Man charged in the shooting of prominent lawyer Alex Murdaugh in what officials allege was a conspiracy to commit insurance fraud

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Curtis Edward Smith, 61, of Colleton County, has been charged with assisted suicide; conspiracy to commit insurance fraud; pointing and projecting a firearm; and assault and battery of a high and furious nature, according to the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division.

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According to the affidavit filed to support the charges, Murdoff allegedly conspired with Smith in the September 4 shooting, provided him with a firearm and instructed Smith to shoot him in the head.

According to the affidavit, the purpose was for Smith to kill Murdog so that his son could make a life insurance payment of about $10 million.


The affidavit states that Murdog, who narrowly escaped the bullet injury, admitted to the scheme on Monday. The affidavit said that on Tuesday, Smith admitted to being present during the shooting of Murdog and to the location of the gun.

Murdog is mentioned in the affidavit as a co-defendant, though no charges have been announced against the 53-year-old lawyer.

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SLED said additional charges are expected in the case. According to SLED, Smith has also been charged with distribution of methamphetamine and possession of marijuana.

It is not clear whether Smith has retained legal advice at this time. Granthshala has reached out to a spokesman for the Murdoff family for comment.

According to a statement from SLED spokesman Tommy Crosby, shortly after the shooting, Murdoff called 911 to inform that he had been shot on a street in Hampton County. He was taken to a hospital in Savannah, Georgia, where he was treated for “a superficial gunshot wound to the head,” the statement said.

The following week, a family spokesman issued a statement indicating the injury was more serious and outlining more details of the incident.

“Alex turned back after seeing the low tire indicator light. A male driver in a blue pickup asked him if he had trouble with the car. As soon as Alex responded, he was shot,” the statement said.

Notable Families in South Carolina

Murdoff is a member of a very well known family in South Carolina in legal circles. Three generations of the Murdoff family serve as 14th Circuit solicitors, prosecuting for Allendale, Beaufort, Colton, Hampton, and Jasper counties in the southern part of South Carolina.

Most recently, they have been embroiled in a series of bloody tragedies—including the fatal shootings of Murdog’s wife and sons Margaret and Paul in June.

A day before the shooting incident, Murdoff resigned from the law firm Peters, Murdaugh, Parker, Altzeroth & Detrick (PMPED), according to the firm.

A few days later, the firm said Murdoff’s resignation “came after PMPED discovered that Alex misappropriated funds in violation of PMPED standards and policies.”

According to the South Carolina Supreme Court, his license was subsequently suspended.

Randy Murdoff IV, Alex Murdoff’s brother and an attorney at the PMPED law firm, also issued a statement about the resignation, acknowledging what attorney Jim Griffin would later refer to as Alex Murdoff’s opioid addiction.

“Like the rest of my PMPED family, I was shocked to learn of my brother, Alex, drug addiction and money theft,” Randy Murdog wrote in the statement.

SLED announced Monday that it had opened an investigation into Murdoff based on allegations of misappropriation of funds.

a family tragedy

Two days after the shooting, Murdog issued a statement saying he was entering rehab.

“The murders of my wife and son have caused an incredibly difficult time in my life. I have made so many decisions that I am truly sorry for,” he said in the statement. “I am resigning from my law firm and entering rehab after a protracted battle that has been aggravated by these killings. I am deeply sorry for all those I hurt, including my family, friends and co-workers I pray for my rehabilitation. And my relationship.”

According to SLED, on June 7, Alex Murdaugh called 911 and reported that he shot and killed his wife Margaret, 52, and son Paul, 22, outside their home in Islandton, a small community north of Hilton Head Island. Did it .

South Carolina lawyer resigns and enters rehab after being shot in the head months after his wife and son died

The Coleton County Sheriff’s Deputy determined that both victims had multiple gunshot wounds.

His brothers, John Marvin Murdoff and Randolph “Randy” Murdoff IV, soon spoke to “Good Morning America” ​​about the murders, saying they did not believe Alex was involved.

Randy told “GMA,” “My brother loved Maggie and loved Paul like nothing else on this earth loves[his other son]Buster.” “So, there’s no possible way that would have anything to do with it, I can assure you.”

SLED asked the public to withhold the decision until the investigation is complete.

The agency said that while investigating the deaths of the mother and son, SLED collected information that prompted them to reopen the investigation into the unsolved death of 19-year-old Stephen Smith, whose body was found on the road in Hampton County in 2015 Was.

Granthshala’s Melissa Alonso and Eric Levenson contributed to this report.


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