Curtis Smith, the man accused of shooting former South Carolina lawyer Alex Murdaugh, was released from jail on a $20,000 bond and is insisting that he is innocent. Smith, who is a former client, drug dealer, and distant cousin of Murdaughs said that the former lawyer set him up to be the shooter.
Smith, who works in the logging industry, was arrested and charged on multiple charges, including assisted suicide, assault and battery of a high aggravated nature, presenting and pointing a firearm, conspiracy to commit insurance fraud and insurance fraud.
He told the media that he never colluded with Alex Murdaugh to help him commit suicide and that he never intended to be the shooter. During an interview with the New York Post, Curtis Smith shook his head no when asked if he had been Alex Murdaugh’s drug dealer for the last 20 years and if he had ever done drugs himself.
After being released from jail, Curtis Smith said the original photos of him made him look bad.
“I know what they’re trying to say about me and it ain’t true,” Curtis said. “It was the craziest situation I ever been involved with. I was set up to be the fall guy. And those damn pictures of me in the newspaper! I was looking at them this morning. They didn’t let me take a damn shower!”
According to Smith, he received a call from Murdaugh to meet him on the side of the road in Hampton County, SC. Smith thought his distant cousin wanted him to help him fix something on his car, but when he arrived Murdaugh allegedly started waving a weapon and looked like he was going to shoot himself.
The two men struggled with the weapon before it went off. Smith got scared and took off in his car with the weapon.
Police reports and Alex Murdaugh tell a different story. The former South Carolina lawyer said that he gave Curtis Smith a gun and told him to kill him so his son could receive a $10 million life insurance policy. Police believe that Murdaugh’s attempted suicide was fueled by his growing opioid addiction and the death of his wife and son three months ago.
Maggie and Paul Murdaugh were found killed on their South Carolina property. It was Alex Murdaugh who found the bodies and according to police reports both mother and son were shot in the back of the head. No suspects have been arrested in connection with their deaths.
Attorney Mark Tinsley said that the recent crimes surrounding the Murdaugh family are just “red herrings and misinformation in this case that’s being used to obscure what really happened to Maggie and Paul.”
Their deaths started a strange series of crimes all connected to Alex Murdaugh and his family. Two months after the death of his wife and son, Alex called police saying that he had been shot at on the side of the road. At the time, he told police that his shooter was unknown. He went to the hospital with a superficial gun shot wound to the side of his head and then his world continued to crumble.
A day after his roadside 911 call, the former prominent South Carolina lawyer was removed from his family’s law firm, accused of embezzling money, entered rehab and then finally confessed to staging the attempt on his life.
Police are unsure if the deaths three months ago are connected with the current crimes that Alex Murdaugh is being investigated for. They are also looking into two more unsolved crimes for their connection with the Murdaugh family, the 2018 death of Gloria Satterfield, who was a housekeeper for the Murdaughs, and the 2019 boating death of Mallory Beach.
“Based upon a request from the Hampton County Coroner earlier today, as well as information gathered during the course of our other ongoing investigations involving Alex Murdaugh, SLED is opening a criminal investigation into the death of Gloria Satterfield and the handling of her estate,” said the SLED investigative team.
Gloria Satterfield died while working for the Murdaugh family, and according to her close relatives, her death was never investigated. No official autopsy was conducted and her death was never reported to the local coroner’s office. Her cause of death was ruled as natural.
Satterfield had been working for the Murdaugh family for over two decades and after her death, a wrongful death suit was filed for $500,000. Her family is now saying that they never received that money, despite Alex Murdaugh promising to take care of them.
Police also believe that the 2019 death of Mallory Beach is connected to the Murdaugh family. At the time of his death, Paul Murdaugh was being investigated for his role in the crime. Back in 2019 he was allegedly driving the boat that later crashed and killed the young girl. According to police reports, Paul was drunk at the time of the accident. While charges against him were dropped after his death according to protocol, the Beach family is suing the Murdaughs for their role in the death of their daughter.
Neighbors of the Murdaughs spoke to the New York Post following the arrest of Curtis Smith and Alex Murdaugh and many of them spoke anonymously. One woman told reporters that she is scared of the Murdaugh family and the power that they hold in the community.