South Carolina lawyer Alex Murdaugh will turn himself into authorities on Thursday in connection with a jaw-dropping plot to have his alleged drug dealer shoot him dead so his son could collect $10 million in insurance money.
Murdaugh’s lawyer confirmed to The Daily Beast that there is a warrant for his client’s arrest for conspiracy to commit insurance fraud.
“He plans to voluntarily surrender tomorrow and the arraignment and bond hearing will be held at 4 p.m. at the Hampton County magistrate court,” attorney Jim Griffin said on Wednesday.
Murdaugh’s arrest will come two days after his former client and co-defendant, Curtis Edward Smith, was charged with a slew of crimes, including insurance fraud and assisted suicide for the botched Sept. 4 shooting.
Authorities say that Murdaugh admitted to the scheme and providing Smith with a gun to shoot him in the head. Murdaugh hoped his death would lead to a $10 million insurance payout that would go to his sole surviving son, Buster, officials said. Smith also admitted his role in the plot and to getting rid of the gun, according to an arrest affidavit.
Murdaugh’s attorneys have painted him as a man rocked by grief over the June murders of his wife and other son and wracked by mental illness and drug addiction. They say he is cooperating with investigators.
“He didn’t want law enforcement spending more time on this fake crime instead of focusing on solving the murders of Maggie and Paul,” attorney Dick Harpootlian said Wednesday on the Today show.
The arrest warrant for Murdaugh is just the latest turn in a dizzying Deep South saga that has surrounded the prominent legal family, which has held sway in the Lowcountry area for decades.
It comes three months after Murdaugh found his wife, 52-year-old Maggie, and their 22-year-old son, Paul, shot dead at the family’s estate. At the time, Paul was awaiting trial for his role in a 2019 boat crash that killed a teenage girl, though it’s not clear if the two tragedies are liked.
Murdaugh’s lawyers said Wednesday that as authorities investigated the double homicide, he began to fall deeper into an opioid addiction—and ultimately turned to Smith for help in ending his life because he thought suicide would void his insurance policy.
Within hours of the shooting, which left Murdaugh with a superficial head wound, he issued a surprise announcement stating he had quit Peters, Murdaugh, Parker, Eltzroth, Detrick—the firm his grandfather had founded—and was entering rehab.
The law firm then hit back with its own statement hours later, stating that Murdaugh had actually been forced out days earlier after they discovered that he had “misappropriated funds.” The South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division is now investigating the firm’s allegations.
“It was uncovered that he had perhaps—not perhaps, he had converted some client and law firm money to his use and again spent most of that on opioids,” Harpootlian said on Wednesday, admitting his client had embezzled funds to underwrite his opioid addiction.
The Daily Beast