21st February 2024
Judge Clifton Newman, Alex Murdaugh

Judge Clifton Newman, Alex Murdaugh pictured on Nov. 28, 2023. (Law&Crime Network)

Convicted family murderer Richard Alexander “Alex” Murdaugh, 55, faced the music in South Carolina court on Tuesday as victims of his admitted million-dollar frauds spoke about the devastating consequences of the disbarred attorney’s financial crimes against 18 clients.

After listening to everything that the victims and the defendant himself said in statements before the court, Judge Clifton Newman said to the defendant, “I don’t even know who I’m speaking to now” — just as Murdaugh’s clients didn’t know who they were speaking to then, when he cheated them out of money that was theirs.

Newman commented that in his 47 years as a lawyer, he experienced “no greater joy” than “having a satisfied client” and “delivering good results.”

To see Murdaugh pervert the role of the attorney in such a way, as the defendant admitted, despite all of the appearances of being a “fun-loving, happy person,” rendered the defendant “quite an enigma,” the judge said. Newman then sentenced Murdaugh to 27 years in state prison.

The guilty plea and what prosecutors said about Alex Murdaugh’s crimes

Murdaugh’s sentence was more formality than mystery, as the November plea agreement included a negotiated recommendation from the state of 27 years in prison. The inmate serving life in prison without parole for the June 7, 2021 murders of his wife Margaret “Maggie” Murdaugh, 52, and son Paul Murdaugh, 22, pleaded guilty on Nov. 17 to 22 counts in the money laundering, financial fraud, and breach of trust case that originally racked up a 101 counts against the defendant.

“I agree that I wrongly took all of that money, your honor, and did all of those crimes,” Murdaugh said when pleading guilty earlier this month, a proceeding that took place roughly two months after he pleaded guilty in a federal conspiracy, bank fraud, wire fraud, and money laundering case.