Alex Murdaugh SC Lawyers Call for Insurance Plan Hearing


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The Murdaugh family saga has dominated the news after another shootout, resignation and criminal charges – with Alex Murdaugh at the center of it all. Here are the latest updates on Alex Murdaugh.

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Lawyers for Alex Murdaugh have requested a preliminary hearing into charges related to an alleged failed suicide plot on September 4 for an insurance payment of $ 10 million.

The hearing will take place before a Hampton County magistrate and has not yet been scheduled.

Murdaugh attended the Hampton County Detention Center on September 16. The suspended Hampton lawyer faces charges of insurance fraud, conspiracy to commit insurance fraud and falsifying a police report.

SC’s Law Enforcement Division indicted him and his client Curtis Edward Smith in an alleged scheme to have Smith shoot and kill Murdaugh on a rural road in Hampton County in order to purchase an insurance policy– life for Murdaugh’s surviving son, Buster.

Murdaugh’s attorneys sent the request on Thursday, according to the documents. The hearing sets up a possible confrontation between prosecutors in the SC Attorney General’s office and defense attorneys Dick Harpootlian and Jim Griffin.

Murdaugh is currently in an out-of-state rehab facility on his $ 20,000 personal bond.

Murdaugh’s wife, Maggie, and her other son, Paul, were shot dead on June 7 in their Islandton home. The case is still under investigation by SLED which has gained national and statewide attention.

In addition to these two murders and insurance fraud charges, investigations now involving Murdaugh include three premature deaths, the alleged embezzlement of millions of dollars from his former law firm, and an alleged scheme to embezzle the money. insurance of the estate of his late housekeeper, Gloria Satterfield. SLED is investigating all of this.

What does “probable cause” mean?

The purpose of pre-trial hearings in South Carolina is to establish whether police have “probable cause” when they arrest someone.

“Probable cause” is a standard of proof, meaning that the police have reasonable grounds to believe that a crime has been committed, but it is not as high a standard of proof as the “beyond” standard. of any reasonable doubt ”necessary to convict a person of committing a crime.

If a probable cause is found by a municipal judge or presiding magistrate, the case will be “tied”, meaning it will continue in the court system.

However, cases can also be “kicked down” – reduced to a lesser offense – or dismissed at a preliminary hearing, said Daniel Coble, a Columbia lawyer and former Richland County magistrate who wrote a book on preliminary hearings published by the SC Bar.

Defense lawyers usually use preliminary hearings in order to obtain details of the evidence and to try to convince the magistrate to issue a warrant against their client.

Affidavits at a preliminary hearing by a police officer can be used by the defense in a subsequent trial to partially dismiss the prosecution case.

Typically, the arresting officer or chief investigator must testify, and then the defense can cross-examine the officer. But the defense does not have the right to provide evidence.

An SLED officer will have to testify at the hearing before the magistrate and lawyers for Murdaugh.

News of the preliminary hearing was first reported by the Post and Courier newspaper.

This story was originally published September 24, 2021 at 7.18 pm.

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Jake Shore is a senior writer covering breaking news for The Island Packet and Beaufort Gazette. He reports on the criminal justice, police and justice system in Beaufort and Jasper counties. Jake is from sunny California and attended Fordham University in New York City. In 2020, Jake won a First Place Police Reporting Award from the South Carolina Press Association.

John Monk has covered courts, crime, politics, public corruption, the environment and other issues in the Carolinas for over 40 years. A US Army veteran who covered the US invasion of Panama in 1989, Monk is a former Washington correspondent for the Charlotte Observer. He has covered numerous death penalty trials, including those of Charleston church killer Dylann Roof, serial killer Pee Wee Gaskins and child killer Tim Jones. Monk’s hobbies include hiking, books, languages, music, and more.

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