‘It made everything better’: Alex Murdaugh claims he stole over $10m to fund opioid habit


Alex Murdaugh has claimed he stole more than $10m from his law firm to feed his opioid habit as he revealed he was taking more than 60 oxycodone pills a day.

The disgraced legal scion, 54, said he got hooked on pain pills after surgery for a lingering college football injury in the early 2000s.

‘It made everything better,’ Murdaugh told jurors in his double murder trial Friday. ‘Opiates gave me energy. Whatever I was doing, it made it more interesting. It made me want to do it longer.’

He even admitted, ‘I had a pocket full of pills on June 8 when I was sitting in David Owen’s patrol car,’ the day after he is accused of shooting dead his wife and son.

He told cops he was paying up to $60,000 a week to his drug dealer cousin, Curtis ‘Eddie’ Smith, for oxycodone pills for personal consumption.

Paul, Alex, Maggie and Buster at a Gamecocks basketball game in January 2019. Murdaugh is accused of shooting Paul and Maggie dead on the night of June 7, 2021

Paul, Alex, Maggie and Buster at a Gamecocks basketball game in January 2019. Murdaugh is accused of shooting Paul and Maggie dead on the night of June 7, 2021

Murdaugh is fed a drink by his son's underage girlfriend Morgan Doughty. She claims that the father-of-two would allow Paul to drink to excess

Murdaugh is fed a drink by his son's underage girlfriend Morgan Doughty. She claims that the father-of-two would allow Paul to drink to excess

Murdaugh is fed a drink by his son’s underage girlfriend Morgan Doughty. She claims that the father-of-two would allow Paul to drink to excess 

Murdaugh made hundreds of payments to Smith, most of them in checks for less than $10,000 – making it unlikely they would be flagged by the bank.

He told jurors Thursday that he first became hooked on oxycodone in the early 2000s after undergoing knee surgery for an ongoing issue related to a college football injury.

‘It just escalates and escalates,’ he told the court. He said he visited a detox facility three times, the first in December 2017.

‘Opiate withdrawal is, whew, it’s hard,’ Murdaugh said. He described how ‘you throw up. You have terrible diarrhea. You sweat like you’re running a marathon. You can’t hold your legs still.’

On September 4, three months after Maggie and Paul’s deaths, Murdaugh claims he arranged for his drug dealer cousin Smith to shoot him on a rural road in Hampton County.

‘I knew all this was coming to a head, I knew how humiliating it was going to be for my son (Buster). I had been through so much,’ he sobbed as he described his suicide attempt. Murdaugh hoped it would earn Buster, 26, a $12m life insurance payout. 

Maggie found handfuls of pills in the disbarred attorney’s laptop bag in the months before the brutal slayings. Indeed, the trial has heard she referred to Paul as her ‘little detective’ because he would find his father’s stash.

The new Netflix series released Wednesday also revealed that the family’s housekeeper, Gloria Satterfield, found ‘baggies of pills’ hidden under the legal scion’s bed and told Paul about it in the year that she died. The Murdaugh family claim Satterfield tripped over their dogs and fell down the stairs at their property, later dying in hospital in 2015.

But despite evidence Alex was addicted to opioids, the court has not heard evidence that Alex was in possession of industrial quantities of narcotics. 

In Netflix documentary released Wednesday it was revealed it would take 114 years to consume $10m worth of pills. Murdaugh, 54, told cops he was spending $60,000 a week on drugs – that would buy 750 of the best pills at $80 each.

It is physically impossible for even the most seasoned-addict to consume that many pills. So where did all the money go?

Mark Tinsley, the attorney for Mallory Beach’s family, told DailyMail.com he has no idea where all of Murdaugh’s assets went. ‘I wish I knew!’ he said. ‘He was converting everything into cash.’

