Man charged within the taking pictures of distinguished lawyer Alex Murdaugh in what officers allege was a conspiracy to commit insurance coverage fraud

2021-09-15 11:32:35

Curtis Edward Smith, 61, of Colleton County has been charged with assisted suicide; conspiracy to commit insurance coverage fraud; pointing and presenting a firearm; and assault and battery of a excessive and aggravated nature, in keeping with a South Carolina Legislation Enforcement Division.

In accordance with the affidavit filed to help the costs, Murdaugh allegedly conspired with Smith within the taking pictures on September 4, offering him with the firearm and instructing Smith to shoot him within the head.

The aim, in keeping with the affidavit, was for Smith to kill Murdaugh in order that his son might gather a life insurance coverage payout of roughly $10 million.

Murdaugh, who survived the taking pictures, admitted to the scheme on Monday, the affidavit mentioned. On Tuesday, Smith admitted to being current on the taking pictures of Murdaugh and to disposing of the firearm, the affidavit mentioned.

Murdaugh is described as a co-defendant within the affidavit, though no fees have been introduced in opposition to the 53-year-old previous lawyer.

SLED mentioned further fees are anticipated within the case. Smith has additionally been charged with the distribution of methamphetamine and possession of marijuana, in keeping with SLED.

It isn’t clear if Smith has retained authorized counsel at the moment. CNN has reached out to a Murdaugh household spokesperson for remark.

Within the quick aftermath of the taking pictures, Murdaugh referred to as 911 to report he had been shot on a street in Hampton County, in keeping with an announcement from SLED spokesperson Tommy Crosby. He was taken to a hospital in Savannah, Georgia, the place he was handled for a “superficial gunshot wound to the pinnacle,” the assertion mentioned.

The following week, a household spokesperson issued an announcement indicating that the harm was extra critical and outlining extra particulars of the incident.

“Alex pulled over after seeing a low tire indicator gentle. A male driver in a blue pick-up requested him if he had automotive troubles, as quickly as Alex replied, he was shot,” the assertion mentioned.

Alex Murdaugh leaves a hearing in a personal injury lawsuit at the Richland County Courthouse in March of 2019.

Notable household in South Carolina

Murdaugh is a member of a really well-known household in authorized circles in South Carolina. The Murdaugh household has had three generations function the 14th Circuit Solicitor, which leads prosecutions for Allendale, Beaufort, Colleton, Hampton and Jasper counties within the southern a part of South Carolina.

Extra not too long ago, they’ve been embroiled in a collection of bloody tragedies — together with the deadly shootings of Murdaugh’s spouse and son Margaret and Paul in June.

The day earlier than the taking pictures incident, Murdaugh had resigned from the regulation agency Peters, Murdaugh, Parker, Eltzroth & Detrick (PMPED), in keeping with the agency.

South Carolina attorney shot in the head 3 months after his wife and son were killed

Days later, the agency mentioned Murdaugh’s resignation got here “after the invention by PMPED that Alex misappropriated funds in violation of PMPED requirements and insurance policies.”

His license was subsequently suspended, in keeping with the South Carolina Supreme Courtroom.

Randy Murdaugh IV, Alex Murdaugh’s brother and likewise an lawyer at PMPED regulation agency, launched an announcement concerning the resignation acknowledging what lawyer Jim Griffin would later specify as Alex Murdaugh’s opioid habit.

“I used to be shocked, simply as the remainder of my PMPED household, to study of my brother, Alex’s, drug habit and stealing of cash,” Randy Murdaugh wrote within the assertion.

SLED introduced Monday that it has opened an investigation into Murdaugh primarily based upon the misappropriation fund allegations.

A household tragedy

Two days after the taking pictures, Murdaugh launched an announcement saying he was getting into rehab.

“The murders of my spouse and son have prompted an extremely tough time in my life. I’ve made a whole lot of selections that I actually remorse,” he mentioned within the assertion. “I am resigning from my regulation agency and getting into rehab after a protracted battle that has been exacerbated by these murders. I’m immensely sorry to everybody I’ve harm together with my household, buddies and colleagues. I ask for prayers as I rehabilitate myself and my relationships.”

On June 7, Alex Murdaugh referred to as 911 and reported he discovered his spouse Margaret, 52, and son Paul, then 22, shot useless outdoors of their residence in Islandton, a small neighborhood about an hour north of Hilton Head Island, in keeping with the SLED.

South Carolina attorney resigns and enters rehab after being shot in the head months after deaths of his wife and son

Colleton County Sheriff’s deputies decided each victims had a number of gunshot wounds.

His brothers, John Marvin Murdaugh and Randolph “Randy” Murdaugh IV, quickly after spoke to “Good Morning America” concerning the killings and mentioned they didn’t imagine Alex was concerned.

“My brother cherished Maggie and cherished Paul like nothing else on this earth, identical to he loves (his different son) Buster,” Randy advised “GMA.” “So, there isn’t any doable means he might have something to do with this, I can guarantee you.”

The SLED requested the general public to withhold judgment till the investigation is full.

Whereas investigating the mom and son’s deaths, SLED gathered data that prompted them to reopen an investigation into the unsolved loss of life of 19-year-old Stephen Smith, whose physique was discovered within the street in 2015 in Hampton County, the company mentioned.

CNN’s Melissa Alonso and Eric Levenson contributed to this report.

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