In response to courtroom paperwork, Murdaugh organized for a former consumer to kill him so his surviving son might acquire a life insurance coverage payout of about $10 million.
A beige SUV containing Murdaugh pulled as much as the Hampton County Legislation Enforcement Heart late Thursday morning, and Murdaugh was seen exiting the automobile shortly after it pulled via a gate. He’s anticipated to seem in courtroom Thursday.
In an announcement Thursday, the South Carolina Legislation Enforcement Division (SLED) confirmed brokers had arrested Murdaugh, who was booked on the Hampton County Detention Heart. He faces prices of insurance coverage fraud, conspiracy to commit insurance coverage fraud and submitting a false police report, the assertion mentioned, and the case might be prosecuted by the state Legal professional Common’s workplace.
“I can guarantee you that SLED brokers will proceed working to carry justice to anybody concerned with any legal act related to these ongoing investigation,” SLED Chief Mark Keel mentioned within the assertion. “The arrests on this case are solely step one in that course of.”
Murdaugh determined to finish his personal life however believed his life insurance coverage coverage had a suicide exclusion, his different legal professional Dick Harpootlian mentioned, and that the scheme “was an try on his half to do one thing to guard” his eldest and solely dwelling youngster.
The killings of his spouse and son on June 7 haven’t been solved, and Murdaugh has denied accountability.
Former consumer charged in suicide scheme
Smith, 61, was charged Wednesday with assisted suicide, assault and battery of a excessive and aggravated nature, pointing and presenting a firearm, insurance coverage fraud and conspiracy to commit insurance coverage fraud, based on the South Carolina Legislation Enforcement Division.
On Thursday, Hampton County Justice of the Peace Decide Tonja Alexander set bond for Smith at $55,000. Requested if he was fascinated with a public defender, Smith replied, “I am in all probability going to take a look at one, sure,” including he would seemingly apply for one early subsequent week.
Alexander ordered Smith to seem for roll name on October 25 on the Hampton County courthouse. Smith should get hold of an legal professional inside 15 days or his bond might be revoked, Alexander mentioned, and he should preserve the courtroom notified of any adjustments of handle.
The Colleton County Sheriff’s Workplace mentioned Smith had a separate bond listening to on Wednesday morning and obtained a $5,000 money surety bond for a meth cost and a private recognizance bond for a marijuana cost. He was transferred to Hampton County custody Wednesday afternoon, authorities mentioned.
Authorities initially described Murdaugh’s harm as a “superficial gunshot wound to the top,” although Murdaugh’s attorneys mentioned his cranium was fractured within the capturing.
Murdaugh allegedly supplied Smith with a firearm and directed Smith to shoot him within the head. Smith admitted Tuesday to being current on the capturing and to disposing of the firearm afterward, the affidavit states.
Murdaugh had represented Smith as his legal professional on a minimum of two events courting again to 2010, based on courtroom information from the Colleton County 14th Judicial Circuit.
He first represented Smith in a private harm lawsuit that Smith introduced in opposition to a land administration firm, and Murdaugh can also be listed as Smith’s legal professional for a 2013 visitors infraction, the courtroom paperwork present.
Authorities now investigating a number of deaths
Murdaugh’s arrest Thursday is the most recent improvement in what’s change into a sprawling, high-profile crime saga unfolding within the southern area of the Palmetto State, the place the Murdaugh household has been a robust authorized dynasty for many years.
Over 87 consecutive years, three generations of Murdaughs served because the 14th Circuit Solicitor, an workplace that controls the prosecutions in Allendale, Beaufort, Colleton, Hampton and Jasper counties.
Tragedy first struck in early June, when Alex Murdaugh’s spouse and son, Margaret and 22-year-old Paul, had been shot useless outdoors the household’s residence in Islandton, about an hour north of Hilton Head Island, based on SLED. Colleton County Sheriff’s deputies decided each victims had suffered a number of gunshot wounds.
On the time of his dying, Paul Murdaugh was dealing with prices of cruising beneath the affect (BUI), inflicting nice bodily hurt and inflicting dying in connection to a 2019 boat crash that claimed the lifetime of 19-year-old Mallory Seashore, courtroom information present. Paul had pleaded not responsible and courtroom information present the fees had been dropped after his dying.
About two weeks after the killings, SLED introduced that, based mostly on data gathered in the middle of the investigation, it was reopening an investigation into the dying of Stephen Smith, a 19-year-old whose physique was discovered on a Hampton County street in 2015.
The investigation was opened, SLED mentioned, on the request of the Hampton County coroner, who highlighted inconsistencies with Satterfield’s said method of dying, in addition to data gathered throughout SLED’s different ongoing investigations involving Alex Murdaugh.
“The decedent’s dying was not reported to the Coroner on the time, nor was an post-mortem carried out,” the coroner’s request to SLED mentioned. “On the dying certificates the style of dying was dominated ‘Pure,’ which is inconsistent with accidents sustained in a visit and fall accident.”
CNN’s Amanda Watts, Gregory Lemos, Melissa Alonso, Caroline Kenny and Christina Maxouris contributed to this report.