Eric Bland discusses Alex Murdaugh’s state financial crimes sentencing this week as well as the speech he gave in court.
Happy Friday Premium Members, EB here. It has been a power packed week, went faster than I thought it would. On Tuesday, we had the hearing of all hearings because we finally got to hear Alex Murdaugh speak. Tuesday, as you know, was the sentencing hearing for Alex Murdaugh pleading guilty to 22 felony counts of 102 total charges on the financial crime cases. And it was a time for the victims to speak. As you are aware, a couple of weeks ago, Alex pled guilty to those 22 charges, it was a negotiated plea agreement, which as I said yesterday, it was a compromise and compromise is not a bad word even though the connotation now because of the political atmosphere, compromise is a bad word, but it’s actually not a bad word.
The system cannot function, from a civil case standpoint, and a criminal standpoint, if there isn’t resolutions that are done by the parties themselves, where they negotiate settlements in a civil context, or plea agreements in a criminal context. Every person cannot have their jury trial or the system would be shut down. And so there was an agreement that Alex would get 27 years total for the financial crimes plea of guilt. And it would be without appeal, it would be no chance of parole, and he would be required to serve 85% of his time and get credit for the time that he has been serving since October of 2021 when he was denied bond.
Now, there’s going to be a little bit of disagreement I think over six months, because they’re saying that the government is going to say that he’s been serving his time since March for the murder charges. So that’s going to have to be resolved. But the bottom line is that as a result of the plea, and I’ll get into the arguments that we made, as a result of the plea Alex, who’s currently 54 years old, will probably end up serving somewhere between 22 and 23 years in a state maximum security prison. And he will do that without a chance of parole.
So if Alex gets out of the double murder charges, and somehow there’s no penalty for the Labor Day shooting charges, and Alex can live long enough to live out that sentence in state court to 76 or 77 years old. He would literally walk out of the state court maximum security prison and walk straight to the federal prison. Because as you remember, Alex pled guilty on September 20 in front of Judge Gergel to 20 some felony financial crime charges that were brought on the federal level. And Alex has not been sentenced yet by Judge Gergel as there’s a pre-sentence report being done by federal probation and parole and that sentence will not happen until that report is done and gets to Judge Gergel. So I anticipate in January or February that Alex will be sentenced on a federal level. And it wouldn’t surprise me if Judge Gergel gives him a lot of time. And the reason I say that is because Judge Gergel was subject to a lot of scrutiny and criticism for the light sentence that he gave Cory Fleming–less than four years. So I think we can all rest easy that Alex is going to live out his days in confinement, most likely in a maximum security prison because very few people live past seventy years old in maximum security prison because of the dangerous conditions of other inmates that are dangerous. Certainly Alex is someone that’s going to be “gunned for” so to speak, because he killed his own son. So it’s not easy. The food isn’t good. The medical care is not up to par that you’d normally get if you’re on the outside, so the odds of Alex living past 77 are done.
Yesterday was a day long time coming for me as a person, an attorney for a number of victims; the Satterfields, the Plylers, Jordan Jinks, Sandra Manning–who happens to be Gloria Satterfield’s sister. Alex stole $28,000. From her, we got that back. We represented Blake Hodge, who was a paraplegic who Alex had his case after agreeing to take it, it dealt with a fall. Alex let the case run without filing it, meaning the statute of limitations ran and he didn’t file it in time. And there was the failure of Alex’s to file that caused Blake Hodge to lose a tremendous amount of money. We recovered on that. And then, finally, Melvin Edwards, who is the father of Hakeem Pinckney. We also represent him in connection with some of the matters that dealt with the monies after Hakeem Pinckney died.
So yesterday was the day that we all got to tell Alex how we think of them. And it started off with Harpootlian trying to silence me. He made an argument to Judge Newman that, you know, he didn’t think that lawyers should be able to speak that only victims be able to speak. Judge Newman quickly dispensed with that arguments that no lawyers always get to speak on behalf of their clients. Then Dick said that he didn’t want some lawyers, and he was referring to me, lawyers who sell t-shirts, mugs and bobbleheads, using this as an opportunity to enrich ourselves and use this as an opportunity to make money and therefore didn’t want us to look at him and talk to the lawyers or look at Alex or talk to Alex. He said that he had heard that I had, he didn’t refer to me by name but he was referring to me, said that I had a lot to say to Dick and Jim and also to Alex.
So Creighton wanted me to speak first because of my experience with these financial crimes. Remember, we it was personally gratifying to us because we started the financial crime trains by Cayman coming out in September 2021 on behalf of the Satterfield family, that they had lost their money that was the result of the settlement. And ironically, it was the Gloria Satterfield case which was scheduled for Monday this week to try if Alex didn’t plead guilty, it was the genesis for his plea of guilt. Alex wasn’t coming voluntarily to plead guilty. He literally had both shoulders pinned to the mat and he was at a nine count before he was willing to plead guilty so. I spoke from the heart I had written my what I was going to say on the way up to Philadelphia this past weekend to watch the Eagles beat the Bills. Go Eagles, go birds, fly Eagles fly. And I couldn’t stop writing I had so much I wanted to write about I had so much to write that Alex was, you know, a unicorn criminal, a guy that hit for the cycle. You know, he was a convicted money launderer, convicted conspirator, attaining property by false pretenses, which means theft and then he hit for the home run, which is double murder conviction. You know, I said that he his bust should be on the Mount Rushmore of the world’s most renowned criminals and I mean it. I told him how he had abused the Satterfield family and the other victims how he had played with them over the last 24 months. You know, Alex had said a couple of weeks ago through his lawyer that he was dying to plead guilty and would have pled guilty in September 2021 to these financial crime cases, which simply was not true.
