The South Carolina Attorney General’s Office appears to be doubling down on their charges against disgraced attorney Alex Murdaugh and his alleged co-conspirator Curtis Edward “Eddie” Smith.
A Hampton County Grand Jury indicted Smith on five charges, while Alex Murdaugh was indicted on three charges related to the bizarre Labor Day weekend “shooting.”
On Thursday, Smith was indicted on the following charges: assisted suicide, assault and battery of a high aggravated nature, pointing and presenting a firearm, conspiracy and a new charge — presenting a false claim for insurance payment of over $10,000.
Murdaugh was indicted on the charges of conspiracy, filing a false police report, and a new charge — presenting a false claim for insurance payment of more than $10,000.
The new charges on Smith and Murdaugh appear to carry the same penalty (10 years) as the previous insurance fraud charges.
Eddie faces up to 65 years in prison for charges related to the assisted suicide while Alex only faces 20.
Smith’s attorney Jarrett Bouchette told FITSNews that he and Jonny McCoy were discouraged by the fact that they will not have a preliminary hearing because of the indictments. Grand jury indictments are done out of the public eye.
“We’re disappointed to not have the opportunity to have a public hearing where investigators and other witnesses may be able to be cross examined regarding the probable cause that actually led to these charges,” Bouchette said. “And instead, the charges were indicted by a grand jury.”
On Thursday, the S.C. Attorney General’s Office released the indictments against Alex Murdaugh and Curtis Eddie Smith.
Click below to read the arrest warrants…
The indictments do not contain any evidence that the state has against Murdaugh or Smith. Nor do they mention that Smith had any prior knowledge of the insurance policy or Murdaugh’s planned scheme before he arrived on Old Salkehatchie Highway on September 4.
The indictments also don’t mention a motive for Eddie Smith to participate in the scheme.
The alleged shooting occurred in Hampton County approximately seven miles from Moselle — the family hunting lodge where Alex discovered the bodies of his 52-year-old wife Maggie Murdaugh and their son 22-year-old Paul Murdaugh on June 7, 2021.
Alex Murdaugh first called Hampton County 911 at 1: 34 p.m. (Click below to listen to that call)
According to Alex Murdaugh’s statement that was included in SLED’s narrative, Smith conspired to shoot Murdaugh in the head so that Alex’s son – Buster Murdaugh – could collect on a $10 million life insurance policy.
The extent of Murdaugh’s head injuries has been the focus of considerable debate since the shooting, and his calm demeanor during the 911 call is likely to further call into question claims made by his lawyers as to the severity of his wound – which investigators at SLED have consistently described as “superficial.
Bouchette and McCoy have maintained that their client did not shoot Alex Murdaugh.
Smith has told his attorneys and multiple media outlets that he wrestled the gun away from Alex and the gun went off, but didn’t hit him.
“When he arrived on the scene, he saw a person who was in a suicidal state or what appeared to be a suicidal state and clearly not acting normally,” Bouchette previously told FITSNews.
Smith told police that he was there to help Murdaugh on Old Salkehatchie Highway September 4 and he has admitted to disposing of the gun.
Bouchette said that Smith was scared and distraught at this time and left the scene.
“There was no crime, there was nothing for him to flee from other that what had obviously been a very traumatic situation,” he said.
While Alex Murdaugh’s bond was set $20,000, Smith’s bond was $55,000.
This story will be updated…
ABOUT THE AUTHOR..
Mandy Matney is the news director at FITSNews. She’s an investigative journalist from Kansas who has worked for newspapers in Missouri, Illinois, and South Carolina before making the switch to FITS. She currently lives on Hilton Head Island where she enjoys beach life. Mandy also hosts the Murdaugh Murders podcast. Want to contact Mandy? Send your tips to [email protected].
Editor’s note: A previous version of this story said that the defense was not notified, this was a typo and we apologize for the error.
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