Attorney: Alex Murdaugh will surrender to authorities on charges involving alleged suicide plot

Published: Sep. 15, 2021 at 8:36 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 15, 2021 at 11:38 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - A lawyer for Alex Murdaugh says his client will surrender to authorities on an arrest warrant for conspiracy to commit insurance fraud.

Attorney Jim Griffin said Murdaugh plans to turn himself in on Thursday, and a bond hearing will be held at 4 p.m. at the Hampton County magistrate court, according to a report by WTOC.

Investigators with the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division said the charge stems from a plot that involved Murdaugh providing 61-year-old Curtis Edward Smith with a gun and directing Smith to fatally shoot him in the head on Sept. 4. SLED officials said Murdaugh gave them a statement admitting to the scheme of having Smith murder him for the purpose of his son collecting a life insurance policy.

Smith was 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.

Smith was in court in Colleton County on Wednesday for two unrelated drug charges and was given a $5,000 bond. He was locked up at the Colleton County jail and is expected to be transferred to Hampton County where he is expected to face a bond hearing for the new charges related to Murdaugh’s shooting.

Also on Wednesday, SLED announced that they had opened a criminal investigation into the 2018 death of Gloria Satterfield, Murdaugh’s housekeeper who died following a reported accident at Murdaugh’s home. Agents said they opened the investigation after they gathered information during the course of their investigation into Murdaugh as well as a request by the Hampton County Coroner’s Office after officials observed inconsistencies in Satterfield’s death.

Murdaugh insurance fraud charge

SLED investigators say the insurance fraud charge involves an incident that started on Sept. 4 when Murdaugh conspired with Curtis Edward Smith in the area of Old Salkehatchie Road for the purpose of assisting Murdaugh in his suicide.

According to the incident report, Smith followed Murdaugh to Old Salkehatchie Road and shot Murdaugh as he stood in the roadway. After shooting Murdaugh in the head, Smith drove to an unknown location where he disposed of the weapon, investigators reported.

Murdaugh survived and was then transported to the hospital for treatment.

On Monday, SLED officials said Murdaugh provided a statement to them admitting to the scheme of having Smith murder him for the purpose of his son collecting a life insurance policy. Then on Tuesday, Smith admitted to being present during Murdaugh’s shooting, and to disposing of the weapon, according to court records.

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