South Carolina attorney Alex Murdaugh arranged for another man to kill him earlier this month so his son could get a $ 10 million life insurance policy, announced Tuesday authorities.
Murdaugh, 53, survived the September 4 shooting, which occurred months after the unsolved murders of his wife and adult son. Police said Murdaugh told 911 he was shot in the head while changing a flat tire and the bullet caused only a “superficial” injury.
Curtis Edward Smith, 61, was arrested on Tuesday on charges of assisted suicide and fraud in connection with the roadside incident, according to the state’s Law Enforcement Division of South Carolina (SLED).
Documents released by the agency indicate that Murdaugh admitted to asking Smith to kill him so that a beneficiary could collect his life insurance policy.
Murdaugh, who is part of a prominent South Carolina legal family, has not been charged with any felony.
His lawyer, Richard Harpootlian, declined to comment on Tuesday night.
The roadside shooting occurred nearly three months after Murdaugh’s wife and adult son were found shot dead on the family’s hunting property in rural Islandton on June 7.
Days after the September 4 shooting, Murdaugh said in a statement that he quit his job at a law firm to enter rehab. He said he “made a lot of decisions that I really regret” and that the murders of his wife and son caused an incredibly difficult time.
The law firm said Murdaugh only resigned after the partners discovered he had allegedly embezzled funds. South Carolina law enforcement officials announced on Monday that they were investigating charges that Murdaugh had “embezzled” company money.
Murdaugh’s law license has been suspended indefinitely.
Smith has been charged with assisted suicide, aggravated assault and battery, firearm robbery and display, insurance fraud and conspiracy to commit fraud. insurance, SLED said.
He said Smith, of Walterboro, was also arrested for distributing methamphetamine and possession of marijuana.
Smith was being held in jail Tuesday night, officials said. It was not immediately clear if he had a lawyer.
The agency said additional charges were expected in the matter.
Murdaugh allegedly gave Smith a gun and ordered Smith to kill him, according to documents released by investigators Tuesday.
Murdaugh reportedly admitted to law enforcement that the plan was for Smith to kill him, so Murdaugh’s surviving son could purchase a life insurance policy worth around $ 10 million, the documents show.
Earlier this summer, Murdaugh’s wife, Margaret, and adult son, Paul, were found dead near kennels on the family’s hunting property in Colleton County, west of Charleston. Their deaths were classified by state investigators as a double homicide.
Alex Murdaugh, a personal injury lawyer, called 911 at 10:07 p.m. on June 7 and told a dispatcher his wife and son were on the ground and not breathing, according to records released by authorities.
He said he had just come back and asked the dispatcher to “hurry up please”.
Murdaugh’s father, grandfather and great-grandfather all served as chief prosecutor for the 14th South Carolina Circuit, which covers a coastal region of the state known as the Lowcountry, totaling over 80 years old.