Murdaugh denied bond: What’s next?

The Murdaugh Investigation

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – A judge denied bond for Alex Murdaugh at a bond hearing this morning on charges of obtaining property by false pretenses.

Murdaugh has been ordered to undergo a psychiatric evaluation to determine what happens next.

News 2 spoke to a former state Attorney General, Charlie Condon, who says there are many possible directions Murdaugh’s future could take.

That’s because of the numerous investigations, including five death investigations surrounding Murdaugh. More charges could be filed against him based on potential findings from the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED).

As it stands now, Murdaugh will soon undergo the psychiatric evaluation and after that, another bond hearing could be set as early as next week. That’s according to Condon.

He says the results of the evaluation could be a double-edged sword.

“Let’s say that the psychiatric evaluation comes out and says there are no problems. Well, you could also argue it makes the crime worse because there’s all this full intention to do criminal activity,” explained Condon. “Let’s say the psychiatric evaluation comes back and says he has really serious problems. Well…does that mean that he shouldn’t be released then because he’s a danger to himself and others? So I’m not sure how that’s going to play out with Judge Newman in the future.”

Another long-time South Carolina defense attorney, Susan Williams, says after the results of the evaluation come out, it will be on the judge’s timeline to determine when we have something else coming up.”

She says if and when bond is set, there are a series of court dates that would be coming in this case in general sessions court.

“After the bond is set, a preliminary hearing must be requested within 10 days. A couple of months later that would be a first appearance, and then six months after that there will be a second appearance,” said Williams.

In the meantime, while Murdaugh remains in the Richland County Detention Center, both the defense and the prosecution are working on their arguments. Condon says there’s one tactic that could unveil even more twists in this case.

“The one aspect of this that I do think is going on behind the scenes is that there’s gotta be a conversation with his defense attorneys on alright…you’re facing lots of serious charges. One way you may be able to help yourself is information. He’ll have lots of information about lots of things.”

We could also see the U.S. Attorney’s office get involved based on the charges.

“They did that with the Roof case and with the Slager case where you had dual prosecution. That may in fact occur,” said Condon.

Condon says as the charges stand now he expects there will not be any criminal trials against Murdaugh and that a negotiated plea deal could be reached instead.

Stick with News 2 for any and all updates in the Murdaugh investigation.

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