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Alex Murdaugh Hired Curtis Edward Smith to Kill Him: Authorities

Curtis Edward Smith appears in a mugshot released by the Colleton County, S.C. Detention Center.

Curtis Edward Smith seems in a mugshot launched by the Colleton County, S.C. Detention Heart.

An arrest in South Carolina introduced late Tuesday is shedding mild on the interior workings of a distinguished authorized household rocked by a double homicide this previous summer time and a subsequent taking pictures of a 3rd member of the family earlier this month.

Legal professional Alex Murdaugh was shot in the head on Sept. 4th. Although he was reportedly airlifted to a hospital, he apparently told 911 dispatchers that he suffered solely a “superficial” head wound when somebody in a truck handed him, circled, and pulled the set off. The weird taking pictures occurred about two and a half months after Murdaugh’s spouse Margaret, 52, and his son Paul, 22, have been discovered murdered in mid-June. Paul Murdaugh was dealing with growing authorized jeopardy on the time of his demise in reference to a boating crash that brought on the demise of school pupil Mallory Seaside, 19.

Based on the South Carolina Legislation Enforcement Division (SLED), Curtis Edward Smith, 61, of Colleton County was arrested “in reference to the taking pictures incident involving Alex Murdaugh” in Hampton County.

Alex Murdaugh appears in a WCBD-TV screengrab.

Alex Murdaugh seems in a WCBD-TV screengrab.

Murdaugh admitted to SLED that he employed Smith to kill him, in line with paperwork launched by SLED late Tuesday.

“[O]n September 4, 2021, co-defendant Richard Alexander Murdaugh conspired with Curtis Edward Smith within the space of Previous Salkehatchie Street, for the aim of Mr. Smith helping Mr. Murdaugh to commit suicide,” an arrest warrant affidavit states.  “Mr. Murdaugh supplied Mr. Smith with a firearm and directed Mr. Smith to shoot him within the head for the aim of inflicting Mr. Murdaugh’s demise and permitting for the fee of a acknowledged demise profit to a beneficiary of the insured, Mr. Murdaugh.”

“Mr. Smith adopted Mr. Murdaugh to Previous Salkehatchie Street and shot Mr. Murdaugh as he stood within the roadway,” the affidavit continues. “After taking pictures Mr. Murdaugh within the head, Mr. Smith drove to an unknown location the place he disposed of the firearm.  Mr. Murdaugh survived the taking pictures and was transported to the hospital for therapy.”

Murdaugh confessed to the scheme on Sept. thirteenth, the affidavit says. He informed SLED that he wished his son to gather a $10 million life insurance coverage coverage. Smith admitted on Sept. 14th that he was “current in the course of the taking pictures of Mr. Murdaugh and to disposing of the firearm afterwards,” the affidavit additionally says.

Smith is at present charged with assisted suicide, assault and battery of a excessive aggravated nature, pointing and presenting a firearm, insurance coverage fraud, and conspiracy to commit insurance coverage fraud in reference to the Murdaugh taking pictures. Nevertheless, SLED stated in a press launch that it expects extra costs to be filed at a later time.

Smith was additionally charged with the distribution of methamphetamine and possession of marijuana. He was booked on the Colleton County Detention Heart in Walterboro, S.C., SLED stated. Jail data point out he was in custody as of three:08 p.m. Tuesday.

Murdaugh, 53, is from a household described as a authorized dynasty in South Carolina’s Low Nation. His father, grandfather, and great-grandfather all served as prosecutors within the state’s 14th Circuit for 87 consecutive years. Although Murdaugh was by no means the highest prosecutor within the native circuit, he did work as a part-time prosecutor within the workplace. Nevertheless, he primarily was engaged in non-public apply — a job that started to unravel concerning the time of the Sept. 4th incident. Murdaugh’s law firm alleged that he resigned the day earlier than he was shot after misappropriating cash. Murdaugh said he was planning to enter a rehab facility. The South Carolina Supreme Court docket agreed to suspended Murdaugh’s law license on an interim but indefinite foundation on Sept. eighth pending an ethics probe.

Richard Harpootlian, an attorney who represents Murdaugh, told NBC’s “At the moment” present on Wednesday that Murdaugh was taking opioids to deal with the killings of his spouse and son. Murdaugh entered into the admitted plot with Smith as a result of he thought his $10 million insurance coverage coverage contained a suicide clause which might have restricted or prevented funds if he died by his personal palms, Harpootlian stated.

Harpootlian additionally informed NBC that the plot was an “try on his half to do one thing to guard his youngster.”

“Alex believed that ending his life was his solely choice,” Harpootlian and Jim Griffin, one other Murdaugh legal professional, informed “At the moment” in a separate written assertion. “At the moment, he is aware of that’s not true.”

“For the final 20 years, there have been many individuals feeding his dependancy to opioids,” the assertion continued. “Throughout that point, these people took benefit of his dependancy and his potential to pay substantial funds for unlawful medication . . . [o]ne of these people took benefit of his psychological sickness and agreed to take Alex’s life, by taking pictures him within the head.”

Harpootlian informed NBC that he anticipated Murdaugh to be charged someday quickly. Although the paperwork launched by SLED discuss with Murdaugh as a co-defendant, he doesn’t seem to have been arrested or charged as of the time of this writing.

The Murdaugh lawyer additionally informed NBC that his consumer got here clear to the authorities as a result of “he didn’t need regulation enforcement spending time on this faux crime as a substitute of specializing in fixing the murders of Maggie and Paul.”

Charleston, S.C. CBS affiliate WCSC-TV reported in June that SLED was reopening its investigation into the 2015 demise of a 19-year-old man in Hampton County. That case was reopened due to data SLED obtained in the course of the Murdaugh investigation.

Based on WCSC, authorities have believed that the teenager, Stephen Smith, ran out of fuel on his approach residence from faculty and was probably struck and killed by the mirror of a passing car. However his household has lengthy argued that the proof doesn’t line up.

“He known as his sister one evening he ran out of fuel and he hid within the woods and wouldn’t come out till he was certain it was her,” his mom, Sandy Smith, told Savannah, Ga. CBS affiliate WTOC-TV in 2015. “We all know for a truth it was not a success and run. Stephen wouldn’t have been within the roadway.”

WCBD reported that “many linked” Smith to Alex Murdaugh’s different son Buster Murdaugh:

On July eighth, 2015, Stephen Smith’s physique was discovered in the midst of Sandy Run Street in Hampton County. Smith, who many linked to Buster Murdaugh — the eldest Murdaugh son — in interviews with regulation enforcement, was found with a big would to his head. Investigators have been unable to discover a suspect and the case went chilly till 2021. The South Carolina Legislation Enforcement Division (SLED) introduced that they have been reopening Smith’s case based mostly on data uncovered in the course of the Murdaugh double-homicide investigation.

It’s unclear if Stephen Smith is expounded to Curtis Edward Smith.

Learn among the paperwork launched by SLED over the past a number of months beneath:

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