You know, in October of 2021, Dick Harpootlian left the bond hearing that we argued and got Alex no bond on his criminal charges brought in the Satterfield case, that the Satterfield should look to somebody else other than Alex to get their money that there’s other culpable parties more so than Alex. We filed a civil suit against Alex and rather than admitting liability that he stole their money, he denied in totality all liability to the Satterfields and denied stealing any money.
We then negotiated a confession of judgment over six months, should have taken a day, six months. He signed it it was notarized. And so we got this $4.3 million judgment against Alex. We proceed to the murder trial and Dick Harpootlian just totally totally denigrates Tony Satterfield, you know, speaks to him in dismissive tones. The trial ended, and the first thing they did is try to add the Satterfieldsto the Nautilus Federal Court lawsuit where Nautilus was suing Alex Murdaugh to get back to $3.8 million that he and Cory Fleming stole from them. And they said, no, no, no. Why don’t you look to the Satterfields or their lawyers for the money, don’t look to Alex. That’s what they wanted to do by adding the Satterfield his parties to that case, even though that we recovered more than seven and a half million dollars from sources other than Alex, they lost that motion from Judge Gergel.
Then they went to the victim’s compensation fund, which they had agreed to, which is the $1.8 million that the receivers recovered. And they tried to get $160,000 from that fund to pay for Alex’s murder appeal from the murder convictions. And we were successful in arguing against that and Judge Hall ruled against that. And then Alex made a motion to vacate or, or negate the confession of judgment that he gave to the Satterfields in May of 2022 in the amount of $4.3 million, even though it was notarized under penalty of perjury, even though it was negotiated, and he lost in August in front of Judge Bentley Price. If that wasn’t enough, then they appealed that loss.
So again, we’re seeing that this isn’t a man that is willingly willing to accept responsibility. If that wasn’t enough, they file a motion to change the venue on the Satterfield trial by arguing that the jurors in the Beaufort County area are so polluted by the pre-trial publicity and all they know about Alex Murdaugh by the podcasters, he was referring to me and Mandy and Liz, that they could never get a fair and impartial jury. And just because you know of Alex Murdaugh doesn’t mean that you can’t be fair and impartial. And isn’t that rich that they complained about the pre-trial publicity when Dick Harpootlian has never met a camera or a microphone that he didn’t like and didn’t want to get in front of or talk into? I said to Judge Newman that Dick Harpootlian had given numerous numerous press conferences, went on numerous numerous programs, and so did Jim Griffin. And I said, boy isn’t this rich. He’s criticizing podcasters and his law partner in this case, Jim Griffin, started a podcast after the murder trial. Then both Jim Griffin and Dick go to crime con, where they get paid to talk about Alex Murdaugh for three days in Orlando. And they did that in August of this year.
And if that’s not enough, Buster went on a documentary, all the family members have been on documentaries and news programs, including Jim and Dick. And so I was able to show or argue that Alex really didn’t have an intention ever of accepting responsibility. And it was only with the threat of this Satterfield trial that Judge Newman wasn’t going to postpone that he pled guilty. And then I said to Judge Newman, and if that wasn’t enough, then they attacked you judge. They filed a motion to recuse you not only in the murder case, which you agreed to step aside and not hear the motion for a new jury trial based on the jury tampering allegations against Becky Hill. But they said in the Satterfield case that you were polluted from hearing that case, in conflict, because of some of your public statements. So they tried to attack you. Anything but Alex accepting responsibility. And so I had a number of other choice things to say and I was finished. And it was really one of the highlight arguments of my career. But then I just got the unbelievable first row seat to listen to Tony Satterfield. Ginger, Gloria’s sister, Tony’s the son, and then Jordan Jinks absolutely took an axe to Alex Murdaugh.
Tony Satterfield, to watch Tony and Ginger, the the maturation process that has taken place of them over the past two years is unbelievable. When I first met them, the concept of Tony or Ginger speaking publicly, in court or in the cameras just it didn’t exist. They that’s not who they were. But yesterday Tony stood up to Alex said he wanted to talk to him look him in the eye and he told him exactly how he felt. How he was betrayed, how Alex stole money and lied. And then he talked about the half hearted apology letter that Alex had given. And then Ginger got up and talked about how they went to elementary school together, junior high school together, high school together, and she asked Alex why why would you do this? What would make you do this? Based on my sister’s death to try to profit off it. But then Jordan Jinks got up. And Jordan talked in very, very secret terms to Alex and said, you know, Alex, you and I have had a lot of intimate conversations. And we’ve done a lot of intimate things together. He knows a lot about me, and I know a lot about you. You know that I have entertained judges at your request that have done you really good service. And Alex you could tell was in fear. And he then said to Alex, I’d like to come see you. And Alex, and I would like that. So we now know that Jordan Jinks has some very significant information about Alex.
