Alex Murdaugh pleads guilty in financial crimes case days before trial

Convicted murderer Alex Murdaugh struck a plea deal Friday in a financial crimes case, just days before a trial was set to begin in South Carolina.

Murdaugh, 55, has agreed to plead guilty in Beaufort County Court to more than a dozen counts including money laundering, breach of trust and financial fraud in exchange for a 27-year sentence, The Associated Press reported.

The deal will add more prison time to Murdaugh’s life sentence after he was convicted earlier this year of killing his wife and son in 2021. Murdaugh pleaded guilty in September in federal court to 22 counts of financial fraud and money laundering.

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Judge Clifton Newman said he intends to accept the plea deal and set a sentencing hearing on Nov. 28. The deal means Murdaugh will avoid a state trial that was set to begin on Nov. 27.

Murdaugh, a longtime lawyer, was accused of stealing millions in legal settlements from injured clients or families of those killed on the job. He has also been accused of stealing millions from his law firm and getting out of hundreds of thousands in state income taxes.

He was convicted of the fatal shootings of his wife and son in March and is serving life in prison without parole. His lawyers are seeking a new trial in his murder case, claiming the court clerk tampered with the jury, which the clerk denied.

The disbarred lawyer has denied guilt in the fatal shootings since his indictment. Prosecutors have alleged that he killed his wife and son to gain pity because he knew he would be exposed for various financial crimes.

The Hill has reached out to Murdaugh’s defense attorney and Judge Newman for comment on the deal.

— The Associated Press contributed

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