Sources close to the South Carolina statewide grand jury told this news outlet Alex Murdaugh’s alleged drug dealer/ check casher, Curtis “Eddie” Smith, has been granted a hearing to modify his bond. This hearing has reportedly been scheduled for Monday, April 3, 2023 at 2:00 p.m. EDT in Richland County Court in front of S.C. circuit court judge Clifton Newman, these sources say.
Newman is expected to look favorably on any bond modification request from Smith’s attorneys, we are told, meaning he could be released – with conditions – following the hearing.
Smith has been incarcerated at the Lexington County detention center since August 11, 2022 after his bond on multiple charges related to this saga was revoked by Newman. The 62-year-old stands accused of four counts of money laundering, three counts of forgery, one count of conspiracy, one count of methamphetamine trafficking, one count of unlawful possession of a controlled substance and one count of simple possession of marijuana.
These charges were filed against Smith last June – compounding the charges he was already facing in connection with a bizarre September 2021 roadside shooting incident involving Murdaugh. Smith is facing fraud and weapons charges after allegedly shooting his former friend in the head during a staged suicide on September 4, 2021 – almost three months after the graphic murders of Murdaugh’s wife and son.
Murdaugh was convicted of the savage slayings of his wife, 52-year-old Maggie Murdaugh, and younger son, 22-year-old Paul Murdaugh, on June 7, 2021 at Moselle – a 1,700-acre hunting property owned by the family. Judge Newman sentenced to life in prison earlier this month.
Smith was subpoenaed to testify in Murdaugh’s murder trial but was never called to the stand. Had he testified, he was widely expected to claim that Murdaugh confessed committing the murders to him during the roadside shooting.
Smith’s attorney, Aimee Zmroczek, filed a motion in early January which provided additional details on the roadside shooting incident – which took place on Old Salkehatchie Road near Varnville, S.C. Murdaugh’s attorneys initially claimed he was 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, thanks to shifting, conflicting stories provided to members of the mainstream media.
Zmroczek’s motion asked the court to unseal and designate the identity of witnesses referenced in an affidavit supporting a search warrant signed by S.C. circuit court judge Carmen Mullen on September 7, 2021 in the aftermath of the roadside shooting. The motion stated that SLED interviewed Murdaugh twice – once on September 4, 2021 and again on September 5, 2021. In both interviews, Murdaugh told SLED he was shot in the head by an unknown assailant and described the vehicle as a “newer model dark blue Chevrolet or GMC 4-door truck”.
The man known as “Cousin Eddie” has previously called Murdaugh “one of my best friends.”
“He’s like a brother to me,” Smith told WCIV TV-4 (ABC – Charleston, S.C.) in September of 2021.
Sources close to Smith say his health has declined precipitously in the last few months since his bond was revoked, with one describing him as being “in really bad shape.”
Zmroczek did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR …
Jenn Wood is the director of research at FITSNews. She is also a producer on our Cheer Incorporated podcast and our resident expert on the ‘Murdaugh Murders‘ crime and corruption saga. Wood is a wife and mother of two residing in Louisiana, but she will be in the Palmetto State for the duration of the upcoming double homicide trial. Got a story idea or a tip for Jenn? Email her at [email protected].
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