Arrest made in connection to shooting of embattled attorney Alex Murdaugh

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New York Post 14 September, 2021 - 08:54pm 25 views

SLED opens investigation into Alex Murdaugh for misappropriation of funds

FOX Carolina News 14 September, 2021 - 11:00pm

Alex Murdaugh Shooting Was Botched Assisted Suicide, Cops Say

Yahoo! Voices 14 September, 2021 - 08:21pm

The alleged conspiracy was laid out in court documents released after Curtis Edward Smith, 61, was collared for the botched Sept. 4 shooting, which Murdaugh, 53, survived.

“Mr. Murdaugh supplied Mr. Smith with a firearm and directed Mr. Smith to shoot him in the head,” the affidavit said.

The affidavit indicates that Murdaugh confessed to the scheme on Monday and named Smith as the shooter. Smith then admitted to being there and getting rid of the gun, the document says.

Smith was also charged with distribution of methamphetamine and possession of marijuana, the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division announced.

A law enforcement official with direct knowledge of the situation told The Daily Beast that Smith and Murdaugh knew each other and that Smith allegedly supplied the lawyer with drugs. Court records show Murdaugh had represented Smith in a personal injury lawsuit a decade ago.

Smith’s arrest and the charges are the most astounding development yet in a saga with more twists than a Lowcountry backroad that already included a double murder, drug addiction, and allegations of embezzlement.

Murdaugh is the scion of a powerful legal dynasty and was a partner in the firm Peters, Murdaugh, Parker, Eltzroth, Detrick, which was founded by his great-grandfather.

In 2019, the clan—which controlled the local prosecutor’s office for decades—was thrust into the headlines when Murdaugh’s son Paul was charged with a drunken boating accident that killed a young woman.

Then in June, Alex Murdaugh discovered Paul, 22, and his mother Maggie, 52, shot to death near the dog kennels of the family’s sprawling hunting estate.

As the double homicide remained unsolved, Alex Murdaugh’s life appeared to spiral wildly out of control.

Two weeks ago, he called 911 from a country road to report that he had been shot in the head, reportedly while changing a tire. The circumstances were shrouded in confusion—and then things got even murkier.

Murdaugh suddenly announced that he was entering rehab for drug addiction and resigning from his law firm, saying that he had made “a lot of decisions that I truly regret.”

That intriguing statement was then followed by the firm’s announcement that Murdaugh was under investigation for allegedly misappropriating funds—a matter that state police are also now probing.

Questions about the shooting were still swirling—with Murdaugh’s lawyer forced to deny the superficial head wound was self-inflicted—when Smith’s arrest was announced.

“On September 13, 2021, Mr. Murdaugh provided a statement to SLED admitting to the scheme of having Mr. Smith murder him for the purpose of his son collecting a life insurance policy valued at approximately ten million dollars,” the affidavit states.

In addition to the assisted suicide and insurance fraud counts, Smith was also charged with assault and battery and pointing a firearm. Police said more charges are expected and the affidavit described Murdaugh as a “co-defendant.”

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Police are investigating the missing money that a law firm said was taken by Alex Murdaugh, whose wife and son were killed three months ago.

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Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast / Photo FacebookAlex Murdaugh is officially at the center of a state investigation.The South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) announced Monday that it has opened a probe into Murdaugh, 53, just days after the legal scion was ousted from his firm over allegations of theft and placed in rehab for drug dependency.In a statement to The Daily Beast, the top law enforcement agency in the state confirmed the criminal investigation into Murdaugh is bas

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South Carolina police now investigating allegations that Alex Murdaugh took money from law firm

USA TODAY 13 September, 2021 - 06:49pm

Police are investigating the missing money that a law firm said was taken by Alex Murdaugh, whose wife and son were killed three months ago.

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COLUMBIA, S.C. — State police confirmed Monday that they have opened an investigation into missing money that a law firm said was taken by an attorney from a prominent South Carolina legal family whose wife and son were killed at their home three months ago.

Monday’s announcement means that, along with the investigation into the deaths, the State Law Enforcement Division has four other ongoing investigations into Alex Murdaugh and his family. Meanwhile, his law license has been suspended indefinitely by the South Carolina Supreme Court.

“I continue to urge the public to be patient and let this investigation take its course. Investigative decisions we make throughout this case and any potentially related case must ultimately withstand the scrutiny of the criminal justice process,” State Law Enforcement Division Chief Mark Keel said in a two paragraph announcement.

Peters, Murdaugh, Parker, Eltzroth and Detrick PA (PMPED) law firm announced earlier this month that Murdaugh had misappropriated money from the business and was no longer associated with the firm. Exactly how much money might be missing has not been made public.

Just days after reporting a gunshot wound to his head, it became public that Murdaugh was accused of misappropriating funds, had resigned from the powerhouse law firm his family helped establish, and announced he was entering rehab. 

On Sept. 4, state police confirmed reports that Murdaugh had called 911 to report being shot in the head along a rural road in Hampton County, and was transported to an area hospital with superficial injuries.

Murdaugh issued a statement two days later, saying: “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. 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.”

The law firm said in a statement last week that Murdaugh had resigned. "His resignation came after the discovery by PMPED that Alex misappropriated funds in violation of PMPED standards and policies," the statement said.

"A forensic accounting firm will be retained to conduct a thorough investigation. Law enforcement and the SC Bar have been notified by PMPED," the statement added. "This is disappointing news for all of us."

In addition to the alleged misappropriated funds, other investigations are underway: 

►On the night of June 7, Murdaugh called 911 Dispatch to report that his wife Margaret, 52, and son Paul, 22, had been shot and killed at their Colleton County hunting estate. The State Law Enforcement Division has announced no arrests have been made.

►As a result of information obtained in the course of the double-homicide investigation, SLED opened an investigation into the unsolved 2015 homicide involving Stephen Smith in Hampton County. The Murdaugh name was mentioned several times in statements taken by police in 2015.

►SLED has made no arrests in the active investigation of Murdaugh's reported shooting on Sept. 4.

Murdaugh is the son of the late Randolph Murdaugh III, a former 14th Circuit Solicitor like his father, Randolph Jr., and grandfather, Randolph Sr., before him. For more than 85 years, this trio served as chief prosecutors over the five-county Lowcountry region. 

The Murdaugh family was already in the regional spotlight following the February 2019 boat crash in Beaufort County in which Mallory Beach, 19, lost her life and Alex's son, Paul, was facing three felony charges of felony boating under the influence.

Alex Murdaugh and others are still facing a wrongful death civil suit filed by Beach's mother, Renee, on behalf of Mallory's estate.

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