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COLUMBIA, S.C. — A choose refused on Tuesday to reduced the $7 million bail for outstanding South Carolina lawyer Alex Murdaugh, who is charged with stealing tens of millions of dollars from vulnerable clients.
Murdaugh’s lawyers experienced unsuccessfully argued that the higher quantity was like no bail at all, saying their consumer was so broke he was not able even to spend his cell phone invoice.
Circuit Choose Alison Renee Lee’s one particular-site conclusion explained small other than that she had reviewed all the facts offered at past week’s virtual hearing and decided Murdaugh “stays a flight chance and opportunity hazard to himself and his local community.”
Lee at first set Murdaugh’s bail at $7 million at a listening to in December.
Murdaugh has been in jail for a few months due to the fact a unique choose to begin with denied him bond on an escalating number of rates that he stole settlement cash from clients in injuries or wrongful death instances as properly as accusations that he attempted to set up his personal dying so his son could acquire a $10 million coverage coverage.
Remaining unsolved for extra than seven months are the shooting fatalities of Murdaugh’s spouse, Maggie, and his grownup son Paul at their dwelling in Colleton County.
Alex Murdaugh’s lawyers have adamantly denied he had nearly anything to do with the deaths. But the investigation into the killings started to unravel other pieces of his daily life for an lawyer whose father, grandfather and fantastic-grandfather were being community prosecutors and whose family legislation firm grew into a behemoth with dozens of lawyers profitable a number of multimillion dollar verdicts in tiny Hampton County.
At Murdaugh’s most recent bond listening to, his legal professionals stated Murdaugh’s accounts ended up frozen by a unique choose to make certain victims in a amount of lawsuits wouldn’t shed their prospect to gather settlements. The lawyers said Murdaugh could not even purchase new underwear at the jail or fork out his telephone monthly bill.
Two court docket-appointed receivers also testified at that hearing, indicating Murdaugh has sizeable property including a few bank accounts totaling $10,000 a retirement account with far more than $2 million and partial possession of an Edisto Island seaside home, the family’s sprawling Colleton County estate, 4 parcels of land in Berkeley County and some little islands in and all over Beaufort County.
But receiver John Lay mentioned previous week that people assets should be established apart for victims, not bail.
Murdaugh’s bail is even increased than what prosecutors asked for — $6.2 million to match the total investigators stated Murdaugh faces charges of thieving. His victims assortment from loved ones good friends and a state trooper to an immigrant dwelling in the country illegally and a man or woman wounded in a car or truck crash, prosecutors have explained.
Considering that 2015, Murdaugh has moved a lot more than $3.7 million out of particular lender accounts, and investigators have not been ready to account for much of that funds, prosecutors claimed.
Murdaugh’s lawyers have tried out several occasions to get his bail minimized. An try to get the condition Supreme Court associated previously this thirty day period also failed.
All the fees from Murdaugh are felonies and he could deal with more than 500 a long time in prison if convicted of all of them.
Abide by Jeffrey Collins on Twitter at https://twitter.com/JSCollinsAP.