Alex Murdaugh (in orange prisoner clothes)
Andrew J. Whitaker/AP
Alex Murdaugh, who was found guilty of double murder in the United States, has been sentenced to another prison sentence – for several financial crimes. The 55-year-old appeared in court on Tuesday in Beaufort County, South Carolina, wearing orange inmate clothing. He had previously pleaded guilty to offences such as money laundering and fraud. A judge handed down a prison sentence of 27 years.
Murdaugh, a former lawyer, is already serving a life sentence for two counts of murder. The murder trial against Murdaugh caused a stir in the USA at the beginning of this year – the trial was broadcast on television for hours.
Murdaugh's wife, 52, and son, 22, were found dead on the family's property in June 2021. On the witness stand, the former lawyer had repeatedly burst into tears and asserted his innocence. But he admitted that he had lied again and again. Eventually, the jury found Murdaugh guilty.
Prosecutors accused Murdaugh of hoping for sympathy over the death of his family. In addition, he wanted to gain time to cover up financial crimes. Murdaugh hadstolen a total of more than $8 million from his law firm and clients, according to the court. He needed the money, among other things, to finance his opioid addiction.
"You've lied, you've cheated, you've stolen"
The guilty plea in the current trial was part of a so-called plea deal, i.e. an agreement with the public prosecutor's office. This would prevent a new long process.
On Tuesday, the victims of Murdaugh's financial crimes also had their say in the courtroom. "You've lied, you've cheated, you've stolen," said the son of Murdaugh's deceased housekeeper. Murdaugh again burst into tears in the courtroom and apologized to his family.