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Man arrested in connection to shooting of Alex Murdaugh, charged with assisted suicide

Published: Sep. 14, 2021 at 11:08 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 15, 2021 at 12:02 AM EDT
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COLLETON COUNTY, S.C. (WTOC) - A man has been charged in connection to the September 4 shooting of Alex Murdaugh in Hampton County.

Agents with the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) arrested 61-year-old Curtis Edward Smith, of Colleton County, on Tuesday. Smith is 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.

SLED says additional charges in the case are expected.

Smith has also been charged with distribution of methamphetamine and possession of marijuana.

According to the arrest warrant provided by SLED, Alex Murdaugh conspired with Smith in the area of Old Salkehatchie Road on September 4 for the purpose of Smith assisting Murdaugh to commit suicide. It says Murdaugh provided Smith with a firearm and directed him to shoot him in the head for the purpose of causing Murdaugh’s death and allowing for the payment of Murdaugh’s death benefit to a beneficiary.

The warrant goes on to say Smith followed Murdaugh to Old Salkehatchie Road and shot him as he stood in the roadway. Smith then drove to an unknown location and disposed of the firearm. Murdaugh survived the shooting and was taken to a Savannah hospital.

On September 13, Alex Murdaugh provided a statement to SLED. According to SLED, he admitted to the scheme of having Smith assist him for the purpose of his son collecting his life insurance policy valued at approximately $10 million.

According to SLED, Smith admitted to his involvement on September 14.

The SLED investigation was requested by the Hampton County Sheriff’s Office. Smith was booked at the Colleton County Detention Center on Tuesday.

The case will be prosecuted by the Attorney General’s Office.

Wednesday morning, Alex Murdaugh’s attorneys, Dick Harpootlian and Jim Griffin released a statement.

“On September 4, it became clear Alex believed that ending his life was his only option. Today, he knows that’s not true. For the last 20 years, there have been many people feeding his addiction to opioids. During that time, these individuals took advantage of his addiction and his ability to pay substantial funds for illegal drugs. One of those individuals took advantage of his mental illness and agreed to take Alex’s life, 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, opioid use and the search to find the person or people responsible for the murder of his wife and son. Alex is not without fault but he is just one of many whose life has been devastated by opioid addiction.”

A complete timeline of the Murdaugh case can be found below:

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