According to his attorney, Alex Murdaugh wishes to leave protective custody and return to the general population of the prison where he is being held.
Murdaugh, who is serving two life sentences at South Carolina’s McCormick Correctional Institution for brutally killing his wife and son, reportedly prefers to risk being harmed by other inmates than remain isolated.
‘He believes he can be productive in the general population,’ his lawyer Jim Griffin told NewsNation. To be honest, he’d rather take his chances in the yard than rot in a cell.’
Murdaugh, 54, shot his wife, Maggie, and son, Paul, to death at their home in June 2021, using two different weapons before calling 911 and claiming he discovered the bodies.
He was sentenced to two consecutive life sentences in March after a six-week blockbuster trial, but his lawyer said he ‘has hope he will get out one day’.
Murdaugh is being held at South Carolina’s maximum security McCormick Correctional Institution, which houses some of the state’s most violent inmates.
Following a 45-day evaluation at Kirkland Correctional Institution in Columbia, the disgraced lawyer was transferred to the prison’s statewide protective custody unit.
Griffin stated that Murdaugh would like to be moved out of protective custody and into the general population wing of the South Carolina jail, despite threats made to prison officials.
‘Alex wants to contribute,’ he said. He could do a lot of things in the general population. He’s a lawyer, a college graduate, and there are programs he can help with.
‘He’s heard from prison officials that there have been threats made against him,’ he says. He faced some threats while in county jail, but he was able to overcome them.
‘Anytime you’re in prison and you have a name like his, you’re going to be challenged, but he was able to overcome and develop relationships, and he was productive in the county jail, and he thinks he could be productive in the general population,’ says the corrections officer.
McCormick Correctional Institution has a violent and chaotic history that includes prisoners rioting, inmates being murdered in their cells, and drugs being smuggled in via drone.
Despite his crimes, Murdaugh has allegedly received love letters and has been approached by Netflix for additional episodes of the docuseries Murdaugh Murders: A Southern Scandal.
Murdaugh’s lawyer, who is appealing his conviction, added that he “does not have a death wish” and “looks forward to the day when he is released.”
‘He is not someone who has lost hope. He has hope for the future, and he hopes to get out one day,’ Griffin added.
After a six-week trial, a judge branded Murdaugh, whose family had dominated the legal landscape in the southern part of South Carolina for 100 years, a “monster.”
Prosecutors claimed he executed his family to create a distraction and generate sympathy as investigators closed in on his own murky finances.
His lawyer also stated that Murdaugh has avoided contact with his surviving son Buster while incarcerated out of fear that the calls would be subject to public records requests. Instead, the two communicate through letter writing.
‘He’s trying to protect Buster; he’s trying to protect his family from further exposure and attention,’ Griffin explained. Buster will be able to visit him soon, but that has yet to be arranged.’
The prosecutors who put Murdaugh behind bars revealed in March that they intend to seek a third life sentence for alleged financial crimes.
A third conviction would ensure that the legal scion dies in prison, and authorities have stated that they will not stop investigating Murdaugh until each of his victims receives justice.
Murdaugh is facing 99 pending financial crime charges, and the convicted murderer could be back in court in each of the five South Carolina counties where the offenses occurred.
He was facing a hearing at the time of the killings that could have revealed what he later admitted was a $8.5 million theft from his South Carolina law firm.