Alex Murdaugh conceded that he is guilty of all 22 counts of financial crimes in federal court on September 21, 2023.

Murdaugh, who stood in the courtroom with glasses and a yellow SCDC jumpsuit, told Judge Richard Gergel that he has been sober for 700+ days and that he is competent to enter a guilty plea.

Murdaugh previously pleaded not guilty to all federal counts during a hearing on May 31, 2023.  

It is currently unclear why the plea changed, although Liz and Mandy pondered potential reasons in Episode 17 of True Sunlight Podcast.

During Thursday’s hearing, Murdaugh told Judge Gergel–the same judge handling Russell Laffitte and Cory Fleming’s federal cases–that he would pay restitution and give property to the government if he pleads guilty. 

According to Murdaugh, he decided to plead guilty because he wants his “son [Buster Murdaugh] to see me take responsibility” and that he hopes the victims “can heal.” 

Murdaugh is also ordered to provide truthful information or items that are of evidentiary value to the government, even if this includes a polygraph test. 

According to federal prosecutor Emily Limehouse, the plea deal can be voided if Murdaugh is untruthful. 

Judge Gergel accepted the plea agreement while Limehouse noted that any monetary penalties cannot be discharged with bankruptcy.  

Phil Barber, Jim Griffin and Dick Harpootlian–three of Murdaugh’s attorneys–were present in the courtroom when Judge Gergel entered a preliminary forfeiture of at least $9 million to protect assets which was signed by Judge Gergel. 

You can read the transcript below:

Murdaugh will be sentenced at a future date. You can read more about Murdaugh’s financial crimes here


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Sam Berlin

Sam is an award winning-journalist originally from Raleigh, North Carolina and currently living in Brooklyn, New York.

She graduated from Syracuse University in 2020 where she studied magazine journalism, photography, and sociology.

She joined Luna Shark Media in 2023 where she assists with research, producing, recording and editing for True Sunlight and Cup of Justice podcasts.

Through her detailed, ethical reporting and multimedia experience, Sam creates enterprise stories and works to unravel the truth around her.