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Crime Death of Murdaugh housekeeper who fell in home yields criminal investigation

02:01  16 september  2021
02:01  16 september  2021 Source:   nbcnews.com

South Carolina lawyer whose wife, son were killed misused funds, law firm says

  South Carolina lawyer whose wife, son were killed misused funds, law firm says Murdaugh, whose wife and son were shot in unsolved killings in June, had said he was taking time off "after a long battle that has been exacerbated by these murders."On Monday, hours after Murdaugh, 53, said in a vague statement that he had resigned from his position to enter rehab and that he "made a lot of decisions that I truly regret," the law firm revealed that he allegedly "misappropriated funds.

The death of the housekeeper , Gloria Satterfield, 57, was attributed in court documents to a “trip and fall ” accident, but Angela Topper, the coroner in Hampton County, S.C., said the death was never reported to her office and no autopsy was conducted. The announcement from the South Carolina The central question of who killed Mr. Murdaugh ’s wife, Maggie, and college student son, Paul, who were found shot to death at their home in June, remains unsolved. The new investigation into Ms. Satterfield’s death came after lawyers representing her two sons said the children had not received

Who is Paul Murdaugh , the man found murdered in Colleton County South Carolina? Three other deaths are tied to the prominent family. As the investigation moves forward and detectives attempt to unravel the complicated ties to the Murdaugh dynasty, several sources who spoke with FITSNews questioned whether this criminal inquiry would be tainted like the others before it. This media outlet has been covering Paul Murdaugh since he was first accused in a fatal boat crash that killed 19-year-old Mallory Beach in February 2019.

a group of people posing for the camera © Provided by NBC News

The death three years ago of a longtime housekeeper and nanny for the Murdaugh family will be the subject of a criminal investigation, South Carolina authorities announced Wednesday, yielding yet another unexpected turn in a case that has entangled a prominent legal family.

A spokesman for the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division said the death of Gloria Satterfield has prompted a review following a request from the Hampton County coroner and based on "information gathered" during a separate investigation involving Alex Murdaugh, the legal scion whose wife and son were fatally shot in June.

After Being Accused of Misusing Funds, Alex Murdaugh Has His Law License Suspended

  After Being Accused of Misusing Funds, Alex Murdaugh Has His Law License Suspended Days after Alex Murdaugh was shot in the head, his law firm accused him of malfeasance and cut ties with himOn Wednesday, five days after being accused of diverting funds from his law firm, Peters Murdaugh Parker Eltzroth & Detrick, the South Carolina Supreme Court placed Alex on an interim suspension, according to an order obtained by PEOPLE.

Murdaugh , who is in rehab for opioid addiction and under investigation for allegedly misappropriating millions from his law firm after the brutal murder of his wife and son, has not yet been arrested or charged. SLED says further charges are expected in the case. On Monday, SLED announced that it had opened a criminal investigation into Murdaugh over the alleged missing law firm funds, the latest twist in the family's tragic and strange saga. In making the announcement SLED Chief Mark Keel said, ‘As Chief of SLED, I continue to urge the public to be patient and let this investigation take its course.’

Detectives investigating the death of journalist Lyra McKee in Londonderry have arrested four men. The men, aged 19, 20, 21 and 33, were all arrested on Wednesday under the Terrorism Act, police have said. The four men have all been taken to the Serious Crime Suite at Musgrave Police Station in Belfast. image captionThere was a police presence on the Lone Moor Road near Creggan on Wednesday. "These arrests are the culmination of a detailed two-year investigation into Lyra's murder and the events which preceded it," Det Supt Jason Murphy said.

a man and a woman sitting on a bench: Image: Gloria Satterfield (Brice W. Herndon and Sons Funeral Home) © Brice W. Herndon and Sons Funeral Home Image: Gloria Satterfield (Brice W. Herndon and Sons Funeral Home)

Satterfield's death "was not reported to the coroner at the time, nor was an autopsy performed," Hampton County Coroner Angela Topper wrote in a letter to state investigators in her request. "On the death certificate, the manner of death was ruled 'natural,' which is inconsistent with injuries sustained in a trip and fall accident."

Earlier Wednesday, an attorney for Satterfield's family filed a lawsuit in Hampton County court accusing Murdaugh and others of breach of fiduciary duty in failing to pay them as part of a wrongful death settlement.

Satterfield was 57 when she died in February 2018 from injuries sustained from a fall in the Murdaugh home, where she was employed for more than two decades. According to the suit, "the exact details of the fall remain unclear" to her two sons, Michael "Tony" Satterfield and Brian Harriott, who were supposed to get $475,000 in direct payment to "compensate them for the grief, sorrow and mourning associated with the loss of their mother."

