Man charged in capturing of distinguished lawyer that was a part of botched $10 million life insurance coverage scheme, authorities say

Columbia, South Carolina — A distinguished South Carolina lawyer who discovered the our bodies of his spouse and son three months in the past tried to rearrange his personal loss of life earlier this month so his son would get a $10 million life insurance coverage fee, however the deliberate deadly shot solely grazed his head, state police mentioned Tuesday.

The shooter, Curtis Edward Smith, was charged with assisted suicide, insurance coverage fraud and several other different counts within the Sept. 4 capturing of Alex Murdaugh on a lonely freeway in Hampton County, the State Regulation Enforcement Division mentioned in a press release.

Murdaugh wasn’t charged Tuesday night time, however brokers mentioned extra prices had been anticipated.

Alex Murdaugh in undated photograph


Murdaugh gave Smith the gun to kill him and he adopted Murdaugh to Previous Salkehatchie Highway, firing one shot on the lawyer as he stood within the street, an agent mentioned in a sworn assertion.

However that bullet solely grazed Murdaugh’s head and he was in a position to name 911 for assist, authorities mentioned. Murdaugh’s lawyer mentioned final week his cranium was fractured by the bullet.

Murdaugh needed Smith to kill him so his surviving son would get his $10 million life insurance coverage coverage, state brokers mentioned.

Smith drove off after the capturing and disposed of the gun, authorities mentioned.

Reserving photograph offered by the Colleton County Detention Middle reveals Curtis Edward Smith on Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021. Smith, was charged with assisted suicide, insurance coverage fraud and several other different counts within the Sept. 4 capturing of Alex Murdaugh. 

Colleton County Detention Middle by way of AP

State brokers mentioned Murdaugh admitted making an attempt to rearrange his personal loss of life on Monday. Murdaugh’s lawyer, Jim Griffin, did not reply to a textual content message late Tuesday night time.

Murdaugh mentioned final week by a household spokesman that he pulled over after his Mercedes SUV’s low tire strain mild got here on. A person passing by in a pickup truck requested if he was having automobile bother after which shot at him.

Brokers mentioned Smith, 61, confessed Tuesday and was charged with assisted suicide, assault and battery of a excessive aggravated nature, pointing and presenting a firearm, insurance coverage fraud, conspiracy to commit insurance coverage fraud, distribution of methamphetamine and possession of marijuana.

It wasn’t instantly identified if he had a lawyer to talk on his behalf. Courtroom information from Colleton County confirmed Murdaugh had been Smith’s lawyer in a 2013 rushing case.

Nonetheless unsolved are the  June 7 killings of 52-year-old Maggie Murdaugh and her 22-year-old son Paul Murdaugh. Alex Murdaugh found the our bodies of his spouse and son at their Colleton County residence. Each had been shot a number of occasions.

Murdaugh introduced two days after the capturing he was going into rehab for an opioid dependancy. He apologized to his household and mentioned he was leaving his regulation agency.

“The murders of my spouse and son have brought on an extremely tough time in my life. I’ve made numerous choices that I actually remorse,” Murdaugh mentioned with out going into particulars.

A number of hours later, the PMPED (Peters Murdaugh Parker Eltzroth Detrick) Regulation Agency mentioned Murdaugh had taken cash from the enterprise and was fired from the agency. The amount of cash hasn’t been disclosed.

Together with the killings of Maggie and Paul Murdaugh and the capturing of Alex Murdaugh, the State Regulation Enforcement Division is investigating the lacking cash, whether or not anybody tried to hinder an investigation right into a 2019 boat crash which Paul Murdaugh was ultimately charged, and a July 2015 hit-and-run loss of life in Hampton County.

Murdaugh’s father, grandfather and great-grandfather all held the workplace of solicitor within the space for greater than 80 years, and different relations had been distinguished civil attorneys within the area.

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