Alex Murdaugh Shooting Was Allegedly Botched 'Assisted Suicide' So Son Could Get $10M in Life Insurance
South Carolina attorney Alex Murdaugh allegedly conspired with a man to arrange his Sept. 4 shooting, according to an arrest affidavit
South Carolina attorney Alex Murdaugh attempted to arrange his own shooting death in order for his son to receive millions in life insurance, according to police.
On Tuesday, Curtis Edward Smith, the man Murdaugh allegedly hired to kill him, was arrested by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) and charged with assisted suicide, assault and battery of a high aggravated nature, pointing and presenting a firearm, insurance fraud and conspiracy to commit insurance fraud.
According to Smith's arrest affidavit, which was obtained by PEOPLE, Murdaugh, 53, conspired with Smith, 61, on a scheme to shoot him. Murdaugh allegedly provided Smith with a firearm and directed him to shoot him in the head in order for Murdaugh's surviving son to receive an approximate $10 million life insurance payment after his death.
On Sept. 4, Murdaugh was shot in the head while ostensibly attempting to change a tire on the side of a desolate South Carolina road. He was picked up by a "good Samaritan," according to his attorney, and treated at a local hospital.
Authorities allege that Murdaugh admitted to the scheme with Smith to SLED agents on Monday. The following day, Smith allegedly admitted to being on the scene when the shooting took place and to disposing of the gun afterward.
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Smith was also charged with distribution of methamphetamine and possession of marijuana, according to SLED. He is currently being held at the Colleton County Detention Center.
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No charges against Murdaugh have been announced. Law enforcement states that additional charges involving the case are expected to come as the investigation continues. As of now it is unclear if Smith has obtained legal representation. Attorneys for Murdaugh have not yet responded to PEOPLE's request for comment.
SLED is also investigating allegations that Murdaugh stole funds from the prestigious law firm his great-grandfather started more than 100 years ago. Prior to his shooting, members of the Hampton law firm, Peters Murdaugh Parker Eltzroth & Detrick, confronted Murdaugh about missing money, which could exceed $1 million, before notifying law enforcement and the South Carolina Bar Association.
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Murdaugh's attorney Jim Griffin told PEOPLE in a statement at the time that "Alex resigned from the firm after being accused of diverting lawyer fees. These allegations prompted him to confront his dependency and he voluntarily checked into an in-patient substance abuse rehab facility after being discharged from the hospital Monday."
Following the allegations, Murdaugh was suspended from practicing law in the state. On Sept. 8, five days after being accused of diverting funds from his law firm, the South Carolina Supreme Court placed him on an interim suspension, according to an order obtained by PEOPLE.
Murdaugh's shooting also came less than three months after his wife Margaret "Maggie" Murdaugh and son Paul Murdaugh were murdered on the grounds of the family's 1,770-acre hunting lodge.
Authorities have also not identified a motive or a suspect in the killings of Maggie and Paul, but their deaths spotlighted a string of mysterious deaths surrounding the family.