Convicted murderer Alex Murdaugh won’t be able to dip into the $160,000 in his liquidated retirement accounts to pay for his appeal, a judge has ruled.
Murdaugh, 54, the scion of a prominent South Carolina legal dynasty, was sentenced to two consecutive life sentences in March after being found guilty of fatally shooting his wife Maggie, 52, and son Paul, 22 in June 2021 at the family hunting lodge.
Judge Daniel Hall ruled Friday that Murdaugh won’t be allowed access to what remains of his 401(k) to pay lawyers to appeal his conviction.
“After careful consideration, defendant Richard Alexander Murdaugh’s motion for payment of attorneys’ fees and costs from untainted funds is denied,” the court order said.
Columbia, SC attorney Eric Bland, who represents families who claim that Murdaugh stole their insurance settlement money when he was their lawyer, argued against Murdaugh’s request to get his 401(k) funds.
“Judge Hall made the perfect call,” Bland told The Post Saturday. “Feeling really good with his ruling denying Alex Murdaugh’s request for $160,000 of attorney’s fees for his appeal. Receiver John T. Lay and I argued against Alex’s request. I argued that it would be unfair to Alex’s victims and creditors to permit him to jump to the front of the line and grab that money first.”
Murdaugh’s lawyers filed the motion to appeal a week after his conviction.
The disgraced attorney is being held at the Kirkland Reception and Evaluation Center. He will be assessed there before being assigned to a maximum-security South Carolina prison.
The conviction and sentencing came after a six-week trial that painted two starkly different images of Murdaugh — one as a cold-blooded killer and the other as a fumbling, guilt-ridden drug addict who nevertheless loved his family and would not hurt them.
The lurid saga, which garnered national attention, started on June 7, 2021, when Maggie Murdaugh, 52, and her son Paul, 22, were shot dead near the kennels at the family’s Islandton hunting lodge.
During four weeks of testimony, prosecutors argued that Murdaugh, the scion of a storied legal dynasty, had killed them both to cover up his extensive financial misdeeds, which were on the verge of being discovered by his business partners after his drug addiction had spiraled out of control.
The devastating evidence presented by the state included unnerving bodycam footage of Murdaugh standing just feet away from his relatives’ bullet-riddled bodies.