Alex Murdaugh arrested for allegedly staging his own SC murder for insurance money


Alex Murdaugh Coverage

The Murdaugh family saga has dominated the news after another shooting, a resignation and criminal accusations — with Alex Murdaugh at the center of it all. Here are the latest updates on Alex Murdaugh.

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Alex Murdaugh, the prominent South Carolina lawyer who confessed to staging his own murder so his son could receive at $10 million insurance payout, turned himself in to Hampton County police late Thursday morning.

He was booked at the Hampton County Detention Center.

Warrants were obtained for his arrest Wednesday on charges of insurance fraud, conspiracy to commit insurance fraud and falsifying a police report, according to the S.C. Law Enforcement Division. His case will be prosecuted by the state Attorney General’s Office.

A bond hearing for the charges is scheduled for 4 p.m. Thursday in Hampton.

The 53-year-old Murdaugh, who was shot in the head on Sept. 4, had originally told police someone shot him as he was fixing a flat tire on his car on the side of a rural Hampton County road. He was flown to a Savannah hospital for treatment, and then entered an out-of-state drug rehab facility.

On Tuesday, SLED accused a Walterboro man with assisting in a suicide plot to kill Murdaugh.

The man, Curtis Edward Smith, is a former client of Murdaugh’s from a 2010 personal injury lawsuit.

Curtis Eddie Smith
Curtis Edward “Eddie” Smith was arrested on Sept. 14, 2021, and charged with assisted suicide in a shooting that injured Alex Murdaugh. Colleton County Sheriff’s Office Colleton County Sheriff’s Office

SLED accused Murdaugh of conspiring with Smith, calling him a “co-defendant.”

According to the warrants, Murdaugh gave Smith a gun and told him to shoot Murdaugh in the head so Buster Murdaugh could receive a $10 million insurance payout. Buster is Alex Murdaugh’s sole surviving son.

Smith later threw the gun away in an undisclosed location, an affidavit in the case says.

Murdaugh admitted to the botched scheme in a statement to SLED on Monday, according to the warrants.

“I can assure you that SLED agents will continue working to bring justice to anyone involved with any criminal act associated with these ongoing investigations,” said SLED Chief Mark Keel in a Thursday statement. “The arrests in this case are only the first step in that process.”

This story was originally published September 16, 2021 12:26 PM.

Lana Ferguson typically covers stories in northern Beaufort County, Jasper County, and Hampton County. She joined The Island Packet & Beaufort Gazette in 2018 as a crime/breaking news reporter. Before coming to the Lowcountry, she worked for publications in her home state of Virginia and graduated from the University of Mississippi, where she was editor-in-chief of the daily student newspaper. Lana was also a fellow at the University of South Carolina’s Media Law School in 2019.
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