Murdaugh’s lawyers accuse opioid addiction of suicide, insurance fraud conspiracy

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) – State officials say man arrested in connection with Alex Murdaugh’s shooting planned it with Murdaugh so Murdaugh’s surviving son could collect an insurance policy- life of 10 million dollars.

Officers from the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division on Tuesday arrested Curtis Edward Smith, 61, of Colleton County.

Smith was charged with Assisted Suicide, Highly Aggravated Assault and Assault, Robbery and Display of a Firearm, Insurance Fraud, and Conspiracy to Commit Bankruptcy Fraud. assurance.

Investigators say Murdaugh provided Smith with a gun and ordered him to shoot him in the head in an attempt to cause Murdaugh’s death and allow payment of a ‘death benefit recipient’ ; State investigators say Murdaugh provided a statement to SLED admitting the Smith murder ploy in an attempt to allow his son to purchase a life insurance policy.

“Additional charges in the matter are expected and will be announced in due course,” SLED officials said. “Smith was also charged with distributing methamphetamine and possession of marijuana. “

Murdaugh’s attorneys Jim Griffin and Dick Harpootlian released a statement saying Murdaugh was driven to suicide by many people fueling his opioid addiction:

On September 4, it became clear that Alex believed that ending his own life was his only option. Today he knows that is not true. Over the past 20 years, many people have fueled her addiction to opioids. During this time, these people took advantage of her addiction and her ability to pay substantial sums for illegal drugs. One of these people took advantage of his mental illness and agreed to kill Alex by shooting him in the head. Fortunately, Alex was not killed by the gunshot wound. Alex is fully cooperating with SLED in their investigations into his shooting, his opioid use, and the search for the person (s) responsible for the murder of his wife and son. Alex isn’t faultless, but he’s just one of many whose lives have been devastated by opioid addiction.

The SLED investigation was requested by the Hampton County Sheriff’s Office.

Smith has been booked into the Colleton County Detention Center and the case will be prosecuted by the Attorney General’s office.

Alex Murdaugh and Curtis Edward Smith(Provided / CCDC)

Murdaugh timeline provided by SLED

SLED investigators say the incident began on September 4 when Murdaugh conspired with Smith in the Old Salkehatchie Road area in an effort to aid Murdaugh in his suicide.

According to the incident report, Smith followed Murdaugh to Old Salkehatchie Road and shot Murdaugh while he was standing on the roadway. After shooting Murdaugh in the head, Smith traveled to an unknown location where he disposed of the gun, investigators reported.

Murdaugh survived and was then taken to hospital for treatment.

On Monday, SLED officials said Murdaugh provided them with a statement admitting Smith murdered him in an attempt to allow his son to purchase a life insurance policy.

Then on Tuesday, Smith admitted to being present during the Murdaugh shooting and getting rid of the gun.

On Monday, SLED officials confirmed they had opened an investigation into Murdaugh’s alleged embezzlement of the law firm founded by his family. Murdaugh announced last week that he was resigning from the Peters, Murdaugh, Parker, Eltzroth and Detrick law firm in Hampton County and would go into rehab.

The South Carolina Supreme Court suspended Murdaugh’s license to practice law last Wednesday after he was accused of taking money from the law firm.

One of Alex Murdaugh’s attorneys, Jim Griffin, said the allegations of financial impropriety prompted Murdaugh to come to terms with his substance addiction and voluntarily enroll in a drug rehab center.

SPECIAL SECTION: Murdaugh’s death investigation

Murdaugh released a statement on September 6:

The murders of my wife and my son have caused an incredibly difficult time in my life. I made a lot of decisions that I really regret. I am resigning from my law firm and entering rehab after a long battle that was exacerbated by these murders. I am immensely sorry for everyone I have hurt, including my family, friends and colleagues. I ask for prayers as I rehabilitate myself and rehabilitate my relationships.

Murdaugh’s wife, Maggie, 52; and their son, Paul, 22, were shot and killed at the family’s hunting property in the rural community of Islandton in Colleton County on June 7. Murdaugh himself made the gruesome discovery and called 911 to report the murders.

Copyright 2021 WCSC. All rights reserved.

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