Alex Murdaugh was a partner at a law firm, and the CFO, Jeanne Seckinger, talked to him on the morning of June 7, 2021.
During the trial on Tuesday, Seckinger said that he talked to Murdaugh in a tense meeting about money that was missing from settlements that the law firm had collected. In the end, the missing money would add up to more than $2.8 million.
Seckinger told the jury that Murdaugh was angry and rude at first, but the conversation got better when he got a call about his father’s failing health. After working with Murdaugh for 22 years, Seckinger decided that they could talk about the missing money later.
But less than 12 hours later, Seckinger heard that Maggie, Murdaugh’s wife, and Paul, his son, had both been shot to death.
Prosecutors say that around 8:49 p.m. that night, Alex Murdaugh shot and killed his wife and son. Then, they say, he tried to cover his tracks by calling his wife’s phone after she died.
The reason given is that Murdaugh thought his world was falling apart around him. The government says that he already owed a lot of money—millions of dollars. If the firm found out about his alleged financial crimes, he could lose his job, be kicked out of the bar, or even be investigated by the police.
Murdaugh, who is 54 years old, is being charged with two counts of first-degree murder and two charges related to weapons. He has said he is not guilty, and his murder trial has been going on for a long time.
Seckinger said in court that she thought Murdaugh was stealing from his law partners for the first time in May 2021. She found out that he was sending checks to a company called “Forge,” which is the name of a real structured settlement company that did business with the law firm.
But more research allegedly showed that Murdaugh had set up a Bank of America account with the same name, “Forge,” but that the money was going into his own pockets.
During cross-examination, the defense admitted to the alleged financial crimes and stressed that Murdaugh is not a murderer even if he is guilty of embezzlement.
The defense asked Seckinger if the financial problems had been going on since 2011, which is “about 10 years” before the murders. Seckinger agreed that it had been going on for more than a decade and said she felt hurt and angry.
“I take very personally what he does. He took cash, “She said that. “Someone stole that money.”
After hearing all of the testimony, the prosecutor asked Seckinger if she thought she “really” knew Alex Murdaugh, who she had known since they were in high school together.
Seckinger replied with sadness, “I don’t think I ever really knew him.” “I don’t think anyone is familiar with him.”