Police Arrest Man Who Allegedly Conspired With High-Profile Lawyer In Botched Murder Job

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Kevin Harness Contributor
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Police in South Carolina arrested a man suspected to be involved in an alleged murder plot Tuesday.

Authorities arrested Curtis Edward Smith under suspicion of being involved in a shooting incident with attorney Alex Murdaugh, which resulted in the death of Murdaugh’s wife and son, according to multiple reports. (RELATED: Man Gets 212 Years After Driving Wife, Two Disabled Sons Into Ocean For Insurance Policies)

“Agents of the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division [SLED] Tuesday arrested a Colleton County man in connection with the shooting incident involving Alex Murdaugh on Sept. 4 in Hampton County,” South Carolina Law Enforcement Division spokesman Tommy Crosby said in a statement.

Smith is facing charges of assisted suicide, assault and battery, pointing and presenting a firearm, insurance fraud and conspiracy to commit insurance fraud in connection with the case, according to the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division.

Investigators believe that Murdaugh planned the entire plot and survived the incident with a flesh wound to the head, according to a SLED affidavit.

“Richard Alex Murdaugh conspired with Curtis Edward Smith in the area of Old Salkehatchie Road, for the purpose of Mr. Smith assisting Mr. Murdaugh to commit suicide,” the affidavit alleges. “Mr. Murdaugh provided Mr. Smith with a firearm and directed Mr. Smith to shoot him in the head for the purpose of causing Mr. Murdaugh’s death and allowing for the payment of a stated death benefit.”

If the plot went as planned, Murdaugh’s surviving son, Buster Murdaugh, would have received $10 million in life insurance.

Murdaugh was allegedly shot by Smith on the afternoon of Sept. 4. Smith then fled the scene to dispose of the gun, which was allegedly provided by Murdaugh, according to authorities.

Murdaugh’s lawyers blamed the Sept. 4 shooting on Murdaugh’s drug addiction and influence of other people in a statement released Wednesday, arguing at the time that he believed “ending his life was his only option.”

It was also implied by the affidavit that Murdaugh confessed to plotting insurance fraud Monday and confirmed that Smith fired the gun. Smith confessed to being there as the incident went down and disposing the gun, according to the document.

Murdaugh was a respected member of a law firm, Peters, Murdaugh, Parker, Eltzroth & Detrick, which was founded by his great-grandfather. The Sept. 4 shooting was not the first incident to start tarnishing Murdaugh’s reputation. His son Paul Murdaugh was involved in a drunken boating accident, which resulted in the death of a young woman.

Murdaugh announced that he was resigning from his law firm and admitting himself to rehab for his drug addiction, saying there has been “a lot of decisions that I truly regret.” After he admitted himself, the firm conducted an investigation into Murdaugh allegedly misappropriating the company’s funds, which snowballed into further probes of more crimes.