Judge Clifton Newman and Creighton Waters pulled no punches at Alex Murdaugh’s bond hearing in Hampton. Find out more about two important people in the Murdaugh criminal saga.

Judge Clifton Newman

Judge Clifton Newman is a circuit court judge in South Carolina, where he has served since 2000. 

Prior to his election, Judge Newman was an attorney and served as an assistant solicitor in Williamsburg County for 17 years.

Newman is a member of both the South Carolina and Ohio State Bar Associations.

In September 2021, Judge Newman was assigned to the criminal investigations involving Gloria Satterfield and Paul and Maggie Murdaugh. 

After Alex was found guilty of the murders of Paul and Maggie in March 2023, Judge Newman sentenced him to two consecutive life sentences. 

Recently, Alex Murdaugh’s attorneys have discussed interest in having Judge Newman step down from presiding over their client’s criminal cases, claiming he is a witness in alleged jury tampering in Alex’s murder trial.

Creighton Waters

Creighton Waters is the chief prosecutor in the criminal cases against Alex Murdaugh, including Alex’s infamous 2023 murder trial where he was found guilty of killing his son Paul and his wife Maggie. 

Waters is the chief prosecutor for the South Carolina grand jury and has worked for the South Carolina Attorney General’s Office since 1998. 

Hosts Mandy and Liz spoke with Creighton on Murdaugh Murders Podcast episode 83 about the six week trial.

Another suspicious acquaintance to the Murdaugh family is Judge Carmen Mullen.

Judge Carmen Mullen

Judge Carmen Mullen is a circuit court judge in South Carolina, where she has served since 2006. 

She oversees the 14 Circuit, representing the following counties: 

  • Allendale
  • Beaufort
  • Colleton
  • Hampton
  • Jasper

Prior to her election in 2006, Judge Mullen served as a law clerk for Judge Casey Manning of the 5 Circuit in South Carolina. 

She also served as an assistant public defender in Charleston County before working as an attorney at her private firm until her 2006 election. 

At present, Judge Mullen serves in the same circuit where Duffie Stone is a current solicitor and where Alex Murdaugh previously practiced law. 

In Feb. 2018, Judge Mullen was accused of assisting Cory Fleming to keep fund transfers from Gloria Satterfield’s wrongful death settlement out of the public record. 

Mullen was also accused of removing Alex Murdaugh’s name from the settlement and having two secret hearings regarding the Satterfield settlement and did not file any documents with the court–a severe breach in protocol.

Eric Bland entered Mandy’s life like a jackhammer as Alex’s theft charges against Gloria Satterfield’s family worked their way through the justice system. When Eric deposed Chad Westendorf, the personal representative of Gloria’s estate, he learned shocking details about the financial scheme to defraud Gloria’s sons, Tony and Brian.

Chad Westendorf

Chad Westendorf currently serves as the vice president of Palmetto State Bank in Hampton County, South Carolina where he started in 1999.

Westendorf also served as Gloria Satterfield’s estate representative after her death in February 2018, after Cory Fleming’s suggestion.

During a Feb. 2018 deposition, Westendorf stated he witnessed Judge Carmen Mullen arrange to keep details of the Satterfield wrongful death settlement out of the public record. 

The $4.3 million wrongful death settlement was made payable to Chad Westendorf, without any communication to the Satterfield family before it was handed off to Cory Fleming and then Alex Murdaugh.

Enter Eric Bland! As Lunashark subscribers know, Eric has gone on to become a key member of the Lunashark family, so of course the book would need to memorialize he and Mandy’s early relationship. I like how this chapter shows Mandy’s grit and tenacity as she pushed back against Eric’s initial indifference to her. Of course once he got to know her, he would join her legion of fans! We also needed to introduce the mechanism behind Alex’s myriad financial crimes, so Mandy walked me through exactly how Eric explained it to her. This was serious, dry stuff, but Eric’s voice and quotes helped animate it for the reader. I so enjoyed listening to the recordings of Mandy’s and Eric’s early conversations. This chapter was also a key turning point in that momentum was starting to build after Alex’s bond hearing. There was still a long way to go, but things were moving in the right direction.

Carolyn Murnick

Stay tuned for more information on key players in this chapter and more!

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