Alex Murdaugh, a prominent South Carolina attorney, allegedly hired someone to shoot him in the head as part of an assisted suicide scheme that would give his son $10 million in life insurance.
Authorities have since arrested the gunman, Curtis Edward Smith, 61, after he shot Alex Murdaugh, 53, on Sep. 4, and survived. On Monday, Murdaugh admitted to the plot to kill himself for the millions in insurance money, revealing that he had put his family in a mountain of debt.
Alex Murdaugh is listed as a co-defendant in the affidavit, but no charges have been laid against him. Smith was charged with assisted suicide, assault and battery, pointing and presenting a firearm, and conspiracy to commit insurance fraud.
Dick Harpootlian, Murdaugh’s attorney, said on NBC Today that his client struggled with an opioid addiction and was in a state of “massive depression” following the death of his wife and his other son.
In a series of bizarre tragedies that have befallen the Murdaugh family, his wife, Margaret, and his son, Paul, were murdered in a shooting back in June. Many now question if the too incidents were connected in any way.
His father, Randolph Murdaugh III, died peacefully in his sleep just one week later, at 81.
“The murders of my wife and son have caused an incredibly difficult time in my life,” Alex said just last week when he resigned from his family law firm. “I have made a lot of decisions that I truly regret.”
Murdaugh had allegedly provided shooter Curtis Edward Smith with a firearm and instructed him to shoot him in the head on the side of the road. After firing and getting rid of the gun, Smith fled, and Murdaugh called “911.” He survived the botched attempt, and his highly publicized life has only continued to spiral ever since.
Alex Murdaugh resigned from his law firm just two days after being shot, and it has since been discovered that it’s possible he stole millions from the firm right before the assisted suicide attempt.
“Our client is not without fault,” said Jim Griffin, another one of Murdaugh’s attorneys,” but “his life has been devastated by an opioid addiction.”
“For the last 20 years, there have been many people feeding his addiction to opioids,” his attorneys said. “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.”
Authorities initially described the gunshot wound as “superficial,” which checks out with his ability to fully function just two days later, but his attorneys now allege that part of his skull was fractured.
At the time of the assisted suicide, Alex Murdaugh’s late son Paul was also being investigated for his role in a 2019 boating accident that resulted in the death of 19-year-old Mallory Beach, who was thrown off the side of the boat as it crashed. According to reports, he was intoxicated while driving the boat.
Another investigation into the death of a 19-year-old named Stephen Smith, has also been reopened from 2015, based on information that Alex provided authorities with into the murder of his wife and son.
As the investigation into the murders of his wife and son continue, Murdaugh has elected to enter rehab for his drug addiction. He is “entering rehab after a long battle that has been exacerbated by these murders.”
“I am immensely sorry to everyone I’ve hurt including my family, friends, and colleagues,” he said. “I ask for prayers as I rehabilitate myself and my relationships.”