CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Former Palmetto State Bank CEO Russell Laffite on Thursday filed a second motion for retrial, claiming his name was cleared during testimony in the double-murder trial of his coconspirator Alex Murdaugh.
Laffite was found guilty in November of six federal financial crimes for his role in helping Murdaugh steal millions of dollars from clients.
Laffitte argued he was unaware of Murdaugh’s nefarious intentions at the time and did not knowingly do anything wrong.
Prosecutors argued that without Laffitte’s assistance and position of authority at PSB, Murdaugh would not have been able to execute the crimes. The jury sided with the prosecution.
Murdaugh took the stand in his own defense when he was on trial for the murders of his wife Maggie and youngest son Paul. Prosecutors brought in testimony about the financial crimes, arguing it was necessary to establish a clear picture of the lengths Murdaugh would go to to keep his pockets fully lined. They also said his dire financial situation was motive for him murdering Maggie and Paul.
During his testimony, Murdaugh admitted to all of the over 100 financial crimes for which he is charged, many of which involved Laffitte. However, he made clear that the crimes were his and his alone.
“Russell Laffitte never conspired with me to do anything, whatever was done was done by
me,” Murdaugh testified under oath.
The motion argues that Murdaugh’s testimony should be considered new evidence and warrants a new trial. It goes on to claim that “such evidence, if introduced at a new trial, would likely produce an acquittal because it goes directly to the elements of the such offenses of which Mr. Laffitte was charged.”
A previous request for a retrial was denied.