Convicted murderer Alex Murdaugh has been stripped of his phone privileges and prison tablet computer after his lawyer recorded him reading his journal entries during a call for a documentary on his case. South Carolina Corrections Department officials announced the disciplinary measures on Wednesday. The actions were taken because prison policy forbids inmates from speaking to the media without permission, as the agency aims to protect crime victims from seeing or hearing the individuals who victimized them in the news.
In addition to violating the media interview policy, Murdaugh was also found to have used another inmate’s password to make a telephone call. The violations are considered prison discipline issues rather than criminal offenses, according to state prisons spokeswoman Chrysti Shain. As a result of the disciplinary hearing held on Monday, Murdaugh has lost his ability to purchase items from the prison canteen for one month.
To regain his privileges, Murdaugh will need to seek permission from prison officials. This will include obtaining another tablet, which can be used for monitored phone calls, approved entertainment, reading materials, and video classes. Currently serving a life sentence without parole for the murder of his wife and younger son, Murdaugh has been implicated in stealing millions of dollars from his law firm and clients. He has denied these allegations both to investigators and while testifying in court.
During a June interview, Murdaugh’s lawyer, Jim Griffin, recorded him reading entries from his journal that he maintained during his trial for the double murder. The recording was intended for an upcoming Fox Nation documentary about the case. Prison officials sent Griffin a warning stating that if he knowingly or unknowingly aids Murdaugh in violating rules again, he may lose his ability to communicate with his client.
The investigation into Murdaugh’s actions began when a warden reviewing phone calls overheard Murdaugh’s voice on a call made from another inmate’s account. Murdaugh claimed that his phone password was not functioning and also disclosed the recorded journal entries to prison investigators. In addition to his impending guilty plea in federal court for embezzling millions from clients, Murdaugh is facing approximately 100 charges in state court for stealing from his family’s law firm and being involved in a drug ring to launder money. Authorities allege that he planned his own death on a deserted road, hoping to secure a $10 million life insurance payout for his son.