Don’t forget, Jordan and Alex had been friends since they’ve been eight years old. Their fathers were best friends with each other. So that was really telling to me. And then, of course, Mrs. P spoke and then it was Alex’s turn. And I gotta tell you, it was nauseating. It was obscene what Alex tried to do. It was definitely prepackaged pre planned to be an infomercial. For Alex the narcissist to get up there and speak for an hour on subjects that had nothing to do with the matter at hand, which was the financial crime cases, he wanted to talk to me and he he addressed me and told me that I was wrong. That how dare I say that Gloria raised Paul and Buster when it was Maggie and Alex and his parents and her parents that raised them. But if everybody listened to what I said, I said she had a hand in raising them for the 22 years that she was there. And Paul and Maggie both have said that publicly that she had a hand in raising them. Paul absolutely had an affinity for her. So I was about to get up and walk out once I heard that. Then I heard him start to take off on SLED, on the AG’s office for taking their eye off the ball and not finding the real murderers of Maggie and Paul, and spending their time on these financial crime cases, which he was always willing to plead guilty for. And I almost got up then and Ronnie, my partner, said you can’t get up. But when I finally heard him just do a speech to Buster that had nothing at all to do with what was going on in that courtroom I got up, I walked out with 25 minutes to go and I didn’t go watch it anywhere. I just went to the stairwell and I sat down and I just couldn’t take it anymore. And from what I understand Alex’s performance rang hollow. It certainly looked like an infomercial where he was trying to reshape his image and make the public or potential jury if the murder trials reversed and there’s a new trial, think of him differently because the the portrayal that he gave it his murder trial was a fundamentally unlikable person. He made sure he sprinkled in that oh, he’s so grateful for all the wonderful letters and emails and text messages he’s been getting in prison. It’s really uplifted him.
You know, the guy is he’s one of the most dangerous people I’ve ever met in my life. But nobody was fooled by him, and certainly not Judge Newman, because when he got done, Judge Newman chose his words so carefully. He called him in an enigma said he doesn’t even know who Alex Murdaugh is. He’s tried to figure it out since the murder trial and during the murder trial and he said he can’t. He said he doesn’t even he’s not even sure Alex knows who Alex is. He called him enigmatic. And he said that he’s devoid of a soul. He said that he’s done with Alex, because his term as a sitting full time judge ends on December 31, he said I have 34 days left or 32 days left. I did talk with Judge Newman and I’m not so sure that he is going to be gone. We have a thing called senior status and I’ll talk about that later on. But I don’t think we’ve seen the last of Judge Newman as a practicing lawyer. I hope we haven’t.
So yesterday was the closing of a chapter. We promised our clients, the victims, that we would see this through to the end. And we’ve seen it through him pleading guilty in federal court and state court to these financial crime cases. And Alex Murdaugh is never going to get out of prison and that’s a good thing for society. I don’t I worry about what he’s going to do while he’s in prison, what he’s capable of doing because after hearing him speak yesterday, it’s clear that his conscience has never been cleaned. I don’t even know if he’s got a conscience. I don’t think he does. He’s a pure actor, a manipulator. He could sell, you know, ice to an Eskimo and bullshit to a bullfighter.
For me, it was rewarding to hear my clients again, the way they spoke and the way they stood up. It was it was a good fit for the Satterfield family to realize that Gloria didn’t die in vain. Ginger talked about Gloria’s Gift foundation that was started in courseware, around Christmas time where the underprivileged kids in Hampton county get gifts from this foundation. She she talked about forgiveness, and just the goodness of these victims, every one of them said that they forgave Alex. Now I’m an Old Testament guy, I do not forgive him. But these victims are good, good people, religious people, grounded people. And I felt really good about the system coming out of that yesterday after that hearing. And I felt really good about people, some of the people involved in this matter. I don’t think we’ve heard the last of Harpootlian, and obviously we’re going to have the motion for a new jury trial coming up. And I will be participating in that because I represent for the jurors but from what I saw in Harpootlian in that hearing he he’s the shadow of his former self as an attorney. All he is at this point, he’s reduced to whining and being sarcastic.
And that is it. That is what we have. the True Sunlight episode that’s coming out is going to be test rock ’em sock ’em robots. We released COJ episode 57. Yesterday, and I think 5859 We have so much ground to cover on that sentencing hearing because there was so many different dynamics at play. We’re really excited about you know, what is coming up. Obviously, Mandy’s book tour is just so exciting. David and her out west I think doing some book promotion. I’m in the middle of writing my book.
Oh, the funny thing yesterday, you know, was the merchandise derogatory comments that Dick made well, turns out we had a robust day of sales. So kind of like Becky Hill’s book sold more than Dick talked about it, the more that it sold well. We had a very robust day of sales yesterday and I sold the final bobblehead this morning. All the changes I wanted on it had been made. It should come out next week, and we’ll put it up on the site. And with that EB out.
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