Alex Murdaugh sits with his attorneys before he takes the stand in his trial for murder at the Colleton County Courthouse on Thursday

Alex Murdaugh sits with his attorneys before he takes the stand in his trial for murder at the Colleton County Courthouse on Thursday

Alex Murdaugh sits with his attorneys before he takes the stand in his trial for murder at the Colleton County Courthouse on Thursday

Alex's cousin, Curtis 'Eddie' Smith

Alex's cousin, Curtis 'Eddie' Smith

Cowboys gang leader Khiry Broughton

Cowboys gang leader Khiry Broughton

Alex’s cousin, Curtis ‘Eddie’ Smith, left, and Cowboys gang leader Khiry Broughton. Murdaugh’s lawyers have suggested the Cowboys could have been behind Maggie and Paul’s deaths

The court has heard Murdaugh earned a seven-figure salary and owned lavish properties from Hampton County to Edisto Beach, the family drove top of the range vehicles, wore designer clothes and hunted with rifles worth $10,000. 

He made large donations to the Democrat Party, $2,700 each for Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden to support their respective campaigns in 2015 and 2020. At state level, records show some $140,000 in donations made between Murdaugh, his family and law firm over the past decade.

Murdaugh also made philanthropic donations to local foundations.

The legal scion’s hunting lodge at Moselle is due to be sold next month for more than $4million, while a judge approved the sale of his Edisto Beach home for $955,000 last summer. 

Jurors in the double murder trial have heard that Alex earned lucrative settlements and would take home a seven-figure pay packet some years while working for his family firm Peters Murdaugh Parker Eltzroth and Detrick (PMPED). 

Under cross examination Thursday, Murdaugh conceded that as well as his drugs he was probably spending too much generally – though stopped short of admitting he lived a ‘wealthy lifestyle’.

Prosecutor Creighton Waters asked: ‘The money you were stealing was not just to pay for drugs, right?’

Murdaugh agreed: ‘Sure.’

The vast majority of Maggie's estate was tied up in Moselle, the remote Islandton home where Maggie and son Paul died on June 7, 2021

The vast majority of Maggie's estate was tied up in Moselle, the remote Islandton home where Maggie and son Paul died on June 7, 2021

The vast majority of Maggie’s estate was tied up in Moselle, the remote Islandton home where Maggie and son Paul died on June 7, 2021

A a judge approved the sale of his Edisto Beach home for $955,000 last summer

A a judge approved the sale of his Edisto Beach home for $955,000 last summer

A a judge approved the sale of his Edisto Beach home for $955,000 last summer

The Murdaugh properties in South Carolina's Lowcountry and significant places in the saga

The Murdaugh properties in South Carolina's Lowcountry and significant places in the saga

The Murdaugh properties in South Carolina’s Lowcountry and significant places in the saga

Earlier, Waters told the trial Murdaugh was ‘living in a velocity of money that is really quite stunning and he constantly needed to achieve more money to avoid the reckoning that was coming.’

In some cases, he was stealing millions from clients in order to pay back the clients he had stolen from. 

Prosecutors have said that his finances took a turn for the worse following a ‘series of bad land deals exacerbated by the recession’ in 2008. This sent him down ‘incessant financial roller coaster.’

At the time of his wife and son’s murders, Murdaugh was being sued by Tinsley over Paul Murdaugh’s drunken boat crash which killed 19-year-old Mallory in February 2019.

Murdaugh is accused of killing his wife Maggie, 52, and son Paul, 22, at the family’s  estate in Moselle, South Carolina, on the night of June 7, 2021. 

The State says he had racked up millions in debt and ‘he was out of time and out of options.’

As well as the boat wreck case, he had been confronted on the day of the murders over $792,000 that had gone ‘missing’ from his law firm. His chief financial officer would soon discover he had stolen far more over a decade of malfeasance. 

