Alex Murdaugh May Have Bond Lowered After Lawyers Argue He Can't Pay $7M Order

Alex Murdaugh, a prominent South Carolina attorney facing a slew of charges on mostly financial crimes, may have his $7 million bond lowered after his lawyers argued that he can't pay it.

Murdaugh, 53, has been in jail since his October arrest and stands accused of stealing more than $6.2 million from roughly a dozen clients between 2015 and 2020.

Murdaugh is scheduled for a virtual hearing Monday, with Circuit Judge Alison Renee Lee to potentially weigh lowering her $7 million bond order from last month. His lawyers have argued that the hefty sum practically equates to a no bond decision because he has no money to post it.

In a separate civil suit against Murdaugh, a judge froze his assets in November and control of his money went to court-appointed receivers. Murdaugh can't use his own money or property to post bail under the order, his lawyers wrote in a filing last week.

Lee ordered him to pay the $7 million in full in order to leave jail, go on house arrest with electronic monitoring, get counseling and be randomly drug tested as he awaits trial.

"Mr. Murdaugh does not have seven million dollars or anything close to that amount," the attorneys wrote in the filing. "Mr. Murdaugh is a man who cannot pay his phone bill."

Murdaugh Bond May Be Lowered
Alex Murdaugh, a prominent South Carolina attorney facing a slew of charges on mostly financial crimes, may have his $7 million bond lowered after his lawyers argued that he can’t pay it. Murdaugh walks into his bond hearing, Sept. 16, 2021, in Varnville, S.C. Murdaugh is scheduled for a virtual hearing Monday, Jan. 10, 2022 as a judge could consider lowering the $7 million bond she set last month. Mic Smith/AP Photo

Murdaugh used the money he stole to pay bank overdraft fees, credit card payments, checks written to friends and family and other items, indictments state. His victims ranged from family friends and a state trooper to an undocumented immigrant and a person injured in a car wreck, prosecutors have said.

Lee's initial bond order exceeded amounts recommended by prosecutors, who had suggested the judge either set bond at the $6.2 million Murdaugh was accused of stealing or a lesser figure of $4.7 million — about $100,000 for each count.

Murdaugh's father, grandfather and great-grandfather were prosecutors in tiny Hampton County, where every road leading to the county seat is two lanes.

The family's law firm, located in the most impressive building in town after the courthouse, has spent a century winning multimillion-dollar verdicts, though the firm stripped the Murdaugh moniker from its name last week.

Murdaugh's legal troubles began after his wife, Maggie, and son Paul was found shot dead outside a family home last summer. Their killings remain unsolved, and Murdaugh's lawyers say he has denied having anything to do with their killings.

He faces a separate set of charges in what prosecutors have described as a scheme to have himself killed to secure a $10 million insurance payout to his surviving son Buster.

All the charges against Murdaugh are felonies and he could face more than 500 years in prison if convicted of them all.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.