Curtis Edward Smith, 61, was charged with assisted suicide, assault and battery of a excessive and aggravated nature, pointing and presenting a firearm, insurance coverage fraud and conspiracy to commit insurance coverage fraud, in accordance with the South Carolina Legislation Enforcement Division (SLED).
Murdaugh is described as a co-defendant within the affidavit, although no prices have been introduced in opposition to him. Extra prices within the case are anticipated, SLED mentioned.
Murdaugh, an lawyer, had beforehand represented Smith in unrelated courtroom proceedings, courtroom paperwork present.
In an announcement, attorneys Harpootlian and Jim Griffin mentioned their consumer “shouldn’t be with out fault” however added his “life has been devastated by an opioid dependancy.”
“For the final 20 years, there have been many individuals feeding his dependancy to opioids,” the attorneys mentioned. “Throughout that point, these people took benefit of his dependancy and his potential to pay substantial funds for unlawful medication. A kind of people took benefit of his psychological sickness and agreed to take Alex’s life, by taking pictures him within the head.”
The admission and affidavit reply one a part of a sprawling thriller involving one of the crucial highly effective household dynasties in coastal South Carolina. Murdaugh’s father, grandfather and great-grandfather served for a mixed 87 years because the 14th Circuit Solicitor, which leads prosecutions for Allendale, Beaufort, Colleton, Hampton and Jasper counties within the state. Murdaugh was an lawyer for a neighborhood regulation agency.
“The murders of my spouse and son have induced an extremely tough time in my life. I’ve made quite a lot of selections that I actually remorse,” he mentioned within the assertion. “I am resigning from my regulation agency and coming into rehab after a protracted battle that has been exacerbated by these murders. I’m immensely sorry to everybody I’ve harm together with my household, buddies and colleagues. I ask for prayers as I rehabilitate myself and my relationships.”
61-year-old charged with assisted suicide, conspiracy
Murdaugh was not fatally wounded when he was shot on September 4. Afterward, he known as 911 to report he had been shot on a street in Hampton County, in accordance with SLED, and he was taken to a hospital in Savannah, Georgia.
Authorities initially described Murdaugh’s harm as a “superficial gunshot wound to the pinnacle,” although Murdaugh’s attorneys mentioned his cranium was fractured within the taking pictures.
A household spokesperson initially issued an announcement saying an unidentified man had shot Murdaugh. “Alex pulled over after seeing a low tire indicator mild. A male driver in a blue pick-up requested him if he had automobile troubles, as quickly as Alex replied, he was shot,” the assertion mentioned.
There’s extra to the story, nevertheless, in accordance with the affidavit.
Murdaugh allegedly supplied Smith, a 61-year-old from Colleton County, with a firearm and directed Smith to shoot him within the head, the affidavit states. The aim of the scheme was for Smith to kill Murdaugh in order that his son may gather the life insurance coverage payout, in accordance with the affidavit.
Smith admitted Tuesday to being current on the taking pictures and to disposing of the firearm afterward, the affidavit states.
The fees for the alleged taking pictures and conspiracy are primarily based in Hampton County. Smith additionally was charged with the distribution of methamphetamine and possession of marijuana in Colleton County, in accordance with SLED. The medication had been present in a search of Smith’s dwelling on Tuesday, in accordance with the affidavit.
It isn’t clear if Smith has retained authorized counsel at the moment. The Colleton County Sheriff’s Workplace mentioned Smith had a bond listening to on Wednesday morning and acquired a $5,000 money surety bond for the meth cost and a private recognizance bond for the marijuana cost. He was transferred to Hampton County custody on Wednesday afternoon, authorities mentioned.
Murdaugh had represented Smith as his lawyer on not less than two events courting again to 2010, in accordance with courtroom information from the Colleton County 14th Judicial Circuit.
He first represented Smith in a private harm lawsuit that Smith introduced in opposition to a land administration firm, and Murdaugh can be listed as Smith’s lawyer for a 2013 site visitors infraction, the courtroom paperwork present.
Murdaugh’s lawyer says he was depressed and suicidal
As well as, allegations that Murdaugh had misappropriated funds from his regulation agency Peters, Murdaugh, Parker, Eltzroth and Detrick (PMPED) got here concurrently a self-initiated detox, which Harpootlian mentioned despatched Murdaugh into “a large melancholy.”
Murdaugh determined to finish his personal life however believed his life insurance coverage coverage had a suicide exclusion, his lawyer mentioned. Harpootlian mentioned Murdaugh’s scheme “was an try on his half to do one thing to guard his little one,” Buster, his eldest and solely dwelling little one.
Harpootlian mentioned he and Griffin visited Murdaugh on Monday in an out-of-state detox facility.
“We really had the primary dialog we have ever had with him the place he wasn’t on opioids or oxy. And on account of that, he clearly knew what he had accomplished was improper,” Harpootlian mentioned.
Harpootlian mentioned he totally expects Murdaugh will ultimately be charged within the conspiracy case, however his consumer’s hope is that authorities will keep targeted on fixing the homicide of his spouse and son.
In an announcement to CNN, attorneys Harpootlian and Griffin mentioned Murdaugh is cooperating with authorities and continues to disclaim he had any function within the killings of his spouse and son.
“On September 4, it grew to become clear Alex believed that ending his life was his solely possibility. In the present day, he is aware of that is not true,” the attorneys mentioned.
“Alex is totally cooperating with SLED of their investigations into his taking pictures, opioid use and the search to seek out the particular person or folks chargeable for the homicide of his spouse and son.”
CNN’s Melissa Alonso, Angela Barajas, Caroline Kenny, Rebekah Riess and Martin Savidge contributed to this report.