S.C. Judge Denies Request to Reduce Alex Murdaugh's $7M Bond, Calls Him a Danger to Himself and Community

The suspended attorney remains in jail as his lawyers urge authorities to focus on finding out who killed Murdaugh's wife and son last June

alex murdaugh
Alex Murdaugh. Photo: Orange County Department of Corrections

A South Carolina judge has denied a request to reduce the $7 million bond she set for Alex Murdaugh, who is charged with stealing more than $6.2 million from his clients and the law firm his great-grandfather founded in 1910.

On Tuesday, State Grand Jury Presiding Judge Alison Lee said in a written order that she made the decision based on the suspended attorney's ability to flee, according to the Associated Press, NPR, and WCIV.

Lee wrote that Murdaugh "remains a flight risk and potential danger to himself and his community," the Associated Press reports.

In a statement about the decision, Murdaugh's attorneys, Jim Griffin and Dick Harpootlian, said, "Alex is unable to post a $7 million bond. He will remain in jail while these charges are pending."

They added: "Going forward, we hope that the Attorney General will put as much energy and effort towards solving the murders of Maggie and Paul as his office has done with investigating Alex's financial affairs."

Murdaugh made national news in June when he came home and found his wife, Maggie, 52, and their son, Paul, 22, gunned down on their 1,770-acre estate in Islandton.

Murdaugh is a person of interest in the murders of his wife and son, according to his attorneys. Authorities haven't named any suspects or made any arrests in connection with the slayings.

Suspended from practicing law, Murdaugh, 53, has been charged in 12 indictments with stealing a total of $6.2 million from his former law firm, former clients and others, court documents state.

The once-wealthy heir to a South Carolina legal dynasty has been held in a Columbia jail since Oct. 16 after being arrested and charged with a host of financial and other crimes.

He is also facing a slew of civil suits.

On Dec. 13, Judge Lee set the $7 million bond for 48 counts of financial misconduct and other charges Murdaugh faces — one of the largest in South Carolina history.

On Jan. 4, Griffin and Harpootlian filed a motion asking the court to lower Murdaugh's $7 million bond and to reinstate the option to pay 10 percent of the bond to be released from jail.

They argued in the motion that Murdaugh has less than $10,000 in his bank account and doesn't have enough money to "pay a phone bill."

During a Jan. 10 virtual bond hearing, the judge heard their arguments for the reduction as well as witness impact statements urging her to keep him behind bars.

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