South Carolina circuit court judge Clifton Newman reinstated bond on Monday for Curtis “Eddie” Smith – convicted killer Alex Murdaugh’s alleged drug dealer/ check casher and the man who allegedly shot Murdaugh in the head during a bizarre roadside shooting incident nearly two years ago.
The roadside shooting – and subsequent unraveling of Murdaugh’s narrative about what transpired on the side of the Old Salkehatchie Road on that fateful Labor Day weekend – was a pivotal moment in the ‘Murdaugh Murders’ crime and corruption saga.
It was also Smith’s introduction to the national spotlight … a glare which has not been kind to many associated with this drama.
As this news outlet predicted, Newman set – or rather re-set – Smith’s bond at $250,000, ordering him to remain under house arrest and to undergo drug testing.
If all of that sounds familiar, it should. That was the bond amount – and the conditions – imposed by Newman the first go-round on the charges Smith is facing. Smith did not follow the rules, however, and as a result Newman revoked his bond and remanded him into custody on August 11, 2022. Smith has been incarcerated at the Lexington County detention center ever since.
Smith’s lead attorney – Aimee Zmroczek – told Newman her client fully understood his obligations under the law this go-round.
“He understands exactly what this court expects him to do,” Zmroczek told Newman.
Zmroczek and Jarrett Bouchette – who is also representing Smith – were not the only ones who argued in favor of Newman reinstating his bond, though. Assistant attorney general John Meadors – who delivered the state’s closing argument against Murdaugh – also argued in support of the motion on behalf of the state.
According to Meadors, reinstating Smith’s bond was appropriate in light of him having “cooperated completely” with prosecutors during Murdaugh’s double homicide trial in Walterboro, S.C. earlier this year.
“We wouldn’t be back here for no reason,” Meadors told Newman, crediting Smith with spending “numerous hours” with prosecutors.
“He fully cooperated with us throughout this process,” Meadors said.
No deal was made regarding Smith’s bond, though, according to the veteran prosecutor.
“I didn’t promise him anything except that I would take his cooperation under consideration,” Meadors said.
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 to the murders during the roadside shooting incident.
Smith is a free man for the moment, but he remains in a proverbial heap of trouble. Specifically, he 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.
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These charges were filed against Smith last June – compounding the charges he was already facing in connection with the aforementioned roadside shooting incident. Smith is facing fraud and weapons charges in that incident – which took place almost three months after the graphic murders of Murdaugh’s wife and son.
Murdaugh was convicted on March 2, 2023 of killing his wife, 52-year-old Maggie Murdaugh, and younger son, 22-year-old Paul Murdaugh, on June 7, 2021 at Moselle – the Murdaugh family’s hunting property. Judge Newman sentenced him to life in prison the following day.
“I understand the significance of these cases tied in with Alex Murdaugh, and I totally understand the importance of the letter of my bond,” Smith said. “If I get on my property ain’t nobody gonna drag me off – nowhere.”
Newman asked Smith how much weight he had gained during his incarceration. The answer? Fifty-five pounds.
“My sugar’s off the chart, my blood pressure’s off the chart,” Smith told the judge.
At one point during the hearing, deputies had to bring a chair for Smith so he could sit down. After a few moments, though, he resumed standing and finished the hearing on his feet.
Smith has been a key player in the Murdaugh drama on multiple occasions. Last October, for example, Murdaugh’s attorneys Dick Harpootlian and Jim Griffin dropped a bombshell motion to compel demanding the state “produce all polygraph data, examiner notes, and quality control notes related to the polygraph examination of Curtis ‘Eddie’ Smith on May 5, 2022”
Smith failed a polygraph related to the double homicide on that date, Harpootlian and Griffin asserted. In fact, they took it one step further and claimed he was the murderer.
“The state is turning a blind eye to the obvious, that the reason Smith failed the polygraph when asked if he murdered Maggie and Paul is because he in fact did commit these heinous crimes,” the attorneys wrote.
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.
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