COLLETON COUNTY, S.C. (WCBD) – Lawyers for the family of Alex Murdaugh’s late housekeeper Gloria Satterfield — who died after a fall at the family’s home in 2018 — have responded to Murdaugh’s motion to vacate his confession of stealing over $4 million in insurance money meant for Satterfield’s family.
Murdaugh initially told his insurance companies that Satterfield tripped over his dogs and fell down the front porch stairs. He secured over $4.3 million in wrongful death settlement funds, but funneled it all to a personal account. He later recanted on the dogs being the cause for the fall.
In his motion to vacate the confession, Murdaugh admitted that he lied to his insurance companies to secure a higher payout, but contends that he was not truly liable in Satterfield’s death, claiming she fell due to medical conditions and side effects of medications she was taking at the time.
Murdaugh argued that his original confession should be void because it wrongfully blamed the fall on the dogs.
The response by Satterfield’s lawyers compares Murdaugh’s motion to “a spoiled child… overindulged and undisciplined.”
It goes on to say that his actions have “wasted this Court’s time and have unnecessarily caused the further victimization of the Satterfield family.”
The motion also includes several documents from around the time of Satterfield’s death, including approvals of the insurance payouts. Those documents do not mention the dogs as the cause for death, so Satterfield’s lawyers argue that even if Murdaugh lied about the dogs being the cause, the payouts should not be void.
Ultimately, the motion accuses Murdaugh of trying to game the judicial system to avoid paying back money he stole:
“When it served Murdaugh to parade the Confession before Courts as a sign of his magnanimousness and contrition, he did so.10 When Nautilus said in effect, ‘thanks for admitting you stole the money we paid to you beneficially for the Satterfields, we would like it back now,’ he reversed course and now seeks to disavow the same Confession. The goal of judicial estoppel ‘is to prevent a party from playing ‘fast and loose’ with the courts, and to protect the essential integrity of the process.’ Who has played faster or looser with the Courts than Murdaugh?”
The motion argues that the Satterfields are entitled “to sanctions against both Murdaugh and his legal counsel in order to punish their conduct and deter such similar abuses of the Plaintiffs and the legal system going forward.”
Editor’s note: This story is breaking and may be updated.