Murdaugh said he was no longer suicidal, saying that he had been clean for 535 days. He smiled at the jury, adding: 'I am very proud of that'

Murdaugh said he was no longer suicidal, saying that he had been clean for 535 days. He smiled at the jury, adding: 'I am very proud of that'

Murdaugh said he was no longer suicidal, saying that he had been clean for 535 days. He smiled at the jury, adding: ‘I am very proud of that’

Maggie, Paul and Alex are pictured at the younger son's high school graduation. Describing the murder scene, Ball said it was raining on Maggie and Paul's bloodied bodies. 'It just p***** me off,' he told jurors. 'It's a crime scene. You don't want water dripping all over the place. But more importantly, I thought it was pretty disrespectful'

Maggie, Paul and Alex are pictured at the younger son's high school graduation. Describing the murder scene, Ball said it was raining on Maggie and Paul's bloodied bodies. 'It just p***** me off,' he told jurors. 'It's a crime scene. You don't want water dripping all over the place. But more importantly, I thought it was pretty disrespectful'

Maggie, Paul and Alex are pictured at the younger son’s high school graduation

Following his murder trial, Murdaugh faces judgment for two conspiracy counts relating to the alleged supply of opioids alongside Smith.

The indictment unsealed in June last year states that between October 2013 and September 2021, Murdaugh and Smith along with ‘persons known and unknown’ conspired to buy and distribute oxycodone.

During that time, Murdaugh is accused of providing Smith with at least 437 checks totaling more than $2.4million.

His defense team have suggested that a local gang, the Walterboro Cowboys, could have been behind Maggie and Paul’s deaths. 

Defense attorney Jim Griffin suggested to jurors last week that Murdaugh’s cousin Eddie was skimming money off the top of payments meant for the Cowboys for narcotics – and suggested they were out for revenge.  

Murdaugh claimed he had no idea where his pills came from, but a Cowboys gangster last year said the legal heir was ‘running half the drugs in Colleton County’.

Self-professed leader Khiry Broughton

Self-professed leader Khiry Broughton

William Cox (aka Wataz)

William Cox (aka Wataz)

Self-professed leader Khiry Broughton and his associate William Cox (aka Wataz). The pair were jailed for their role in gang-related crimes in 2017

Self-professed leader Khiry Broughton (center), a wannabe rapper who calls himself K Blacka, appeared in a 2013 rap video for his song 'Can't Let You Take Me'. He rapped: 'I've been f*****g with them killas and my n****s clappin' / You run up on me I'm gone' leave the scene nasty'

Self-professed leader Khiry Broughton (center), a wannabe rapper who calls himself K Blacka, appeared in a 2013 rap video for his song 'Can't Let You Take Me'. He rapped: 'I've been f*****g with them killas and my n****s clappin' / You run up on me I'm gone' leave the scene nasty'

Self-professed leader Khiry Broughton (center), a wannabe rapper who calls himself K Blacka, appeared in a 2013 rap video for his song ‘Can’t Let You Take Me’. He rapped: ‘I’ve been f*****g with them killas and my n****s clappin’ / You run up on me I’m gone’ leave the scene nasty’

William Cox (aka Wataz) poses with a pile of white powder while smoking a blunt in his music video for Bricks Bands. He was jailed alongside gang leader Broughton in November 2017

William Cox (aka Wataz) poses with a pile of white powder while smoking a blunt in his music video for Bricks Bands. He was jailed alongside gang leader Broughton in November 2017

William Cox (aka Wataz) poses with a pile of white powder while smoking a blunt in his music video for Bricks Bands. He was jailed alongside gang leader Broughton in November 2017

He grilled lead investigator David Owen over why none of the DNA from the murder scene was cross-referenced with that of Cowboy gang members.

The Cowboys have been operating in Colleton County since around 2012 and are described as ‘the most violent gang’ in the area.

They are instantly recognizable for the signature Stars and Stripes bandanas they wear over their faces.

Armed with automatic rifles, pistols and shotguns, the Cowboys are extremely territorial, even trying to intimidate cops who show up on ‘their turf’.

They are a branch of the Bloods, a primarily black street gang founded in Los Angeles in the 1970s which has proliferated throughout the United States.

The Cowboys operate just off the I-95, a rich vein of criminality through which guns, drugs and moonshine have been running since the days of the Prohibition.

