Amid the anger and rage directed at Alex Murdaugh in a Beaufort County courtroom Tuesday, some victims spoke of forgiveness.
Of the five victims that delivered impact statements to Judge Clifton Newman in the Beaufort County Courthouse, three said they had forgiven Murdaugh for pocketing money stolen from legal settlements and other funds. Pleading guilty earlier this month under a package agreement, Murdaugh, 55, was sentenced Tuesday afternoon to 27 years in prison for 22 separate counts of financial crimes.
Tony Satterfield, after asking Newman for permission to face Murdaugh, talked about what Murdaugh had done. “You lied, you cheated, you stole. You betrayed me and my family and everybody else.”
Still, “I want you to know that I forgive you,” said Tony Satterfield, son of the Murdaugh’s late housekeeper, Gloria Satterfield. “I will pray for you every day that God gets a hold of your heart.”
Gloria Satterfield, 57, died in February 2018 from a fall on the steps of Murdaugh’s rural Colleton County estate, following two decades of housekeeping work for the family. Murdaugh admitted stealing $4.3 million from an insurance settlement that should have gone to Satterfield’s two sons.
Pamela Pinckney also invoked her Christian beliefs during her statement, claiming her relationship with God gave her the strength to push through the fallout of her son’s death from a “terrible motor vehicle accident” in 2009. Murdaugh admitted stealing nearly $400,000 from the Pinckney settlement.
“All I want to say to you is I forgive you from my heart. On this day and forevermore, my prayers and endeavors should be with you, and God bless you,” Pinckney told Murdaugh on Tuesday.
Angel Gary, whose family’s payout was stolen following her mother’s death in a 2012 car crash, was the final victim to forgive Murdaugh prior to his sentencing. Blondell Gary was killed in a 2012 car accident, and Murdaugh took $112,000 from a wrongful death settlement.
“God gave me this time just to tell you that I forgive you,” she said. “I hope and pray that you would look to Him and ask Him truly in your heart to forgive you everything that you have done .... because what you did to all of the families is just so wrong.”
Following her message of forgiveness, Murdaugh was seen mouthing “Thank you” to Gary from across the courtroom.
But forgiveness was far from the only sentiment delivered to Murdaugh from his former clients. Ginger Hadwin, sister of Gloria Satterfield, told the courtroom she couldn’t find the words to describe what Murdaugh had done to the dozens of affected families, most of which had already gone through an unspeakable loss.
“I don’t get it. I don’t understand it. And I don’t want to understand it,” said Hadwin, addressing Murdaugh directly. “Do you not have a soul?”