COLLETON COUNTY, S.C. (WCBD) – The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) confirmed Tuesday night that an arrest has been made in connection to the September 4 shooting of Alex Murdaugh.

SLED says that Murdaugh orchestrated the shooting so that a beneficiary could collect a $10 million life insurance policy.

Murdaugh was shot in the head while changing a tire on a rural Hampton County road.

Curtis Edward Smith (61) of Walterboro has been 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.

According to SLED, Murdaugh gave Smith the gun and directed Smith to shoot him so that his son could collect a $10 million life insurance policy.

“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 shooting came just days after Murdaugh resigned from his law firm over accusations of misallocating millions of dollars in funds, which Murdaugh vowed to repay to the firm.

He also announced that he would be entering rehab for what his brother indicated was a drug problem.

Murdaugh apologized openly and said that the recent murder of his wife and son exacerbated his issues.

Alex Murdaugh’s attorneys released the following statement:

On September 4, it became clear Alex believed that ending his life was his only option. Today, he knows that’s not true. For the last 20 years, there have been many people feeding his addiction to opioids. During that time, these individuals took advantage of his addiction and his ability to pay substantial funds for illegal drugs. One of those individuals took advantage of his mental illness and agreed to take Alex’s life, by shooting him in the head. Fortunately, Alex was not killed by the gunshot wound.  Alex is fully cooperating with SLED in their investigations into his shooting, opioid use and the search to find the person or people responsible for the murder of his wife and son.  Alex is not without fault but he is just one of many whose life has been devastated by opioid addiction.

Dick Harpootilian and Jim Griffin

Smith appeared in a Colleton County courtroom Wednesday morning on an unrelated drug charge for the distribution of methamphetimine. He was granted bond on that charge.