Convicted double murderer Alex Murdaugh pleaded guilty to federal fraud charges on Thursday, saying he wants his son—the one he didn’t kill—to see him “take responsibility.”
Murdaugh’s courtroom confession came with tears.
“I want to take responsibility. I want my son to see me take responsibility,” said Murdaugh, clad in an orange jumpsuit, according to the Associated Press. “It’s my hope that by taking responsibility, the people I’ve hurt can begin to heal.”
Murdaugh has not taken responsibility in the murder case; despite his conviction, he continues to insist that he did not kill his wife and his other son to distract from a mountain of financial crimes.
U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel accepted Murdaugh’s plea to 22 crimes in the federal fraud case in connection with a years-long scheme to steal money from the clients of his family law firm. Federal prosecutor Emily Limehouse said that while Murdaugh has admitted to bilking nearly $9 million from his personal injury clients, the government believes the total amount of stolen funds is actually over $10.5 million.
Limehouse detailed the plea agreement that Murdaugh signed on Monday, in which the 55-year-old agreed to tell investigators everything he knows about other alleged crimes, submit to a polygraph test, testify in future trials, and forfeit assets. Murdaugh couldn’t help but interject to tell Gergel that his lawyers “need to clarify” some details.
“I’m not trying to be difficult,” Murdaugh added.
A sentencing hearing for Murdaugh will be held at a later date, and federal prosecutors can recommend that he serve any new sentence concurrently with his life sentences for murder. He faces at least 30 years on the fraud charges.
He is also set to stand trial in November on state charges alleging he stole a hefty insurance settlement from the family of his late housekeeper, Gloria Satterfield.