Self-professed leader Khiry Broughton, a wannabe rapper who calls himself K Blacka, appeared in a 2013 rap video for his song ‘Can’t Let You Take Me’ with an American flag bandana over his face making trigger pulling gestures at the camera.

He rapped: ‘I’ve been f*****g with them killas and my n****s clappin’ / You run up on me I’m gone’ leave the scene nasty.’ 

In August 2022, on the same day Murdaugh was indicted for the murders of his wife and son, two high-ranking Cowboys, Jerry Rivers (pictured) and Spencer Roberts, were charged with drug smuggling. At the time, South Carolina Assistant Attorney General Creighton Waters, now the lead prosecutor in the double-murder trial, said that Murdaugh was laundering money through Smith and his Cowboy accomplices

In August 2022, on the same day Murdaugh was indicted for the murders of his wife and son, two high-ranking Cowboys, Jerry Rivers (pictured) and Spencer Roberts, were charged with drug smuggling. At the time, South Carolina Assistant Attorney General Creighton Waters, now the lead prosecutor in the double-murder trial, said that Murdaugh was laundering money through Smith and his Cowboy accomplices

In August 2022, on the same day Murdaugh was indicted for the murders of his wife and son, two high-ranking Cowboys, Jerry Rivers (pictured) and Spencer Roberts, were charged with drug smuggling. At the time, South Carolina Assistant Attorney General Creighton Waters, now the lead prosecutor in the double-murder trial, said that Murdaugh was laundering money through Smith and his Cowboy accomplices

Spencer Roberts was tied by prosecutors to Murdaugh through his drug dealer cousin Smith

Spencer Roberts was tied by prosecutors to Murdaugh through his drug dealer cousin Smith

Spencer Roberts was tied by prosecutors to Murdaugh through his drug dealer cousin Smith 

Paul, Margaret, Alex and Buster (from left to right). The legal scion has admitted to stealing millions from his housekeeper's sons and his law firm, but denies any involvement in the murders of his wife and son

Paul, Margaret, Alex and Buster (from left to right). The legal scion has admitted to stealing millions from his housekeeper's sons and his law firm, but denies any involvement in the murders of his wife and son

Paul, Margaret, Alex and Buster (from left to right). The legal scion has admitted to stealing millions from his housekeeper’s sons and his law firm, but denies any involvement in the murders of his wife and son

Broughton was jailed for nine years on organized crime conspiracy charges in 2017 along with seven other gang members. Prosecutors said the gang leader had participated in an attempted murder in November, 2015, among other charges.

Alongside Broughton, US District Judge David Norton sent down Bryant Jameek Davis (aka, ‘Savo’), Zaquann Ernest Hampton (aka, ‘TOB’), Christopher Sean Brown (aka, ‘Roughish’) and Quintin Fishburne on charges of attempted murder in aid of racketeering.

Also jailed on organized crime charges were Clyde Naquan Hampton (aka, ‘One Loyal Shooter’), Matthew Rashuan Jones (aka, ‘Boogie Mac’) and William Lamont Cox (aka, ‘Wataz’). 

In August 2022, on the same day Murdaugh was indicted for the murders of his wife and son, two high-ranking Cowboys, Jerry Rivers and Spencer Roberts, were charged with drug smuggling.

At the time, South Carolina Assistant Attorney General Creighton Waters, now the lead prosecutor in the double-murder trial, said Murdaugh was laundering money through Smith and his Cowboy accomplices.

‘Misappropriated money flowed from Alex Murdaugh out various ways,’ Waters stated. ‘A lot of that went through Curtis ‘Eddie’ Smith, and then they continued downstream to other accomplices who helped cash and launder that money. And that would go through Spencer Roberts, and Mr. Rivers was one of those.’

One Cowboys gang member speaking outside Rivers’ house told the New York Post last year: ‘I’m going to tell you something. Alex Murdaugh is running half the drugs in this county.’

Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk

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