Hitman jailed after shooting top lawyer who hired him to kill him in a $10M insurance plot

True Crime: South Carolina lawyer was shot in a $10 million assisted suicide scheme he plotted himself. 

  • A man was arrested after participating in a million-dollar assisted suicide insurance fraud scheme. 
  • After losing his wife and one of his sons, a lawyer ordered his own murder to secure his other son with the insurance money.
  • The attorney miraculously survived the shooting and is now in rehab battling opioid addiction.

Curtis Edward Smith, 61, of South Carolina, was arrested after allegedly shooting Alex Murdaugh as a part of a $10 million assisted suicide insurance plot. However, the shooting didn’t go as planned, as Murdaugh was supposed to die on the scene, but he survived.

As Unilad reports, earlier this month, the 53-year-old lawyer was seemingly attacked in roadside gunfire. According to police records, he was changing a tire in Hampton County when he was shot in the head. The man miraculously survived the shooting, but the case didn’t end there.

Murdaugh, the scion of a decades-long legal dynasty of top prosecutors, was shot shortly after losing his wife and son. They were killed on their rural estate, but no one has been arrested for the double murder yet. Thankfully, the lawyer’s other son survived.

But while Murdaugh’s shooting appeared to be connected to his wife and son’s murders, it turned out to be a part of a botched insurance fraud he plotted to secure his surviving son. 

Smith, the man who pulled the trigger, was arrested on charges of assisted suicide, assault and battery, pointing and presenting a firearm, insurance fraud, and conspiracy to commit insurance fraud. As per The Daily Beast, an affidavit stated:

“Mr. Murdaugh supplied Mr. Smith with a firearm and directed Mr. Smith to shoot him in the head.”

Eventually, both Murdaugh and Smith admitted to their crimes. Attorney Dick Harpootlian said:

“[Murdaugh] didn’t want law enforcement spending more time on this fake crime instead of focusing on solving the murders of Maggie and Paul.”

Murdaugh, who also battles an opioid addiction, believed “ending his life was his only option.”

Harpootlian added:

“For the last 20 years, there have been many people feeding his addiction to opioids. During that time, these individuals took advantage of his addiction and his ability to pay substantial funds for illegal drugs. One of those individuals took advantage of his mental illness and agreed to take Alex’s life, by shooting him in the head.

Fortunately, Alex was not killed by the gunshot wound. Alex is fully cooperating with SLED in their investigations into his shooting, opioid use, and the search to find the person or people responsible for the murder of his wife and son. Alex is not without fault, but he is just one of many whose life has been devastated by opioid addiction.”

In an official statement, the South Carolina lawyer confirmed he had entered rehab, adding:

“The murders of my wife and son have caused an incredibly difficult time in my life. I have made a lot of decisions that I truly regret. I’m resigning from my law firm and entering rehab after a long battle that has been exacerbated by these murders.”

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