Lawyer Who Says He Hired Man To Kill Him In Botched Insurance Scheme Turns Himself In
South Carolina attorney Alex Murdaugh surrendered to police Thursday after police said he paid a former client to kill him in order to pass on a $10 million life insurance payout to his last surviving son, just months after Murdaugh’s wife and other son were shot dead in a case that has not been solved.
Murdaugh turned himself in at a detention center Thursday morning in Hampton County, about 80 miles west of Charleston, where he is slated to have a bond hearing Thursday afternoon, according to local NBC affiliate WCBD.
On Wednesday, police issued a warrant for Murdaugh’s arrest on charges of conspiracy to commit insurance fraud, saying the attorney hired a man named Curtis Edward Smith to kill him.
Smith was arrested this week and charged with assisted suicide, assault, battery, brandishing a firearm and two counts of insurance fraud-related crimes. Murdaugh had represented Smith in a personal injury lawsuit and a traffic case, CNN reported.
Murdaugh was shot in the head while changing a tire on the side of the road on Sept. 4, but survived with what police described as a “superficial gunshot wound” and was released from the hospital just two days later. Murdaugh’s attorneys told WCBD in a statement that Murdaugh hired someone to kill him after his mental illness and opioid addiction was exacerbated after finding his wife Margaret and 22-year-old son Paul shot dead in June, murders that are still unsolved.
The Murdaugh family, which has produced prominent South Carolina lawyers for generations, has been connected to at least four sudden deaths over the past few years. Just three months before he was shot in the head, Murdaugh’s wife and son were shot and killed at the family’s hunting lodge. No arrests have been made. At the time of his killing, Paul Murdaugh was awaiting trial on charges of boating under the influence after crashing the family’s boat into a bridge in 2019, killing 19-year-old passenger Mallory Beach. Beach’s mother filed a wrongful death suit against the Murdaughs, alleging family members attempted to prevent police officers from investigating the crash. In 2018, the family’s longtime housekeeper Gloria Satterfield died in the Murdaugh home, with the family saying she had tripped and fallen. On Wednesday, South Carolina authorities announced they had opened a criminal investigation into her death, which was ruled by the coroner as “natural,” though an autopsy was never completed, according to USA Today. The day before Murdaugh was shot, he resigned from his family’s law office after being accused of misappropriating funds, telling colleagues in a statement he planned to enter a rehabilitation program to treat his opioid addiction.