LEGAL dynasty heir Alex Murdaugh allegedly hired a hitman to shoot him so that his surviving son could get a $10million insurance policy, it emerged Tuesday.
Curtis Edward Smith, 61, was arrested in connection to the September 4 gunning of Alex Murdaugh, who made headlines earlier this month after getting shot in the head, according to reports.
State authorities said South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) agents arrested Smith on Tuesday and booked him at the Colleton County Detention Center, ABC-affiliated television station WJFB reports.
Murdaugh allegedly conspired with Smith, of Colleton County, to allow his son to get a $10 million life insurance policy.
Smith was 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, according to the report.
According to investigators, Smith was given a gun from Murdaugh and told to fatally shoot him in the head.
Investigators said Murdaugh provided a statement to SLED on Monday and confessed to the shooting scheme so his son could get a "death benefit beneficiary."
Murdaugh was found shot in the head on the 15000 block of Salkehatchie Rd on September 4.
SLED investigators said the incident report revealed that Smith shot Murdaugh in the roadway and drove to an unknown area to get rid of the gun.
Officials with SLED also noted that additional charges against Smith are expected and will be revealed at a later date, WJFB reports.
"Smith has also been charged with distribution of methamphetamine and possession of marijuana," the officials added.
Murdaugh previously told police he had been hit on a road in rural Hampton County, South Carolina while changing a tire.
His lawyer, Jim Griffin, was the first to confirm the news and said that he was on his way to Charleston when he ran into car problems.
"The Murdaugh family has suffered through more than any one family could ever imagine. We expect Alex to recover and ask for your privacy while he recovers," the statement said.
In a statement on September 6 that did not address the shooting, Murdaugh said: "The murders of my wife and son have caused an incredibly difficult time in my life."
"I have made a lot of decisions that I truly regret. I’m resigning from my law firm and entering rehab after a long battle that has been exacerbated by these murders," the statement continued.
"I am immensely sorry to everyone I’ve hurt, including my family, friends and colleagues. I ask for prayers as I rehabilitate myself and my relationships."
However, one day before the shooting reports emerged that Murdaugh was pushed out of his law firm over "millions in missing funds."
The 53-year-old lawyer worked as a partner at Peters, Murdaugh, Parker, Eltzroth and Detrick (PMPED), which was founded by his great-grandfather more than 100 years ago.
PMPED issued the following statement to various news outlets last week: "On Friday, September 3, 2021, Alex Murdaugh resigned from the Law Firm.
"He is no longer associated with PMPED in any manner. His resignation came after the discovery by PMPED that Alex misappropriated funds in violation of PMPED standards and policies."
The statement continued: "A forensic accounting firm will be retained to conduct a thorough investigation. Law enforcement and the SC Bar have been notified by PMPED.
"This is disappointing news for all of us. Rest assured that our firm will deal with this in a straightforward manner.
"There’s no place in our firm for such behavior. Due to the ongoing investigations into these matters and client confidentiality, PMPED cannot comment further at this time."
Meanwhile, the Hampton, S.C., firm leaders disclosed to The New York Times that Murdaugh was forced out after he was allegedly discovered to have misused money from the company.
The shooting of Murdaugh comes exactly three months after he discovered his wife, Maggie, and his 22-year-old son, Paul, shot to death at the family's hunting lodge in Colleton County on June 7.
Their bodies were each found with multiple gunshot wounds yard apart from one another near the family's dog kennel on the 1,700-acre property.
Investigators believe they were murdered with two different firearms.
Paul suffered a series of shotgun blasts to the chest, arm, and head, the early forensic analysis showed.
Meanwhile, 52-year-old Maggie appeared to have been killed with an assault rifle, investigators said.
A law enforcement source told The Island Packet at the time that Paul was likely the target, while Margaret may have just been killed simply because she was at the home.
Alexander later discovered the pair dead. In a harrowing 911 call, he told an operator: "It's my wife and son … nobody's breathing."
At the time of his death, Paul had been awaiting trial on charges of boating under the influence following a crash in February 2019 which resulted in the death of 19-year-old Mallory Beach.
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