HAMPTON COUNTY, S.C. (WCBD) – Alex Murdaugh did not show any signs of visible injury when he appeared in a Hampton County bond court Thursday on charges connected to a botched attempted suicide plot.
Affidavits from the State Law Enforcement Division revealed Murdaugh provided 61-year-old Curtis Edward Smith with a gun and directed Smith to shoot him in the head in hopes that a beneficiary would collect a $10 million life insurance policy.
Documents also revealed Murdaugh admitted to deflating his own tire with a knife. He initially said that he was dealing with a flat tire when someone in a truck asked if he needed help, circled back and shot him in the head.
“After shooting Mr. Murdaugh in the head, Mr. Smith drove to an unknown location where he disposed of the firearm,” affidavits show.
Murdaugh survived the shooting and was taken to a hospital in Savannah, Georgia for treatment.
SLED initially reported that Murdaugh suffered a “superficial gunshot wound to the head.” His attorneys later released a statement saying the shooting was not self-inflicted and that his injuries included an entry wound, skull fracture, and minor brain bleeding.
A report from the Hampton County Sheriff’s Office from the day of the shooting showed Murdaugh did not have any visible injuries, but the report was later corrected and released stating he received a ‘major injury.’
Murdaugh’s mugshot from Hampton County did not reveal any visible injuries and none were clearly seen during his bond court appearance Thursday afternoon, nor were any bandages still present from the September 4th shooting.
Doctors with the University of Utah Hospital wrote online head injuries bleed a lot due to the number of blood vessels in the head. They say about 20% of the blood that flows from the head to the heart connects to the brain.
The blood vessels are vulnerable to injury associated with trauma due to their location.
“Your scalp can bleed profusely from even a minor cut. Many tiny arteries and veins serve the individual muscles and skin on your head,” doctors and researchers with the university said. “Some of these blood vessels lie deep within your skull, while other superficial arteries and veins are quite close to the surface of your skin.”
An emergency physician at the University of Utah Hospital, Dr. Troy Madsen, wrote, “even small lacerations to the head can lead to very large amounts of bleeding.”
While we know Murdaugh may have experienced a superficial gunshot wound, the location of the so-called injury has not yet been revealed. It’s likely he was airlifted to the Savannah, GA hospital as a precaution due to the amount of bleeding that may have occurred.
Murdaugh was granted a $20,000 personal recognizance bond Thursday afternoon and surrendered his passport to the State Law Enforcement Divison. He was set to return to an out-of-state rehab facility for treatment for drug addiction.
A judge said he could not leave the facility or he would face jail time.