Alex Murdaugh, the distinguished South Carolina lawyer whose spouse and son have been shot and killed in June, requested a former shopper to kill him this month so his different son might acquire a $10 million insurance coverage fee however survived being shot within the head, the police stated on Tuesday evening.
It was the most recent startling twist in a sequence of mysteries which have introduced intense scrutiny to the Murdaugh household and the agricultural slice of South Carolina the place their household has held sway for greater than a century, although the central query of who killed Mr. Murdaugh’s spouse and son stays unsolved.
The former shopper, Curtis Edward Smith, 61, of Walterboro, S.C., was arrested and charged with assisted suicide, aggravated assault and battery, and insurance coverage fraud in reference to the capturing on Sept. four, the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division stated.
The state police company stated that Mr. Murdaugh, 53, had admitted to the scheme on Monday and that Mr. Smith had admitted to being on the scene and eliminating the gun. Mr. Murdaugh’s lawyer didn’t reply to inquiries in regards to the arrest, and it was not clear if Mr. Smith, who was booked within the Colleton County jail, had a lawyer.
Mr. Murdaugh has not been charged, however he’s known as a “co-defendant” within the charging paperwork for Mr. Smith; a police spokesman, Tommy Crosby, stated with out elaborating that the police anticipated to carry extra fees within the case.
Mr. Murdaugh’s lawyer and spokeswoman had insisted that the capturing on a rural street in Hampton County, S.C., was not self-inflicted. They stated that Mr. Murdaugh had stopped to examine a flat tire when somebody in a truck pulled up and shot him, inflicting a cranium fracture. He was launched from a hospital inside a number of days.
A day earlier than the capturing, Mr. Murdaugh had been pushed out of his household regulation agency, P.M.P.E.D., which stated it found that he had misused tens of millions of dollars. Mr. Murdaugh issued a press release apologizing to his household and his colleagues, and his lawyer stated he was coming into a drug rehab program.
It was a surprising unraveling for Mr. Murdaugh, who’s a part of a authorized dynasty that has amassed highly effective ties within the South Carolina Lowcountry over the previous century. His great-grandfather, grandfather and father sequentially served as the highest prosecutor throughout a five-county area from 1910 till 2006.
Mr. Murdaugh represented Mr. Smith as just lately as 2015 in a lawsuit that Mr. Smith had filed towards a forest administration firm based mostly in Charlotte, N.C. He had additionally represented Mr. Smith in 2013 when Mr. Smith was given a ticket for driving as much as 10 m.p.h. over the velocity restrict.
The capturing of Mr. Murdaugh got here almost three months after he returned to his household’s massive, rural property in Islandton, S.C., and found that his spouse, Maggie, and son Paul, a 22-year-old faculty pupil, had been shot to loss of life.
At the time of his loss of life, Paul Murdaugh was going through fees that he had drunkenly crashed a ship in 2019, killing Mallory Beach, a passenger, and wounding others.
The killings additionally led the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division to open an investigation into the 2015 loss of life of Stephen Smith, a 19-year-old man whose physique was present in a street 10 miles from the Murdaugh house and whose loss of life was dominated a capturing after which a possible hit-and-run. No one has been charged in his loss of life.