A beige SUV containing Murdaugh pulled up to the Hampton County Law Enforcement Center late Thursday morning, and Murdaugh was seen exiting the automobile shortly after it pulled via a gate. He is predicted to seem in courtroom Thursday.
According to courtroom paperwork, Murdaugh organized for a former consumer to kill him so his surviving son may acquire a life insurance payout of about $10 million.
In a press release Thursday, the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) confirmed brokers had arrested Murdaugh, who was booked on the Hampton County Detention Center. He faces charges of insurance fraud, conspiracy to commit insurance fraud and submitting a false police report, the assertion stated, and the case shall be prosecuted by the state Attorney General’s workplace.
“I can assure you that SLED agents will continue working to bring justice to anyone involved with any criminal act associated with these ongoing investigation,” SLED Chief Mark Keel stated in the assertion. “The arrests in this case are only the first step in that process.”
Murdaugh determined to finish his personal life however believed his life insurance coverage had a suicide exclusion, his different lawyer Dick Harpootlian stated, and that the scheme “was an attempt on his part to do something to protect” his eldest and solely residing youngster.
The killings of his spouse and son on June 7 haven’t been solved, and Murdaugh has denied accountability.
Former consumer charged in suicide scheme
Smith, 61, was charged Wednesday with assisted suicide, assault and battery of a excessive and aggravated nature, pointing and presenting a firearm, insurance fraud and conspiracy to commit insurance fraud, in accordance to the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division.
On Thursday, Hampton County Magistrate Judge Tonja Alexander set bond for Smith at $55,000. Asked if he was in a public defender, Smith replied, “I’m probably going to look at one, yes,” including he would possible apply for one early subsequent week.
Alexander ordered Smith to seem for roll name on October 25 on the Hampton County courthouse. Smith should receive an lawyer inside 15 days or his bond shall be revoked, Alexander stated, and he should hold the courtroom notified of any modifications of handle.
The Colleton County Sheriff’s Office stated Smith had a separate bond listening to on Wednesday morning and obtained a $5,000 money surety bond for a meth cost and a private recognizance bond for a marijuana cost. He was transferred to Hampton County custody Wednesday afternoon, authorities stated.
Authorities initially described Murdaugh’s harm as a “superficial gunshot wound to the head,” although Murdaugh’s attorneys stated his cranium was fractured in the capturing.
Murdaugh allegedly offered Smith with a firearm and directed Smith to shoot him in the top. Smith admitted Tuesday to being current on the capturing and to disposing of the firearm afterward, the affidavit states.
Murdaugh had represented Smith as his lawyer on no less than two events relationship again to 2010, in accordance to courtroom data from the Colleton County 14th Judicial Circuit.
He first represented Smith in a private harm lawsuit that Smith introduced in opposition to a land administration firm, and Murdaugh can be listed as Smith’s lawyer for a 2013 visitors infraction, the courtroom paperwork present.
Authorities now investigating a number of deaths
Murdaugh’s arrest Thursday is the newest improvement in what’s develop into a sprawling, high-profile crime saga unfolding in the southern area of the Palmetto State, the place the Murdaugh household has been a robust authorized dynasty for many years.
Over 87 consecutive years, three generations of Murdaughs served because the 14th Circuit Solicitor, an workplace that controls the prosecutions in Allendale, Beaufort, Colleton, Hampton and Jasper counties.
Tragedy first struck in early June, when Alex Murdaugh’s spouse and son, Margaret and 22-year-old Paul, had been shot lifeless outdoors the household’s dwelling in Islandton, about an hour north of Hilton Head Island, in accordance to SLED. Colleton County Sheriff’s deputies decided each victims had suffered a number of gunshot wounds.
At the time of his loss of life, Paul Murdaugh was going through charges of cruising below the affect (BUI), inflicting nice bodily hurt and inflicting loss of life in connection to a 2019 boat crash that claimed the lifetime of 19-year-old Mallory Beach, courtroom data present. Paul had pleaded not responsible and courtroom data present the charges had been dropped after his loss of life.
About two weeks after the killings, SLED introduced that, primarily based on info gathered in the course of the investigation, it was reopening an investigation into the loss of life of Stephen Smith, a 19-year-old whose physique was discovered on a Hampton County street in 2015.
The investigation was opened, SLED stated, on the request of the Hampton County coroner, who highlighted inconsistencies with Satterfield’s acknowledged method of loss of life, in addition to info gathered throughout SLED’s different ongoing investigations involving Alex Murdaugh.
“The decedent’s death was not reported to the Coroner at the time, nor was an autopsy performed,” the coroner’s request to SLED stated. “On the death certificate the manner of death was ruled ‘Natural,’ which is inconsistent with injuries sustained in a trip and fall accident.”
NCS’s Amanda Watts, Gregory Lemos, Melissa Alonso, Caroline Kenny and Christina Maxouris contributed to this report.