Alex Murdaugh turns himself in on prices related to insurance coverage fraud scheme

2021-09-16 21:51:00

A beige SUV containing Murdaugh pulled as much as the Hampton County Legislation Enforcement Middle late Thursday morning, and Murdaugh was seen exiting the automobile shortly after it pulled via a gate. He’s anticipated to seem in court docket Thursday.

In line with court docket paperwork, Murdaugh organized for a former consumer to kill him so his surviving son may accumulate a life insurance coverage payout of about $10 million.

In a press release Thursday, the South Carolina Legislation Enforcement Division (SLED) confirmed brokers had arrested Murdaugh, who was booked on the Hampton County Detention Middle. He faces prices of insurance coverage fraud, conspiracy to commit insurance coverage fraud and submitting a false police report, the assertion mentioned, and the case will likely be prosecuted by the state Legal professional Basic’s workplace.

“I can guarantee you that SLED brokers will proceed working to deliver justice to anybody concerned with any legal act related to these ongoing investigation,” SLED Chief Mark Keel mentioned within the assertion. “The arrests on this case are solely step one in that course of.”

Murdaugh was shot within the head on a roadway September 4 however survived. A household spokesperson had beforehand blamed the capturing on an unidentified man in a blue truck. Nonetheless, Murdaugh admitted to authorities Monday that he had conspired with a person — recognized by police as Curtis Edward Smith — to kill him as a part of the scheme, in line with an affidavit to assist prices towards Smith.

Murdaugh determined to finish his personal life however believed his life insurance coverage coverage had a suicide exclusion, his different lawyer Dick Harpootlian mentioned, and that the scheme “was an try on his half to do one thing to guard” his eldest and solely dwelling baby.

Moreover, state investigators have introduced the opening of two different investigations concerning the 2015 unsolved loss of life of a teen in addition to the 2018 loss of life of the Murdaugh household’s housekeeper.

The killings of his spouse and son on June 7 haven’t been solved, and Murdaugh has denied accountability.

A beige SUV containing Alex Murdaugh (second from right) pulled up to the Hampton County Law Enforcement Center Thursday. Murdaugh was seen exiting the SUV shortly after it pulled through a gate.

Former consumer charged in suicide scheme

Smith, 61, was charged Wednesday with assisted suicide, assault and battery of a excessive and aggravated nature, pointing and presenting a firearm, insurance coverage fraud and conspiracy to commit insurance coverage fraud, in line with the South Carolina Legislation Enforcement Division.

On Thursday, Hampton County Justice of the Peace Decide Tonja Alexander set bond for Smith at $55,000. Requested if he was fascinated by a public defender, Smith replied, “I am most likely going to take a look at one, sure,” including he would doubtless apply for one early subsequent week.

Alexander ordered Smith to seem for roll name on October 25 on the Hampton County courthouse. Smith should get hold of an lawyer inside 15 days or his bond will likely be revoked, Alexander mentioned, and he should preserve the court docket notified of any modifications of tackle.

Curtis Edward Smith, 61, allegedly shot Alex Murdaugh in the head as part of a conspiracy to commit insurance fraud, according to an affidavit.

The Colleton County Sheriff’s Workplace mentioned Smith had a separate bond listening to on Wednesday morning and acquired a $5,000 money surety bond for a meth cost and a private recognizance bond for a marijuana cost. He was transferred to Hampton County custody Wednesday afternoon, authorities mentioned.

Murdaugh was not fatally wounded when he was shot September 4. Afterward, he known as 911 to report he had been shot on a street in Hampton County, in line with SLED, and he was taken to a hospital in Savannah, Georgia.

Authorities initially described Murdaugh’s damage as a “superficial gunshot wound to the pinnacle,” although Murdaugh’s attorneys mentioned his cranium was fractured within the capturing.‚Äč

Murdaugh allegedly offered Smith with a firearm and directed Smith to shoot him within the head. Smith admitted Tuesday to being current on the capturing and to disposing of the firearm afterward, the affidavit states.

Murdaugh had represented Smith as his lawyer on not less than two events relationship again to 2010, in line with court docket data from the Colleton County 14th Judicial Circuit.

He first represented Smith in a private damage lawsuit that Smith introduced towards a land administration firm, and Murdaugh can also be listed as Smith’s lawyer for a 2013 site visitors infraction, the court docket paperwork present.

Questions stay over housekeeper loss of life, lawyer says

The South Carolina Legislation Enforcement Division (SLED) introduced on Wednesday that it was opening a legal investigation into the February 2018 loss of life of Gloria Satterfield and the dealing with of her property.

Satterfield was the Murdaugh household housekeeper for greater than twenty years earlier than dying in 2018 after what was described as a “journey and fall accident” on the Murdaugh dwelling, in line with lawyer Eric Bland, who’s representing her property.

SLED mentioned it’s opening an investigation primarily based upon a request from the Hampton County coroner that highlights inconsistencies within the ruling of Satterfield’s method of loss of life, in addition to data gathered throughout SLED’s different ongoing investigations involving Murdaugh.

“The decedent’s loss of life was not reported to the Coroner on the time, nor was an post-mortem carried out. On the loss of life certificates the way of loss of life was dominated “Pure,” which is inconsistent with accidents sustained in a visit and fall accident,” the coroner’s request to SLED mentioned.

Bland filed a lawsuit Wednesday on behalf of Satterfield’s property towards Alex Murdaugh, the property’s former lawyer Cory Fleming, in addition to Palmetto State Financial institution.

Murder and mystery in South Carolina: A timeline of the Murdaugh family killings

Bland instructed CNN’s Chris Cuomo on Wednesday that following her loss of life, her household trusted Murdaugh to assist them deliver a lawsuit towards himself on behalf of the property.

“Definitely there have been questions by my shoppers as a result of after she sadly fell, she was airlifted to a hospital and she or he had a traumatic mind damage, she by no means was capable of talk with them for the following three weeks till she died,” Bland instructed Cuomo. “So, it was Alex Murdaugh who instructed the story of that she had tripped and fell down the steps over his canines.”

“They trusted him,” Bland mentioned. “He hand-walked them to his greatest good friend and school roommate to deliver a lawsuit towards himself on behalf of the property.”

In line with Bland, plenty of claims have been made which all contributed to a settlement, however none of these settlements ever ended up in court docket, besides one for round $500,000 from Lloyds of London insurance coverage.

“There is not any court docket orders approving any of those settlements. And it is required beneath the legislation, when you have a wrongful loss of life or survival case, a decide has to approve the settlements. None of that exists within the court docket file, and our shoppers by no means came upon that these instances had settled these claims, till it was printed within the paper by investigative reporters,” Bland mentioned.

In line with the lawyer, the claims have been settled for greater than $2 million, of which his shoppers have acquired no half. “It is our job to get them solutions, and get them their a reimbursement,” Bland added.

As well as, police on June 22 reopened the investigation into the 2015 loss of life of Stephen Smith, 19, whose physique was discovered within the street in Hampton County.

SLED mentioned the probe was being reopened primarily based on data gathered whereas investigating the double murder.

CNN’s Amanda Watts, Gregory Lemos, Melissa Alonso, Angela Barajas, Caroline Kenny and Christina Maxouris contributed to this report.

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