Unsolved Murdaugh shootings yield misconduct claim, conflicting accounts — and more questions

  Unsolved Murdaugh shootings yield misconduct claim, conflicting accounts — and more questions On June 7, deputies in South Carolina discovered a grisly scene at one family's hunting lodge property: Paul and Margaret "Maggie" Murdaugh were shot to death.A frantic 911 call had been placed by Alex Murdaugh, a personal injury attorney, at 10:07 p.m. His voice quivered as he told a dispatcher that his wife, Margaret, and son, Paul, were not breathing.

Police say a shooting in north Minneapolis and a crash nearby on Interstate 94 are connected, and a homicide investigation is now underway. via FacebookIn a stunning turn of events, a South Carolina man was charged Tuesday with shooting troubled attorney Alex Murdaugh in the head in an assisted-suicide plot to funnel million in insurance money to his surviving son.The alleged conspiracy was laid out in court documents released after Curtis Edward Smith, 61, was collared for the botched Sept.

Who are the Murdaughs ? Alex Murdaugh , 53, is the scion of a well-connected legal family in South Carolina. Over the course of three generations, his great-grandfather, grandfather and father all served as the top prosecutor for a five-county region in the state. At the time of his death , Paul was also facing criminal charges stemming from a 2019 incident in which authorities say he drunkenly caused a boating accident that left a woman dead . Mr Murdaugh was shot in early September. No arrests have been made in the incident, which came a day after Mr Murdaugh resigned from his law firm.

The home was insured through Lloyd's of London, according to the suit. Murdaugh initially pledged that he was "going to take care of the boys," the suit added, by suing himself to collect on personal liability insurance through Lloyd's. But nearly two years after a partial settlement was reached with the insurance firm, a "stipulation of dismissal" was filed in October 2020, purportedly ending the estate's claims against Murdaugh. Murdaugh also signed the stipulation, according to an exhibit attached to the suit.

"Neither Tony, nor Brian, were consulted about the dismissal, nor were they told of what, if any, additional actions had been taken on their behalves in the years following the partial settlement," the suit said. "Tony and Brian first learned that money had been recovered from the death of their mother when it was reported in the press."

Ronald Richter Jr., an attorney for Satterfield's family, told NBC News they've received "not a dime."

Police Investigate Allegations That Alex Murdaugh Stole Funds from His Law Firm

  Police Investigate Allegations That Alex Murdaugh Stole Funds from His Law Firm The descendant of a prominent legal dynasty is accused of misappropriating fees from the law firm his great-grandfather started more than a century agoThe state's highest law enforcement agency opened the investigation "based upon allegations that he misappropriated funds in connection to his position as a former lawyer with the Peters, Murdaugh, Parker, Eltzroth, & Detrick (PMPED) law firm in Hampton, South Carolina," it said in a statement.

Murdaugh , 53, found his wife, Maggie Murdaugh , 52, and their 22-year-old son, Paul Murdaugh , both shot several times at their Colleton County home on June 7. Authorities said the two were found shot to death outside the house near dog kennels. No arrests have been made, and state police have released little information, even going to court to fight public records requests. After the Murdaughs deaths , state police also reopened an investigation into a 2015 hit-and-run death of a 19-year-old man in Hampton County. The victim’s mother said she thought Paul Murdaugh could have been involved.

Police and the DA's office are investigating what happened to the victim who reportedly fell through a set of state-owned stairs near the JFK-UMass MBTA stop. The Daily Beast, the top law enforcement agency in the state confirmed the criminal investigation into Murdaugh is bas. 3h ago. U.s.USA today.

"We're informed that the settlement was $505,000, but the net proceeds of that settlement, we're told that they have received none of that money, although the case supposedly resolved in 2018," he said.

Another attorney, Eric Bland, said Satterfield's sons didn't previously want to make waves.

"It's hard. One of our clients is special needs, the other lives in a small Southern town ... and they didn't ask questions," he said. They previously "tried to call their lawyers and didn't get a response, but they didn't take it beyond that. They were scared."

A Murdaugh family spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday.

The latest investigation surrounding the family comes after state investigators and lawyers for Murdaugh revealed he used a gunman to attempt to stage his own death so that a $10 million life insurance policy can be paid to another son.

The bizarre plot unraveled, however, when the lawyers said the man, Curtis Edward Smith, only grazed Murdaugh's head with a bullet during the Sept. 4 roadside shooting, and days later, Murdaugh's law firm accused him of misappropriating money.

