An arrest has been made in connection with the mysterious September 4, 2021 shooting of prominent South Carolina attorney Alex Murdaugh, multiple sources in the Palmetto Lowcountry confirmed to this news outlet on Tuesday evening.
According to these sources, 61-year-old Curtis Edward “Eddie” Smith is in police custody in connection with the shooting.
No one at the S.C. State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) – the agency leading the various investigations into Murdaugh and his associates – was available to comment on the reports late Tuesday. Similarly, no one in the office of S.C. attorney general Alan Wilson – which is expected to prosecute any charges filed in connection with the many Murdaugh-related probes – was available to comment on the reports, either.
Sources have provided both myself and news director Mandy Matney with information regarding the nature of the charges filed against Smith – however we are declining to publish such information barring an official announcement from law enforcement.
Our local sources have confirmed Smith is “known to (Murdaugh),” although they declined to elaborate on the nature of the relationship between the two men. One source close to the Murdaugh family described Smith as Alex Murdaugh’s “personal drug dealer.” Alex Murdaugh also served as an attorney for Smith in the past, representing him in a personal injury lawsuit in 2010.
It is not immediately clear whether Murdaugh himself will face any charges in connection with the mysterious shooting, which took place ten days ago on Old Salkehatchie road near Varnville, S.C.
Murdaugh was airlifted to Parker’s Emergency and Trauma Center Savannah, Georgia in the aftermath of the shooting to receive treatment for “a superficial gunshot wound to the head,” according to a news release from SLED.
According to Murdaugh’s attorney, Jim Griffin, Murdaugh was allegedly shot by a passerby while trying to change one of the ‘run-flat’ tires on the Mercedes-Benz sport utility vehicle he was driving. This narrative began falling apart almost immediately, however – and Griffin further fueled speculation by pushing a shaky, conflicting story to the media that seemed to shift daily.
In the days following the shooting, the saga went even further off the rails …
As Murdaugh’s narrative collapsed, embezzlement allegations against him were hastily made by his erstwhile partners at the prestigious Peters, Murdaugh, Parker, Eltzroth and Detrick (PMPED) law firm. They allegations were leveled less than forty-eight hours after this news outlet exclusively reported on the roadside shooting – and less than two hours after I exclusively reported that Murdaugh was allegedly battling an opioid addiction and had become “increasingly estranged from colleagues at his law firm.”
Over the weekend, I published a detailed recap on this facet of the saga – one which raised numerous questions about the nature and timing of the law firm’s allegations.
On Monday, SLED announced that it had opened a criminal investigation into the financial allegations raised by PMPED – a move which significantly escalated the saga.
“The SLED investigation of the Murdaugh firm’s finances is potentially very, very huge,” one attorney following the investigation told me Tuesday. “It’s one thing to hire a private forensic accountant. It’s quite another for your firm to be inundated by SLED agents with subpoena/ warrant authority.”
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SLED chief Mark Keel has been tight-lipped on the various Murdaugh-related investigations. In fact, his agency has been working aggressively for several months to plug any leaks related to the probe. In announcing a SLED investigation into the law firm’s financial allegations against Alex Murduagh, Keel asked for patience from the public.
“Let this investigation take its course,” Keel said. “Investigative decisions we make throughout this case and any potentially related case must ultimately withstand the scrutiny of the criminal justice process.”
“As with all cases, SLED is committed to conducting a professional, thorough, and impartial criminal investigation, no matter where the facts lead us,” Keel added.
As I have said from the very beginning of this saga, I have faith that Keel and his agents will bring these inquiries home.
This is a developing story … please check back for updates.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR …
Will Folks is the founding editor of the news outlet you are currently reading. Prior to founding FITSNews, he served as press secretary to the governor of South Carolina. He lives in the Midlands region of the state with his wife and seven children. And yes, he has LOTS of hats (including that St. Louis Cardinals’ bird lid pictured above).
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