Alex Murdaugh pleads not guilty to murder charges; bond denied

Alex Murdaugh appears in a Colleton County court for a bond hearing on murder charges stemming...
Alex Murdaugh appears in a Colleton County court for a bond hearing on murder charges stemming from the shooting deaths of his wife and youngest son.(WRDW)
Published: Jul. 20, 2022 at 6:49 AM EDT|Updated: Jul. 20, 2022 at 11:07 AM EDT
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COLLETON COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - Former Lowcountry attorney Alex Murdaugh pleaded not guilty to state charges that he murdered his wife and son.

Murdaugh made his first court appearance Wednesday morning after being charged with the murders of his wife and son.

Appearing before Judge Clifton Newman, lawyers from both sides agreed to no bond for Murdaugh, a decision upheld by Newman.

Last week, a Colleton County grand jury indicted Murdaugh on two counts of murder and two counts of possessing a firearm during the commission of a violent crime in connection with the June 7, 2021, shooting deaths of 52-year-old Maggie Murdaugh and 22-year-old Paul Murdaugh.

The indictments allege he allegedly used two different weapons, a rifle on his wife and a shotgun on his son.

He called 911 that night, telling investigators he had arrived at the family’s hunting property in the rural Colleton County community of Islandton and discovered the bodies.

The two sides also requested a gag order to keep motions that might include evidence sealed for the case citing the media attention the case has garnered.

Murdaugh’s attorney Dick Harpootlian said not imposing the order “runs the risk of polluting the jury pool.”

While attorneys for the state appeared agreeable to the order, Judge Newman said he “typically disfavors” gag orders.

The third motion brought to Newman on Wednesday was the defense’s request for a speedy trial with Murdaugh’s attorneys saying “the killer or killers are still at large.”

SPECIAL SECTION: The Murdaugh Cases

Murdaugh will appear for a bond hearing on those new charges before Judge Clifton Newman, the same judge who previously denied bond for him last October when the family of his former housekeeper, Gloria Satterfield, accused him of stealing insurance money after her death. That case has since been settled.

At the time, Newman requested a psychiatric evaluation for Murdaugh. Since then he’s been indicted on several other financial crime-related charges and has remained in jail for months.

His lawyers have argued he doesn’t have the money to pay for the bonds he has been granted in other cases.

Murdaugh is currently being held at the Alvin Glenn Detention Center in Richland County and will be driven to the Colleton County Courthouse in Walterboro Wednesday morning for the bond hearing.

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