HAMPTON COUNTY, S.C. (WCBD) – Attorney Justin Bamberg said Wednesday he plans to object to a recent request filed Tuesday by convicted murderer Alex Murdaugh for an order that would direct receivers in control of his accounts to transfer $160,000 from escrow to pay for attorneys’ fees and costs to appeal his recent convictions and sentence in the killings of his wife and youngest son.
Murdaugh was found guilty and sentenced to two consecutive life sentences – without parole – earlier this month following a lengthy trial held in Colleton County. His legal team filed an appeal just days later.
“The funds received from Murdaugh’s retirement account in defense of the murders and related charges at trial have been exhausted. Specifically, the undersigned paid $518,722.50 in out-of-pocket defense costs and trial counsel received attorneys’ fees in the amount of $81,277.50,” the filing reads.
It goes on to say that attorney fees received by counsel are “grossly insufficient to cover the actual attorney’s fees incurred preparing for and defending Murdaugh during the six week trial.”
His defense team included four attorneys and two paralegals, along support members working off-site throughout the trial.
Murdaugh is requesting the $160,000 go towards paying for fees and expenses needed to represent his upcoming appeal and provided a breakdown of costs in the filing. That money, he hopes, would come from escrow that would not be used to pay back wrongdoings for victims of his financial crimes.
He admitted to many of those crimes while taking the witness stand during his own double murder trial.
“Here Murdaugh has sufficient “innocent” property to pay the undersigned, his counsel of choice, to represent him in the appeal of his convictions and sentences. As noted above, $424,941.24 from Murdaugh’s 401(k) retirement account was deposited into the Receivers’ escrow account. These funds are legitimate, untainted funds,” the document states.
Attorney Justin Bamberg, who is representing several clients in financial crimes cases against Murdaugh disagrees with the rationale.
“None of Alex’s money is “untainted” in my opinion based on his admissions during his murder trial. I also don’t believe him not being allowed to take money that could go to his victims for himself instead violates his constitutional rights. To the contrary, Alex getting that money to fight an appeal only victimizes his victims once again.
How can Alex say his 401(k) funds are “legitimate” when an obvious contributing factor to his ability to even put that kind of money away over the course of his legal career was the simple fact he was actively stealing MILLIONS from clients and using that stolen money to pay for stuff he desired instead of relying solely on any legitimately earned income?
Lemme get this straight: I’m going to earn legit money doing cases the right way and put some of the legit money away in my retirement, or I’m going to do business deals with that legit money and put it away for retirement, AND THEN I’m going to get illegitimate money by stealing from clients on other cases and use that illegitimate money for stuff I desire, which lets me keep putting more legit earned money into my retirement since I don’t have to spend the legit money on stuff I desire because I’m using illegitimate money I stole to get stuff I desire. Got it. Not,” he said in a lengthy post on social media Wednesday.
Bamberg went on to say that Murdaugh should not be entitled to “deprive his financial victims of the limited amount of funds available — not a single penny, Bitcoin, Dogecoin, or anything else of value — so he can continue trying to get or keep himself out of prison.”
“The funds in the receivership should be solely FOR HIS VICTIMS, the costs associated with the work the receivers are doing, etc. because he owes these victims far more money than he has money to go around,” he explained.
Bamberg said he would file any necessary lawsuits that would freeze receivership money if needed.