Alex Murdaugh friend pleads guilty to helping steal from dead maid’s family

Aug 24, 2023, 8:34 AM | Updated: 9:06 am

KINGSTREE, S.C. (AP) — Convicted murderer Alex Murdaugh ‘s old college buddy has pleaded guilty to a second set of charges for helping the disgraced South Carolina attorney steal millions of dollars of insurance settlements from the sons of Murdaugh’s dead housekeeper.

Cory Fleming, a 54-year-old former attorney, wasn’t immediately sentenced after his guilty plea to 23 state charges Wednesday.

Prosecutors indicated they would ask at a September hearing that Fleming spend more time in prison than the nearly four-year sentence he received for similar federal charges earlier this month, according to media reports.

During his federal sentencing, Fleming said he knew Murdaugh, now serving a life sentence for killing his wife and son, was going to steal something from the family of his housekeeper. She worked for Murdaugh’s family for decades before dying after a fall at their home in 2018.

But Fleming said he thought it might be $100,000 — not the entire $4 million-plus award.

Unless Fleming was “the dumbest man alive,” he knew what all Murdaugh was going to do, prosecutor Creighton Waters told the judge Wednesday.

When U.S. Judge Richard Gergel sentenced Fleming to 46 months in prison on the federal charges, he told Fleming he would let the state judge know he didn’t think the state charges should carry any more prison time.

However, South Carolina Circuit Judge Clifton Newman, who sentenced Murdaugh to life after a monthlong trial, doesn’t have to follow that recommendation at Fleming’s Sept. 14 state sentencing.

Fleming has surrendered his license to practice law in both Georgia and South Carolina, saying he dishonored the profession. He’s the second Murdaugh associate ordered to prison since investigators began scrutinizing every aspect of Murdaugh’s life in June 2021 after his wife and son were shot to death at their South Carolina home.

Banker Russell Laffitte was sentenced to seven years in prison earlier this month after pleading guilty to helping Murdaugh steal money from settlements for clients after vehicle wrecks or work injuries. Laffitte is appealing his conviction and sentence.

While Fleming knew Murdaugh was asking him to do wrong, he said he didn’t realize the depth of his old friend’s depravity.

Murdaugh still faces more than 100 charges in state and federal courts. Prosecutors say the crimes range from tax evasion and stealing from clients and his family’s law firm to running a drug and money laundering ring — even unsuccessfully arranging for someone to kill him so his surviving son could get life insurance money.

Newman plans a hearing on the status of those cases the same day Fleming is sentenced.

In Fleming’s case, the victims were Gloria Satterfield and her two sons. Satterfield cleaned the Murdaugh’s house, babysat their sons and did anything else the family asked for more than 20 years.

Murdaugh promised the sons, who were young adults, he would take care of them and recommended they hire Fleming as their lawyer. He didn’t tell them Fleming was a longtime friend, college roommate and godfather to one of his sons.

Murdaugh told insurance companies that Satterfield tripped over their dogs and convinced them to pay more than $4 million to what they thought was Satterfield’s estate through Fleming. But instead, Murdaugh had Fleming send the checks to him. The sons didn’t see a dime until Murdaugh’s finances began to unravel and they hired a different attorney.

The state charges included a second fraud victim. Prosecutors said Fleming helped Murdaugh steal settlement money from a woman badly hurt in a car crash and used his part of the ill-gotten gains to charter a plane to go to the College World Series.

United States News

Associated Press

Vehicle crashes into building where birthday party held, injuring children and adults, sheriff says

BERLIN TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — A vehicle drove through a boat club building where a children’s birthday celebration was taking place Saturday, seriously injuring a number of children and adults, a Michigan sheriff said in a news release. The victims were taken to several area hospitals after the crash that occurred at about 3 p.m. […]

3 hours ago

Associated Press

3 hospitalized after knife attack on party boat in New York City, along East River in Brooklyn

NEW YORK (AP) — A knife attack on a crowded party boat at a New York City pier Saturday resulted in the hospitalization of three people, police said. A 911 call came in around 5 p.m. reporting the assault along the East River near 58th Street and the Brooklyn Army Terminal warehouse, Detective Sophia Mason […]

3 hours ago

Associated Press

Autoworkers union celebrates breakthrough win in Tennessee and takes aim at more plants in the South

DALLAS (AP) — The United Auto Workers’ overwhelming election victory at a Volkswagen plant in Tennessee is giving the union hope that it can make broader inroads in the South, the least unionized part of the country. The UAW won a stunning 73% of the vote at VW after losing elections in 2014 and 2019. […]

5 hours ago

Associated Press

Conditions improve for students shot in Maryland park on ‘senior skip day’

GREENBELT, Md. (AP) — Three of the five youths shot in a suburban Washington, D.C., park during a high school “senior skip day” gathering have been released from the hospital, while the condition of the most seriously injured has improved, authorities said Saturday. Police in Greenbelt, Maryland, are asking the public to share video footage […]

6 hours ago

Associated Press

New York lawmakers pass $237 billion budget addressing housing construction and migrants

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York lawmakers passed a $237 billion state budget Saturday that includes plans to spur housing construction and combat unlicensed marijuana stores. The package also includes a raft of other measures ranging from expediting the closure of some state prisons, addressing the recent influx of migrants, and continuing the pandemic-era policy […]

6 hours ago

SANTA FE, NEW MEXICO - DECEMBER 9, 2019: A copy of the record album, 'Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison'...

Associated Press

Record Store Day celebrates indie retail music sellers as they ride vinyl’s popularity wave

Record Store Day, a holiday invented at a gathering of independent record store owners and employees in 2007, will be observed Saturday.

10 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinics: transforming health care in the valley

Midwestern University, long a fixture of comprehensive health care education in the West Valley, is also a recognized leader in community health care.


Collins Comfort Masters

Avoid a potential emergency and get your home’s heating and furnace safety checked

With the weather getting colder throughout the Valley, the best time to make sure your heating is all up to date is now. 

(KTAR News Graphic)...

Boys & Girls Clubs

KTAR launches online holiday auction benefitting Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley

KTAR is teaming up with The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley for a holiday auction benefitting thousands of Valley kids.

Alex Murdaugh friend pleads guilty to helping steal from dead maid’s family