Convicted murderer Alex Murdaugh has become a notable jailhouse figure who plays checkers and cards with other inmates – but steers clear of the convicted sex offenders in his unit, according to his attorney.
“When he came in, he obviously had a lot of notoriety and was a celebrity of sorts, but he gets along with everybody in the pod,” Jim Griffin told Fox News Digital of Murdaugh’s new home at McCormick Correctional Institution in South Carolina.
Murdaugh, 54, is behind bars in the protective custody wing of the maximum security prison, which houses about 28 inmates who are considered potential targets – including child abusers and former law enforcement officers.
“He has a small group he interacts with regularly,” Griffin said. Murdaugh, he added, avoids the “significant number” of inmates in the small unit who were “convicted of some pretty horrendous sex crimes.”
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Murdaugh was sentenced to two life terms last month for fatally shooting his wife, Maggie, 52, and his son, Paul, 22, in June 2021 in an attempt to cover up his alleged financial malfeasance. He arrived at McCormick from Kirkland Correctional Institution March 31.
The inmates, who each have their own cell, are allowed in the communal area of the pod from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. – when they pass the time playing checkers, cards and watching TV, Griffin said.
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There is also a small courtyard for fresh air, and they each have a tablet that can be used for phone calls, emails and limited internet access.
Murdaugh appears to have plenty of fans on the outside. Strangers have contributed about $1,000 to his commissary, and he has received more than 90 letters from 28 states and several countries mostly expressing support, Griffin told Fox News Digital.
However, he may face potential trouble inside the prison walls. Corrections officials told Griffin that some inmates had posted menacing TikTok videos using contraband cellphones threatening physical harm to Murdaugh if they see him in the yard.
The attorney added that he was not sure what Murdaugh and the other inmates watch on TV at McCormick, but at Kirkland, there was a clear favorite.
“I’ve learned that a lot of inmates watch CourtTV. It’s their channel,” he said.
In fact, at Kirkland, Murdaugh was “surprised by the extensive coverage of his case” on the show after his trial had ended.
Griffin met with Murdaugh, who he recalled was wearing a yellow prison-issue jumpsuit, on April 11 in a private room to discuss his appeal of his murder convictions.
“Alex has stayed positive and when I met him he was in a good mood,” Griffin said.
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Murdaugh told him that the guards have all been courteous and professional – but he would prefer to be in the prison’s general population.
The South Carolina Department of Corrections made the protective custody decision, but the designation will be reviewed in 90 days. In protective custody, Murdaugh cannot take advantage of the facility’s programs, which include producing upholstered furniture and powder coating metal products at the prison’s own factory.
Murdaugh has yet to have visitation privileges, but he writes his friends and family, including his living son Buster.
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He does not call for fear the recordings of the conversations will be released to the press, as they were when he was housed at Richland County Detention Center.
“I talked to Alex yesterday, and he asked me to call Buster, and if Buster has something he wants his dad to know, I relay it,” Griffin said.