Bond hearing set for alleged Alex Murdaugh conspirator
RICHLAND COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - The man accused of shooting convicted killer Alex Murdaugh in a failed suicide for hire will be back in court next week, according to a source close to the case.
Curtis Eddie Smith, 62, who is also accused of being Murdaugh’s drug dealer, was arrested in connection to the Labor Day weekend shooting back in 2021.
Murdaugh claimed he was shot in the head by an unknown man while changing a tire on a rural road in Hampton County. Murdaugh went as far as to have a composite sketch of the man he claimed shot him.
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A couple of days later, in a phone interview with South Carolina Law Enforcement Division Agent Ryan Kelly, Murdaugh admitted to lying about the circumstances surrounding the shooting.
He told investigators he provided a man named Curtis Smith with a gun and directed Smith to shoot him in the head for the purpose of causing Murdaugh’s death, which would allow the payment of a life insurance policy to his surviving son.
In the phone interview, Murdaugh admits to having an 18-20 year addiction to prescription painkillers and said he thought it would be easier on his family if he was dead.
Much of this evidence was presented during Murdaugh’s double murder trial earlier this year after Judge Clifton Newman allowed it to be submitted despite the defense’s objections.
Smith was charged by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division with assisted suicide, assault and battery of a high aggravated nature, pointing and presenting a firearm, insurance fraud and conspiracy to commit insurance fraud after the shooting.
Months later, Smith was indicted by the South Carolina Grand Jury on four counts of money laundering, three counts of forgery, trafficking methamphetamine 10-28 grams, one count of unlawful possession of a schedule II narcotic and possession of marijuana.
In October of last year, Newman decided to revoke bond for Smith on the S.C. Grand Jury charges after he violated the conditions of the bond.
Lead prosecutor Creighton Waters argued Smith had failed to adhere to his house arrest and misrepresented how much money he had at his prior bond hearing. Waters claims Smith had nearly $80,000 in his bank account when he told the judge he didn’t have any money.
The defense claims they did not mean to misrepresent and Smith is using the money from a settlement check to pay off debts.
In a 2021 interview with CBS’s “48 Hours,” Smith maintained he knew nothing about the suicide-for-hire plot.
Smith said Murdaugh, whom he described as being like a brother to him, called him on Sept. 4 claiming he needed Smith’s help. Smith said he did not think twice before heading to the Hampton County road to meet him. But he said that when he arrived, Murdaugh emerged from his car holding a gun.
“He said, ‘You know, you got to take care of this.’ And I said, ‘Well, I can’t do it.’ And he took it, he turned his head. I just grabbed his arm, put it behind his head and took the gun from him,” Smith said.
Smith claims that during a struggle, the gun went off. Then, he said he disposed of the weapon.
The bond hearing is set for Monday afternoon in Richland County, the source says.
Smith is currently being held at the Lexington County Detention Center.
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