HAMPTON COUNTY, S.C. (WCBD) – A request by former Hampton County lawyer and convicted murder Alex Murdaugh to use retirement funds to pay his attorneys has been denied.
Judge Daniel Hall rejected the motion Friday, according to attorney Eric Bland, who represents many victims of Murdaugh’s financial crimes.
Murdaugh’s retirement funds are held in a receivership account controlled by two state-appointed receivers.
Murdaugh was convicted in March of murdering his wife Maggie and son Paul following a lengthy trial. His legal team filed an appeal and the motion shortly after, saying they needed more money to cover incurred expenses.
“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 read.
It went 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.”
The motion requested $160,000 to cover the costs for the defense team.
Attorneys for Murdaugh’s many victims and alleged victims argued that it would be improper for Murduagh’s defense team to draw money from the same fund that is being used to pay the victims.
“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,” Bland said.
Justin Bamberg, who also represents many of Murdaugh’s alleged victims, argued “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.”
Judge Hall ultimately agreed with the attorneys for the victims.