Alex Murdaugh was sentenced Friday to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the murders of his wife and grown son, concluding a brutal chapter in the story of the once-influential South Carolina lawyer.
But the tangled tale isn't over. Here are some of the outstanding issues.
Allegations of financial wrongdoing:
- Murdaugh faces 99 charges stemming from 19 grand jury indictments for various crimes, according to the state attorney general’s office, including allegedly defrauding his clients and former law firm of nearly $9 million. And in December, the attorney general's office said Murdaugh had been indicted for tax evasion for failing to report almost $7 million of income earned through illegal acts, for which he allegedly owes the state almost $500,000.
- Murdaugh resigned from the PMPED (Peters, Murdaugh, Parker, Eltzroth, and Detrick) law firm in September 2021 after “the discovery by PMPED that Alex misappropriated funds in violation of PMPED standards and policies,” the firm said in a statement. That same month, the state’s Supreme Court issued an order suspending his license to practice law in South Carolina. In October 2021, the law firm sued Murdaugh to recover funds it alleged he stole from clients for his own personal use, saying Murdaugh “developed a systematic scheme in which he diverted funds owed to the firm and to clients to a fictitious entity” for many years.
- In June 2022, Murdaugh and former acquaintance Curtis Smith were indicted on two counts of criminal conspiracy by a state grand jury, according to the attorney general. The indictment alleges Murdaugh gave Smith hundreds of checks over a number of years totaling about $2.4 million.
- Murdaugh has been sued by other alleged victims of financial fraud. The majority center on cases and victims not previously known to the public, like a highway patrolman injured in the line of duty, from whom prosecutors allege Murdaugh stole settlement money for “his own personal use, for expenses including but not limited to overdraft fees, cash, and checks written to associates," according to the indictment.
The Satterfield family:
Family housekeeper Gloria Satterfield died in February 2018 in what was described as a “trip and fall accident” at the Murdaugh home, according to attorney Eric Bland, who is representing her estate. After Satterfield’s death, Murdaugh coordinated with her family to sue himself in order to seek an insurance settlement, according to investigators.
In September 2021, the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division announces it is opening a criminal investigation into her death and the handling of her estate.
The children of Satterfield filed a motion for Murdaugh’s arrest and detention until the money he allegedly embezzled from her estate is returned. The estate has not received any of the money owed as the result of a 2018 civil settlement, the estate’s attorney says.
Murdaugh was arrested in October 2021 on suspicion of misappropriating settlement funds in connection with Satterfield's death and agreed to a $4.3 million settlement with the family in December 2021, according to Bland.
The fatal boat crash:
Murdaugh’s late son Paul was allegedly the driver of the boat that crashed in February 2019, killing 19-year-old Mallory Beach. At the time of his death, Paul Murdaugh was facing charges of boating under the influence, causing great bodily harm and causing death. He pleaded not guilty, and court records show the charges were dropped after his death.
However, Alex Murdaugh and Paul Murdaugh's estate are still defendants in an ongoing wrongful death lawsuit filed by Beach's family in 2019, according to court records.
In June 2021, the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) announced it was reopening an investigation into the death of 19-year-old Stephen Smith, whose body was found in the middle of a Hampton County road on July 8, 2015.
Though authorities have not announced a connection between Smith’s death and the Murdaugh family, SLED said it was reopening an investigation based on information gathered while investigating the double homicide of Margaret and Paul Murdaugh.
SLED has not specified what that information was and his death remains unsolved.
CNN's Christina Maxouris, Maria Cartaya, Dianne Gallagher, Amir Vera and Eric Levenson contributed to this report.