Russell Laffitte, the former CEO of Palmetto State Bank and accomplice of convicted killer Alex Murdaugh, has filed for a new trial citing Murdaugh’s recent court testimony as evidence of his innocence.
Laffitte was convicted in November 2022 on six financial crime charges related to a corruption scheme led by Murdaugh in which hundreds of thousands of dollars were laundered from clients.
Murdaugh’s six-week murder trial began on January 25, 2023, and resulted in his conviction for the double slaying of his wife and son, after which Laffitte’s appeal was denied on March 6.
Laffitte’s new motion for a new trial quotes Murdaugh’s testimony in which he explicitly stated that Laffitte was not involved in his financial crimes.
Prosecutors alleged that Murdaugh killed his wife and son to divert attention from his 99 financial crime charges, while Laffitte was accused of stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from six of Murdaugh’s clients.
During Murdaugh’s trial, he admitted to stealing millions of dollars from his family’s law firm and clients to fund his drug habit.
Prosecutors did not have direct evidence of Murdaugh’s involvement in the murders, but presented a mountain of circumstantial evidence.
Murdaugh was found guilty on March 3, 2023, and sentenced to two consecutive life sentences.
Murdaugh’s attorneys have filed a motion to appeal his conviction for the murders of his wife and son, and he is now being held in his own cell at the Kirkland Reception and Evaluation Center.
The center will conduct a 45-day evaluation before determining where to hold him permanently.
Murdaugh is being housed with the state’s most violent inmates.