HAMPTON COUNTY, S.C. (WCBD) – A man charged in the shooting of Alex Murdaugh appeared in a Hampton County courtroom Thursday morning.
Curtis Smith, 61, of Walterboro, is 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.
The State Law Enforcement Division said Murdaugh gave Smith the gun and directed him to shoot him so that his son could collect a $10 million life insurance policy.
Smith was given a $55,000 bond Thursday. A hearing is set for October 25th.
The breakdown: $5,000 was for pointing and presenting a firearm, $10,000 for insurance misrepresentation, $5,000 for conspiracy, $15,000 for assisting a person in committing suicide, and $20,000 for assault and battery.
Smith also appeared in a Colleton County courtroom for an unrelated drug charge Wednesday afternoon.
Court records, obtained by News 2, show a history between the Murdaugh’s and Curtis Smith. Alex Murdaugh and his late father, former 14th Circuit Solicitor Randolph Murdaugh III, represented Smith in a personal injury lawsuit case back in 2010.
Alex Murdaugh later represented Smith in 2013 for a traffic violation case.
During an exclusive interview with the TODAY Show Wednesday morning, Dick Harpootlian – one of Murdaugh’s attorneys — said Smith has served as Murdaugh’s “personal drug dealer” for at least the last 20 years. Harpootlian says Smith has taken advantage of Murdaugh’s opioid struggles over the years.
State agents say Murdaugh asked Smith to shoot him in the head on the side of a rural Hampton County road back on September 4th.
Harpootlian says Murdaugh provided Smith with the gun used in the shooting and says Smith did little to talk Murdaugh out of the suicide attempt. Murdaugh had reportedly attempted to get off opioids the morning of the shooting leaving him in a depressed state fueling the plot to “end his life.”
Attorneys say a warrant was issued Wednesday for Murdaugh’s arrest on a charge of conspiracy to commit insurance fraud. He is expected to turn himself in to law enforcement on Thursday.