HAMPTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Curtis Edward Smith (61) was arrested Tuesday night in Walterboro and is currently booked at the Hampton County jail on several charges, including assisted suicide, in connection to the September 4th shooting of Alex Murdaugh.
Smith is set to have a bond hearing Thursday morning at 9:00 a.m. in Hampton County.
Records show Smith and Alex Murdaugh have a prior relationship established years before the Labor Day weekend shooting. Court records show 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.
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 shooting leaving him in a depressed state fueling the plot to “end his life.”
“He (Alex Murdaugh) called this guy (Smith) who met him on the side of the road, agreed to shoot him in the head and this fake car breakdown,” said Harpootlian. “Thirty minutes later, this guy is shooting him in the head.”
Murdaugh told attorneys the suicide attempt was an effort to commit insurance fraud. Murdaugh’s death would’ve resulted in his oldest son Buster receiving a 10 million dollar payout. Harpootlian says his client shared the whole scheme with state officials.
“It was an attempt on his part to do something to protect his child,” says Harpootlian. “He didn’t want law enforcement spending more time on this fake crime.”
Harpootlian said Murdaugh has been recovering in an out-of-state rehab facility while cooperating with state investigators, but plans to turn himself in to Hampton County officials on Thursday for charges related to insurance fraud.