”

Murdaugh has been in drug rehabilitation since September 6 after SLED says he orchestrated a failed assisted suicide plot that saw himself hospitalized with a much disputed superficial gunshot wound to the head. Murdaugh is facing three criminal charges over that incident, as well.

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Several days after that unrelated incident, attorneys for the estate of Gloria Satterfield filed a lawsuit against Murdaugh in Hampton County court alleging her heirs had not received life insurance settlement money they were owed after Satterfield’s death. SLED announced it was opening a criminal investigation into the case the very same day.

Satterfield died in 2018 after an alleged trip-and-fall accident in the Murdaugh’s home. An attorney for Satterfield’s estate says Murdaugh soon afterward hatched a scheme to steal millions of dollars from the life insurance settlement intended for Satterfield’s surviving sons, Tony Satterfield and Brian Harriott.

Eric Bland and Ronnie Richter, the lawyers representing Satterfield’s family, released a lengthy statement Thursday in response to the arrest of Murdaugh. The statement reads in part:

“Today is a bittersweet day for the Satterfield and Harriott Families. The families are extremely grateful to law enforcement, SLED and the South Carolina Attorney General’s office for its investigation and today’s criminal charges against Alex Murdaugh. … The families and their attorneys are proud of how our justice system has conducted itself since the family had the courage to file its initial lawsuit. … Avarice and betrayal of trust are at the heart of this matter. … Since early September the families are dealing with the betrayal of trust and that their loved one’s death was used as a vehicle to enrich others over the clients. Nonetheless, the families and lawyers would like to thank the public for the continued support and assistance it has given to solve these ugly crimes. It is not over, but a very good start to holding everyone accountable who either participated knowingly or breached their duties.. The bottom line is no one is above the law.”
– Eric S. Bland and Ronald L. Richter, Jr., Attorneys at Law

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