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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Alex Murdaugh's lawyers say they made tiny sum for South Carolina murder trial

Alex Murdaugh’s high-powered defense lawyers said they each made a meager $40,000 in profit off the marathon six-week double murder trial, according to a court filing. 

But the legal team, which doesn’t live locally, certainly didn’t let the paltry pay hamper their lifestyle. 

They rented a luxury wedding venue that boasted five stunning homes for an eye-popping $20,000 a week and brought their own private chef.

Last week, South Carolina Judge Daniel Hall shot down a request from Murdaugh’s lawyers asking for access to their client’s retirement funds to pay for his appeal.


Griffin and Harpootlian split the profits, meaning each was paid $40,638.75 for the lengthy proceeding that brought them international publicity but very little profit. The convicted killer was sentenced in March to two life terms.

The lawyers asked the judge to disburse $160,000 from the receivership, which is controlling the assets of Murdaugh’s estate in the midst of dozens of lawsuits stemming from his alleged theft of nearly $9 million and a deadly boat crash.

The judge had initially ordered the receivership to release $600,000 from Murdaugh’s retirement fund to pay for the trial. 

About $518,000 of this sum was spent on unspecified expenses, with the remainder going to Griffin and Harpootlian, who is a Democratic state senator in South Carolina.

Mediterranean-style lakefront home

One of Alex Murdaugh’s defense lawyers, Dick Harpootlian (inset). Murdaugh’s legal team stayed at a luxurious wedding venue that includes the Manor House (pictured). (Patrick Brickman/Mark Sims for Fox News Digital)

They wrote that their payment was “grossly insufficient to cover the actual attorneys’ fees incurred preparing for and defending Murdaugh.” 

The trial, held in Walterboro, had limited options for accommodation. State prosecutors, who were also not local, stayed at the Hampton Inn and Suites, whose rooms overlook I-95 or a parking lot. 

Marian Proctor, Maggie Murdaugh, Buster Murdaugh, Maggie Murdaugh and Paul Murdaugh.

Prosecutors introduced two photos as they questioned their final witness. Marian Proctor and her younger sister, Maggie Murdaugh, in the photo to the left. Buster, Maggie and Paul Murdaugh in the photo to the right. (South Caroline Attorney General’s Office)

Surging demand sent the middling hotel’s nightly rate to $300 during the trial. 

Murdaugh is currently in protective custody serving out his sentence at the McCormick Correctional Institution.

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