A prominent South Carolina lawyer who found the bodies of his wife and son three months ago attempted to stage his own death earlier this month so that his surviving son would receive an insurance payment- life of $ 10 million, but the expected fatal blow only scratched his head, police said.
The shooter, Curtis Edward Smith, has been charged with assisted suicide, insurance fraud and several other charges related to the shooting of Alex Murdaugh on September 4 on a remote road in Hampton County, announced the state law enforcement division in a statement.
Murdaugh was not charged Tuesday night, but officers said more charges were expected.
Murdaugh gave Smith a gun and drove him to Old Salkehatchie Road. Smith fired a shot at the lawyer as he stood in the road, an officer said in an affidavit.
But that bullet only grazed Murdaugh’s head and he was able to call 911 for help, authorities said. Murdaugh’s attorney said last week his skull was fractured by the bullet.
Murdaugh wanted Smith to kill him so his surviving son could get his $ 10 million life insurance policy, state agents said.
Smith left after the shooting and disposed of the gun, authorities said.
State agents said Murdaugh admitted to attempting to stage his own death on Monday.
Murdaugh’s attorney, Jim Griffin, did not respond to an Associated Press text message Tuesday night.
Murdaugh said last week through a family spokesperson that he pulled over after the low tire pressure warning light on his Mercedes SUV came on. A man passing by in a van asked if he was having problems with his car and shot him.
Officers said Smith, 61, confessed on Tuesday and was charged with assisted suicide, highly aggravated assault and battery, robbery and display of a gun, and fraud. insurance, conspiracy to commit insurance fraud, distribution of methamphetamine and possession of marijuana.
It was not immediately clear whether he had a lawyer to speak on his behalf. Colleton County court records showed Murdaugh had been Smith’s attorney in a speeding case in 2013.
The June 7 murders of Maggie Murdaugh, 52, and her son Paul Murdaugh, 22, remain unsolved. Alex Murdaugh discovered the bodies of his wife and son at their home in Colleton County. Both had been shot several times.
Murdaugh announced two days after the shooting that he was going to rehab for opioid addiction.
He apologized to his family and said he was leaving his law firm.
“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, ”Murdaugh said without going into detail.
Hours later, law firm PMPED announced that Murdaugh had taken money from the company and was fired from the firm. The amount has not been announced.
Along with the Maggie and Paul Murdaugh murders and the Alex Murdaugh shooting, law enforcement is investigating the missing money, if anyone tried to obstruct a 2019 boating accident investigation in which Paul Murdaugh was ultimately charged with and a hit in July 2015 – died in Hampton County.
Murdaugh’s ancestors held an important place in the region for many decades.