Judge denies bond for attorney Alex Murdaugh, orders psychiatric evaluation

Murdaugh is being accused of allegedly stealing the $3.4 million in insurance money that was originally meant for the family of his deceased housekeeper.

Updated: October 19, 2021 - 5:30pm

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A prominent South Carolina attorney was denied bond on Tuesday after a judge ruled that he might be a flight risk if he were released from custody while awaiting trial. 

According to the Associated Press, attorney Alex Murdaugh is facing charges that he committed insurance fraud amounting to $3.4 million. 

Murdaugh is accused of allegedly stealing insurance money that was originally meant for the family of his deceased housekeeper.

Back in June, Murdaugh's wife and son were both shot to death outside their home in South Carolina. The double murder remains unsolved, but law enforcement has since then has investigated other issues pertaining to Murdaugh, including the alleged misappropriation of funds. 

Defense attorneys for Murdaugh petitioned Circuit Judge Clifton Newman to release Murdaugh on his own recognizance, while prosecutors asked for a $200,000 bail with supervised release.  

According to Fox News, Newman denied Murdaugh's request for bond and further ordered him to undergo a psychiatric evaluation.

"There is no amount of bond that the court can set that will safely provide protection to Mr. Murdaugh and to the community," Judge Newman said during the hearing.

Newman went on to say that he will reconsider his decision only after a psychiatric evaluation has been completed to assess whether Murdaugh's mental condition is stable enough to await trial out of custody. 

Murdaugh is currently embroiled in at least six state investigations, one of which includes a 2015 hit-and-run death, as well as a 2019 fatal boating accident in which Murdaugh's son allegedly killed a 19-year-old woman. 

So far Murdaugh has denied any wrongdoing in these cases, and has insisted that he had nothing to do with the murders of his wife and son. 

Murdaugh will remain in jail until the court reviews his psychiatric assessment. 

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