CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — Convicted murderer Alex Murdaugh has pleaded guilty in federal court to financial crimes.

Thursday’s court appearance is the first time the disbarred attorney has admitted responsibility for a crime before a judge. Murdaugh is serving life in prison without parole for killing his wife and son, but he adamantly denied shooting them from the witness stand at his double murder trial.

In federal court, Murdaugh pleaded guilty to 22 counts of financial fraud and money laundering.

He will be sentenced at a later date.

The federal guilty plea likely locks in years if not decades in prison, even if the double murder conviction is overturned.