State Watch

South Carolina attorney Alex Murdaugh surrenders to authorities

South Carolina attorney Alex Murdaugh surrendered to the authorities on Thursday after he told a former client to shoot him.

Murdaugh surrendered at the Hampton County Law Enforcement Center in Varnville, S.C., the morning of a bond hearing on the matter, NBC News reported.

Murdaugh said on Monday he had his former client, Curtis Edward Smith, shoot him in the head on Sept. 4 as a way to stage a suicide so his son could collect a $10 million life insurance policy. 

Smith 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.

A judge on Thursday set Smith’s bond at $55,000, according to NBC News. 

Smith shot Murdaugh in the head on the side of the roadway and disposed of the firearm in an unknown location the day after Murdaugh resigned from his law firm over allegations of misusing funds. Murdaugh survived the incident and went to the hospital. 

Murdaugh’s attorney Dick Harpootlian said in an interview with NBC’s “Today” that Murdaugh thought his life insurance policy had a suicide exclusion clause. 

“It was an attempt on his part to do something to protect his child,” Harpootlian said. “He didn’t want law enforcement spending more time on this fake crime instead of solving the murders of Maggie and Paul.”

The shooting of Murdaugh occurred about three months after the so-far unsolved case of his wife and son’s deaths. The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division has also opened up a case into the death of the family’s housekeeper in 2018.

Murdaugh’s attorney said Murdaugh has fallen into depression since the death of his son and wife. 

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