Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast/Colleton County, S.C. Detention Center
The declared biologic banker and accused ballista of Alex Murdaugh, who authorities say conspired with the South Carolina advocate in a jaw-dropping assisted suicide artifice to aggregate millions in allowance money, is speaking out.
In a porch-side account with the New York Post, Curtis Edward Smith, 61, insists on his chastity and claims he was set up by the arresting acknowledged ancestors that has captivated amplitude in the Lowcountry breadth for decades. Authorities say Murdaugh, 54, accepted to orchestrating the Sept. 4 attack—which complex accouterment Smith with a gun to shoot him in the arch and slashing his own tires—in the achievement that his afterlife would advance to a $10 actor allowance payout that would go to his sole actual son, Buster.
Alex Murdaugh Finally Arrested for Aggravating to Arrange His Own Killing
“It was the craziest bearings I anytime been complex with. I was set up to be the abatement guy. And those abuse pictures of me in the newspaper! I was attractive at them this morning. They didn’t let me booty a abuse shower!” Smith told the aperture on Friday. “I apperceive what they’re aggravating to say about me and it ain’t true.”
While prosecutors adduce that Smith has accepted to his role in the scheme, Murdaugh has been fingered as the mastermind. On Thursday, Murdaugh was answerable with a bulk of crimes associated with the aghast plot. Afterwards advertisement his $20,000 bond, he alternate to an out-of-state adjust ability aloof hours afterwards surrendering to authorities in Hampton County.
Murdaugh’s lawyer, Jim Griffin, beneath The Daily Beast’s appeal for animadversion on Smith’s allegations.
The abominable capacity of Murdaugh’s askance artifice are aloof the latest in the family’s adventure that already included a bifold murder, biologic addiction, and allegations of embezzlement.
Murduagh’s ancestors was aboriginal advance into the civic spotlight in June, afterwards the father-of-two apparent his 22-year-old son, Paul, and his 52-year-old wife, Maggie, attempt to afterlife abreast the dog kennels of the family’s sprawling hunting estate. The annihilation occurred as Paul was apprehension balloon for his role in a 2019 bashed canoeing blow that dead a boyish girl.
Smith told The Post on Friday that he has annihilation to do with the Murdaugh ancestors murders.
As authorities abide to investigate the adverse slayings, Murdaugh’s attorneys affirmation their applicant spiraled—prompting him to arrange his own annihilation to ensure a payout for his active son.
But while prosecutors adduce that Smith was complex in the askance suicide plot, he told The Post that not alone did he not coact with Murdaugh—but that he was set up by the once-powerful lawyer.
“I get a alarm from Alex that Saturday afternoon to appear to area he was and I anticipation it was maybe to fix something,” Smith told the outlet. “I had no abstraction what he wanted, I aloof went over there.”
When he accustomed at the rural backcountry road, Smith said that Murdaugh started bouncing about a gun. Smith said that he ran over and wrestled with Murdaugh to booty the gun abroad from him, afore the weapon “kind of went off aloft his arch and I got afraid to afterlife and I ran to my barter and took off.”
Smith claims he took Murdaugh’s gun and threw it away.
Questions Swirl Afterwards Powerful Lawyer’s Wife, Son Are Dead Amid Fatal Boat Party Probe
“It was apparent stupid, aloof apparent stupid,” he said, acceptance he doesn’t apperceive if the ammo absolutely hit Murdaugh. Murdaugh’s attorneys additionally said they abiding a accessory skull breach and academician bleeding—though he did not accept any arresting wounds or a cast during Thursday’s band hearing.
According to authorities, Murdaugh alleged 911 claiming that he had been attempt in the arch while attempting to change a tire. The affairs of the adventure were buried in confusion—with Murdaugh’s acknowledged aggregation claiming a man in an alien barter attempt their applicant afterwards allurement if he had car trouble.
Shortly afterwards the cutting incident, the advocate fabricated a abruptness advertisement that he was abandonment his family-founded law firm—Peters, Murdaugh, Parker, Eltzroth, and Detrick (PMPED)—and was entering adjust to accost his decades-long opioid addiction. According to his attorneys, Murdaugh told afterwards authorities that Smith was his “primary” opioid supplier.
Hours later, however, the close appear their own account with a altered storyline: Murdaugh had absolutely been affected out canicule beforehand afterwards they apparent that he had “misappropriated funds.” During a Wednesday account with NBC’s Today, Murdaugh advocate Dick Harpootlian appeared to accept that Murdaugh acclimated embezzled funds to address checks for his opioid addiction.
The South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division is now investigating the firm’s allegations. The aforementioned bureau is additionally acid the afterlife of a charwoman on Murdaugh’s acreage three years ago.
“He has collapsed from grace,” Harpootlian said during the Thursday hearing. “If anyone wants to see the actuality of what opioid addiction does—you’re attractive at it.”
Henry Vandermark, a Hampton County citizen who bought Smith’s abode over a decade ago, told The Daily Beast he was abashed to apprehend about Smith’s captivation in Murdaugh’s scheme.
“He was consistently affable and affectionate to me. If we saw anniversary added at Walmart he would consistently stop and ask how I was doing,” Vandermark said on Friday, abacus that he could not see Smith “doing article like this.” Vandermark added that he did not apperceive if Smith was complex in biologic dealing.
“I’ve never aching anyone. It’s that simple. It’s a bad deal. A absolutely bad deal. I assumption I was aboveboard for accepting bent up in this abuse thing, too,” Smith told The Post, abacus that he is not Murdaugh’s banker as his acknowledged aggregation has argued.
But admitting actuality in acknowledged hot water, Smith admits he does not authority a animosity adjoin Murdaugh.
“I never had a acumen not to like him before,” Smith, who does not yet accept a lawyer, said. “I accept he’s in action or flight approach and he capital me to be the ample in the baptize so he could fly.”
“I wouldn’t admonish him to try to set me up,” Smith added. “I’d acerb admonish him adjoin that.”
Read added at The Daily Beast.
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