Alex Murdaugh, the former South Carolina attorney spending the remainder of his life behind bars for the 2021 murder of his wife and son, has had some of his prison privileges revoked after he fed information “to the news media” without permission, authorities said Wednesday.
The South Carolina Department of Corrections said that Murdaugh’s lawyer helped him record an interview subsequently given to producers for the forthcoming Fox Nation documentary The Fall of the House of Murdaugh. In a note to the attorney, Jim Griffin, a department official accused him of recording Murdaugh as he read aloud entries from a journal he’d kept over the course of his trial during a June 10 call.
South Carolina inmates are not allowed to give media interviews, per departmental policy. “The department believes that victims of crime should not have to see or hear the person who victimized them or their family member on the news,” a department spokesperson said in a statement.
Griffin declined Wednesday to comment on the allegations to Columbia newspaper The State “other than to say that I have the highest respect for [Bryan Stirling, director of the South Carolina Department of Corrections] and the job he is doing.”
Though the call was not recorded by prison staff due to attorney-client privilege, reports that it had been recorded for media use had made their way to corrections officials by Aug. 8, according to the spokesperson. Murdaugh’s “tablet and phone privileges” were immediately revoked pending a review of the incident.
After those phone privileges were yanked, however, Murdaugh then used another inmate’s information to make a call. On the call, according to an incident report, Murdaugh said he was using someone else’s PIN number because his was “not working.” Later, a corrections officer reviewing inmate phone calls recognized Murdaugh’s voice and reported him.
Murdaugh was convicted of two charges at a disciplinary hearing on Monday, the spokesperson said, noting that his actions were not violations of the law, but rather internal prison policies.
Besides losing his telephone privileges and the right to purchase items in the prison canteen for 30 days, Murdaugh also had his access to a personal prison tablet revoked. “The department will determine when and if inmate Murdaugh will earn the opportunity to be issued a tablet again,” the spokesperson said.
The ex-lawyer is serving two consecutive life sentences after being found guilty in March of the June 2021 murders of his wife Maggie and younger son Paul. Murdaugh has repeatedly denied his involvement in the killings.
He is expected to plead guilty in federal court to charges stemming from financial crimes late next month, according to court records. He is also currently awaiting trial on more than 100 other charges in state court, including several related to a staged suicide attempt.