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THE lead prosecutor who helped convict disgraced attorney Alex Murdaugh has revealed the double murder’s silent weapon that he used to steal millions from more than a dozen victims.
Murdaugh, who is already serving two life terms for the 2021 murders of his wife Maggie and son Paul, was sentenced to an additional 27 years on Tuesday after admitting to a string of financial crimes.
Prosecutors said Murdaugh stole more than $12 million from over a dozen of his former clients, family, friends, and legal partners.
Lead prosecutor Creighton Waters said Murdaugh used his trust as a weapon to steal from his clients.
“The wreckage that was left is unprecedented. This was an egregious as it comes,” Waters told People.
“I think that he felt like he was ultimately entitled to that money because of who he was and the power and influence that he held,” he added.
Murdaugh is a member of the family legal dynasty that held unprecedented status, influence, and power in the Lowcountry region of South Carolina since the early 1900s.
“His main weapon was trust. Everyone would always describe Alex as a charismatic, friendly person,” Waters told the magazine.
“He was able to speak to and develop relationships with people, regardless of economic status or race, or any sort of demographic.
“And he used that to his advantage because he is so very good at that.
“But the reality is there is not one person out there who knew who he really was,” he added.
“And ultimately, I think that was very much the hardest part on his victims, on his law partners, on his family and friends, to have been so fooled by someone for so long.
“When you have a man who so many people thought they were close with, but no one knew who he really was, that’s really chilling.”
Those clients got a chance to tear into Mudaugh during his sentencing on Tuesday.
“I’m not crying for what he stole from me. I’m crying for what he did to everyone,” Jordan Jinks, a friend of Murdaugh’s since childhood, said.
“The money you stole from me, I would have gave it to you. Why bro? Why?”
“You lied, you cheated, you stole, you betrayed me and my family and everybody else,” Michael Satterfield – the son of Murdaugh’s former housekeeper Gloria, who died in a mysterious trip and fall incident on his Moselle property in 2018 – told the convicted murderer.
“Gloria had served that family for so long, and Alec went to the family, went to those sons, and promised that he was going to help them, and then just stole every single bit of the money that he didn’t ket his friend, keep,” Waters said.
“And so that one was particularly egregious.”
Waters, who spearheaded the double murder and financial fraud case against Murdaugh, recalled how victims were afraid to come forward because of the status the disgraced attorney held.
“I heard the comments, ‘Mr. Waters, you don’t know who you’re messing with. I have to live here,'” Waters said.
“No one down there really thought that any sort of consequence would happen to him.
“I had to sit down and have a conversation with them eye-to-eye and say, ‘Look, I can’t tell your story without you. I can’t make change without you.’
“And I’d reiterate that that was just a level of courage from those victims that was so important to this case.”
Murdaugh’s 27-year sentence will run concurrently with his murder sentence.