Home U.S. NEWS Alex Murdaugh loses cell phone privilege in prison after a lawyer taped the phone call for a documentary

Alex Murdaugh loses cell phone privilege in prison after a lawyer taped the phone call for a documentary

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Alex Murdaugh loses cell phone privilege in prison after a lawyer taped the phone call for a documentary

COLUMBIA, SC (AP) — Convicted murderer Alex Murdaugh has lost his phone privileges and jail tablet computer after his attorney recorded reading his diary entries on a call for a documentary about his case, South Carolina officials said Corrections Department on Wednesday.

Prison policy prohibits inmates from speaking to the media without permission because the agency “believes that crime victims should not see or hear the person who victimized them or their family members on the news,” the agency said State Prisons spokeswoman Chrysti Shain in a statement.

The media interview violation, as well as another violation for using another inmate’s password to make a phone call, are issues of prison discipline and not a crime, Shain said.

Additionally, Murdaugh was unable to shop at the prison canteen for a month. He must get permission from prison officials to get another tablet that he can use to make monitored phone calls, watch approved entertainment, read books or take video classes, Shain said.

Murdaugh, 55, is serving a life sentence without parole for killing his wife and younger son. Prosecutors said the now-disfellowshiped attorney was concerned investigators might discover he had stolen millions from his law firm and clients and was trying to win sympathy and buy more time to cover up the crimes.

Murdaugh staunchly denied the murders both to investigators and on the witness stand.

Murdaugh’s attorney Jim Griffin recorded Murdaugh in June reading entries from a journal he kept during his double murder trial for an upcoming Fox Nation documentary on his case, prison records show.

Prison officials sent Griffin a message saying that if he knowingly or unknowingly helped Murdaugh break the rules again, he might not be able to speak to his client again.

Griffin did not respond to a message from The Associated Press on Wednesday.

Telephone conversations between lawyers and prisoners are not recorded or checked as their conversations are considered confidential. But prison officials said they began investigating Murdaugh after a warden screening other phone calls heard Murdaugh’s voice on a call made through another inmate’s account.

Murdaugh said his phone password didn’t work. He also informed prison investigators about the recorded diary entries, according to prison records.

Murdaugh is expected to plead guilty in federal court on Sept. 21 to charges of stealing millions of dollars from clients, according to court documents. It’s the first time he’s admitted to a crime in court.

Murdaugh also faces around 100 charges in state court. Authorities said he stole millions from clients who suffered serious injuries and needed money for medical care. He is accused of robbing his family’s law firm and helping run a money-laundering drug ring. Authorities said he asked a friend to kill him on the side of a lonely freeway so his son could get $10 million in life insurance. The shot just grazed Murdaugh’s head.

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