Alex Murdaugh: Lawyer planned his own murder for $10m after wife and son were killed

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Law enforcement officials say leading South Carolina attorney Alex Murdoff, whose wife and son were shot at their home, plotted his death to secure a $10 million insurance payment for his surviving son. have tried.

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The sensational twist is the latest in a series of hardly credible developments that have gripped the state’s southern counties where three generations of the Murdog family ruled as lawyers for 87 years.

The South Carolina Department of Law Enforcement announced late Tuesday that Murdoff, 53, allegedly paid former client Curtis Edward Smith, 61, to shoot him on Sept. 4.


Mr Murdoff survived a shootout on a rural road near his property, received a superficial wound to the head, and told 911 that he had been targeted while changing a flat tire.

Mr Murdaugh’s lawyer Richard Harputlian told NBC News That the failed suicide attempt was unrelated to the June 7 murders of his wife Maggie, 52, and son Paul, 22, and that his client remains in the dark about who carried them out.

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Mr Harputalian said his client had become addicted to opioids after the double murder, and planned to help his surviving son, Buster.

In a statement, Mr Harputalian said Mr Murdog believed that ending his life was his only option.

“Today, he knows this is not true,” the statement said.

“For the past 20 years, many people have been feeding their addiction to opioids. During that time, these individuals took advantage of her addiction and her ability to pay substantial money for illegal drugs,” the statement said. Gaya.

“One of those men took advantage of his mental illness and agreed to kill Alex by shooting him in the head.”

Smith, 61, of Walterboro, South Carolina, was arrested and charged with assisted suicide, aggravated assault and battery, and insurance fraud in connection with the shooting on September 4.

Mr Murdog has not yet been charged with a crime, but state law enforcement agents said more charges were likely.

According to a sworn statement from an agent, Mr. Murdaugh provided the weapons used in the shooting and told Mr. Smith to follow them along Old Salkehatchie Road in Hampton County on September 4.

Officials said Mr Smith allegedly fired a shot at the lawyer as he stood in the street before driving and disposing of the gun.

After escaping the shooting, Mr. Murdog said through a family spokesman that he withdrew his Mercedes SUV after the low tire pressure light came on. He said a man passing in a pickup truck asked if he was having trouble with the car and then opened fire on him.

Agents said Mr Smith, 61, confessed on Tuesday and was charged with crimes related to the shooting, as well as distribution of methamphetamine and possession of marijuana.

Mr Murdoff announced he was going into rehab for an opioid addiction two days after the shooting. He apologized to his family and said that he was leaving his law firm.

“The murders of my wife and son have caused an incredibly difficult time in my life. I have made so many decisions that I truly regret,” Mr. Murdaugh said at the time.

Hours later, the PMPED law firm, where he was a partner, revealed that Mr. Murdaugh had taken money from the business and had been fired from the firm. The amount has not been announced.

Before his death in June, Paul Murdoff was charged with the death of a young woman in a boating accident in 2019.

Paul was reportedly boating under the influence, killing 19-year-old Mallory Beach.

The state law enforcement department later launched an investigation to see if anyone obstructed the investigation.

Investigators have reopened the investigation into the 2015 hit-and-run death of Stephen Smith, believing that the case may be linked to the Murdoff family.

Alex Murdoff’s father, grandfather, and great-grandfather all held solicitors in five counties, including the Lowcountry area of ​​South Carolina, and other family members were prominent civil lawyers in the region.

Alex Murdoff’s profile has been removed from PMPED law firm website, where his father Randolph Murdoff III worked for decades and grandfather co-founded.

Two other members of the Murdoff family still work for PMPED.


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