A bond hearing on the 27 most recent charges against former South Carolina attorney Richard Alexander Murdaugh, who was indicted by the South Carolina State Grand Jury on Nov. 18, will be held in the virtual courtroom of State Grand Jury Presiding Judge Alison Renee Lee at 9 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 10.
The recent indictments are all financial crimes charges based on allegations that Murdaugh stole money from his former legal clients, other attorneys and his late housekeeper's family. Murdaugh is also facing other criminal charges from the Hampton County Grand Jury, as well as numerous civil actions.
The decision to hold the bond hearing virtually was made by Judge Lee, and holding bond hearings virtually has been her common and usual practice throughout the pandemic, stated a spokesperson for the S.C. Attorney General's Office in a release on Tuesday.
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By the Order of Chief Justice Donald W. Beatty, initial bail matters for State Grand Jury indictments are heard by the Presiding Judge of the State Grand Jury - in this case Judge Lee - but matters relating to a violation of bail may be heard by either the Presiding Judge of the State Grand Jury, or the assigned judge - in this case Judge Clifton Newman.
This is the common and usual language in orders of the Chief Justice assigning a judge to handle a case once indictments have been issued in a specific State Grand Jury investigation. This particular language regarding bail in the Chief Justice's Order is not unusual or different in the Murdaugh case as opposed to other State Grand Jury investigations, the release stated.
It is also the common and usual practice for the State to seek, and for the Presiding Judge of the State Grand Jury to hold, bond hearings once directly presented State Grand Jury indictments are publicly released.
In this case, while Murdaugh currently has a $20,000 personal recognizance bond on Hampton County charges from a Hampton magistrate, and a denial of bond at this time on Beaufort County charges from Judge Newman, no bond has been considered yet on any State Grand Jury charges. This is the reason for the bond hearing before Judge Lee Friday, stated the release.
This article originally appeared on Greenville News: Murdaugh news: Alex Murdaugh bond hearing on 27 charges set for Friday