Disgraced Legal Titan Arrested in Assisted-Suicide Fiasco

  Disgraced Legal Titan Arrested in Assisted-Suicide Fiasco First his son faced criminal charges over a fatal boating accident. Then his wife and the same son were murdered outside a family estate. Then he reported being shot in the head while dealing with a busted tire—before announcing he was going to rehab for a drug addiction and facing accusations of misusing funds from his own law firm. Oh, and authorities decided to investigate the death of a housekeeper on his property years ago. Now, AlexThen his wife and the same son were murdered outside a family estate.

Jim Griffin, one of Murdaugh's lawyers, said that his client did not tell state investigators that he paid Smith and that Smith "willingly shot him without pay," The Post and Courier reported. He also said Smith was the "primary" drug dealer for Murdaugh, who had been dealing with an addiction to painkillers.

Smith, 61, was charged with assisted suicide, insurance fraud, conspiracy to commit insurance fraud and other counts, the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division said in a statement. Murdaugh, who was listed as a co-defendant, was not immediately arrested; another of his lawyers, Richard Harpootlian, said on NBC's "TODAY" show that he expects charges to be filed.

Court documents show that Murdaugh had first represented Smith in a personal injury lawsuit in 2012 and then for a speeding ticket in 2013. Other details surrounding their connection, and whether the shooting might also be tied to the unsolved slayings of Murdaugh's wife, Margaret, and son Paul remain unclear.

Harpootlian said Murdaugh was "distraught" over their deaths and overcome by emotions exacerbated by a 20-year opioid addiction, but insisted he did not play a role in their killings.

a group of people posing for a photo: From left, Paul, Margaret and Alex Murdaugh. (via Facebook) © Provided by NBC News From left, Paul, Margaret and Alex Murdaugh. (via Facebook)

Harpootlian said they're doing their own investigation, and "we think we'll know this week whether the one suspect we're looking at bears further scrutiny, and we'll make that available to law enforcement."

‘He Is Not A Man of Significant Means Anymore’: Suspended S.C. Attorney Alex Murdaugh Pleads Poverty at South Carolina Bond Hearing

  ‘He Is Not A Man of Significant Means Anymore’: Suspended S.C. Attorney Alex Murdaugh Pleads Poverty at South Carolina Bond Hearing Suspended South Carolina attorney Richard "Alex" Murdaugh appeared in court for the first time to face charges that he asked a former client to kill him. The post ‘He Is Not A Man of Significant Means Anymore’: Suspended S.C. Attorney Alex Murdaugh Pleads Poverty at South Carolina Bond Hearing first appeared on Law & Crime.Suspended South Carolina attorney Richard “Alex” Murdaugh appeared in court Thursday afternoon for the first time to face charges connected to what authorities say was an admitted plot to end his own life by asking a former client to kill him.  By ending his own life, Murdaugh hoped his son would obtain the proceeds of a $10 million life insurance policy.

Smith was also charged with distribution of methamphetamine and possession of marijuana. Court records indicate he has traffic violations in Colleton County going back to 1995, and it was not immediately clear if he currently has an attorney.

Given what investigators and his attorneys have already said, Murdaugh himself could face numerous charges, including conspiracy to commit insurance fraud, as well as charges related to the theft of money from his law firm and the purchasing of illegal drugs, according to Kenneth Gaines, a law professor at the University of South Carolina.

"When they pull back the covers on this, there's going to be a whole lot of things flying out," he said.

Harpootlian said on "TODAY" that Murdaugh remains cooperative with state investigators as he seeks treatment for his drug addiction at a rehab center. He said Murdaugh also provided investigators with his bank accounts and "told them how to find out how much he spent, where it went, where the bank accounts were, what went in, what came out," as well as "checks written to drug dealers.

The family's powerful legal connections were in the spotlight after Paul Murdaugh was indicted in a boat crash in 2019 that left Mallory Beach, 19, dead. A police report said people on the boat were "grossly intoxicated."

Paul Murdaugh, who had pleaded not guilty to three felony counts of boating under the influence, was awaiting trial at the time of his death.

In addition, the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division announced in June that it was opening an investigation into the death of another 19-year-old, Stephen Smith, who was found on a rural road in Hampton County in 2015. Investigators said the case was opened after information was found while investigating the double homicide of Margaret and Paul Murdaugh.

Alex Murdaugh Reportedly Obtained $4.3M Settlement in Housekeeper's Death .
A lawsuit says the South Carolina lawyer tried to manipulate the legal system to prevent his housekeeper's sons from collecting on her insurance policy.The Murdaugh family's housekeeper and nanny, Gloria Satterfield, died in February 2018 after tripping over the family dog, a lawyer for her sons told reporters.

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