Disgraced South Carolina legal scion Alex Murdaugh, who is facing criminal charges for trying to stage his own shooting death and dozens of financial crimes, spoke out for the first time during a bond hearing Monday and said he’s “embarrassed” about his actions.
“I made a terrible decision that I regret and frankly I’m embarrassed about. I’m not in that place now,” Murdaugh, 53, told State Grand Jury Presiding Judge Allison Renee Lee, the Daily Beast reported.
“I want to deal with these charges appropriately and head-on … I want to repair the damage I have done. I want to repeat as many relationships as I can.”
Murdaugh is facing 48 counts of financial crimes contained in 12 state grand jury indictments that allege he swindled more than $6 million from clients and his former law firm.
During the hearing, Lee set a $7 million surety bond that requires Murdaugh to remain under house arrest with GPS monitoring, Live 5 News reported. He’s also required to surrender his passport and complete substance abuse counseling and drug testing at a state residential treatment facility, the outlet said.
In September, Murdaugh allegedly carried out a botched assisted-suicide plot in which he hired a distant cousin, Curtis Edward Smith, to kill him so his son Buster could collect $10 million in insurance cash, but the plan failed and the bullet only grazed his head.
He acknowledged in court Monday that he understands there may be “concern” that he’s a “danger” to himself, but explained in an eight-minute speech to Lee that at the time of the failed plot, he’d been addicted to opioids for 20 years and was in the “throes of withdrawal.”
Earlier this year, Murdaugh’s wife, Margaret, and son Paul were murdered in a crime that remains unsolved, and he told the judge he was grieving their loss. Following his arrest for staging the shooting, Murdaugh was brought to rehab, where he realized the weight of his actions and called the humiliation “crushing.”
He noted he’s been sober for 100 days and is ready to apologize and accept responsibility for his crimes.