Murdaugh’s attorney, Jim Griffin, told CNN’s Martin Savidge that they were told that an arrest warrant had been issued against Murdaugh for conspiring to commit insurance fraud. Murdaugh plans to surrender voluntarily to the Hampton County Jail Thursday, no later than 2 p.m., according to Griffin.
Curtis Edward Smith, 61, who allegedly shot Murdaugh, has been charged with assisted suicide, aggravated and aggravated assault and battery, robbery and display of a firearm, fraud insurance and conspiracy to commit insurance fraud, according to the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division. (SLED).
Murdaugh, a lawyer, had previously represented Smith in unrelated legal proceedings, court documents show.
In a statement, attorneys Harpootlian and Jim Griffin said their client “was not without fault” but added that his “life has been devastated by opioid addiction.”
“Over the past 20 years, many people have fueled his opioid addiction,” the lawyers said. “During this time, these people took advantage of his addiction and his ability to pay substantial sums for illegal drugs. One of these people took advantage of his mental illness and agreed to kill Alex by shooting him in the body. the head.”
A series of bloody tragedies
On Wednesday, SLED announced the opening of a criminal investigation into the death of Gloria Satterfield in February 2018 and the management of her estate.
Satterfield was the housekeeper of the Murdaugh family for more than two decades before she died in 2018 after what was described as a “trip and fall accident” at the Murdaugh’s home, according to attorney Eric Bland, who represents her. succession.
SLED said he was opening an inquest based on a request from the Hampton County Coroner that highlights inconsistencies in the ruling on how Satterfield died, as well as information gathered in other inquests in SLED course involving Alex Murdaugh.
“The death of the deceased was not reported to the coroner at the time, and no autopsy was performed. On the death certificate, the death was deemed ‘natural’, which is inconsistent with the injuries sustained in a trip and fall accident, ”the coroner said. ask SLED said.
In the aftermath of Satterfield’s death, a wrongful death claim of $ 500,000 was filed against Alex Murdaugh on behalf of his estate, Bland said. But the estate has yet to receive any of the $ 500,000 owed from a wrongful death settlement in 2018, Bland added.
The attorney filed a lawsuit Wednesday on behalf of Satterfield’s estate against Alex Murdaugh, former estate attorney Cory Fleming, as well as Palmetto State Bank.
“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 really regret,” he said in the statement. “I am resigning from my law firm and entering rehab after a long battle that has been exacerbated by these murders. I am extremely sorry for everyone I have hurt, including my family, friends and my colleagues. I ask for prayers as I rehabilitate myself. and my relationships. “
61 years old accused of assisted suicide, conspiracy
Murdaugh was not fatally injured when he was shot on September 4. He later called 911 to report that he had been shot on a road in Hampton County, according to SLED, and he was taken to a hospital in Savannah, Georgia.
Authorities initially described Murdaugh’s injury as a “superficial gunshot wound to the head,” although Murdaugh’s lawyers said his skull was fractured in the shooting.
A family spokesperson initially released a statement saying an unidentified man shot Murdaugh. “Alex pulled over after seeing a low tire warning light. A driver in a blue pickup asked him if he had any car problems, as soon as Alex answered he was shot,” says the communicated.
There is more to the story, however, according to the affidavit.
Murdaugh allegedly provided Smith, a 61-year-old man from Colleton County, with a gun and ordered him to shoot him in the head, the affidavit states. The purpose of the scheme was for Smith to kill Murdaugh so that his son could collect the life insurance payment, according to the affidavit.
Smith admitted on Tuesday that he was present during the shooting and disposed of the gun afterwards, the affidavit states.
Charges for the alleged shooting and conspiracy are based in Hampton County. Smith was also charged with distributing methamphetamine and possession of marijuana in Colleton County, according to SLED. The drugs were found during a search of Smith’s home on Tuesday, according to the affidavit.
It is not clear whether Smith retained the services of a lawyer. The Colleton County Sheriff’s Office said Smith held a bail hearing Wednesday morning and received a $ 5,000 cash bond for the methamphetamine charge and a personal recognizance for the marijuana charge. He was transferred to Hampton County custody on Wednesday afternoon, authorities said.
Murdaugh had represented Smith as his attorney on at least two occasions dating back to 2010, according to Colleton County 14th Circuit Court records.
He first represented Smith in a personal injury lawsuit that Smith brought against a land management company, and Murdaugh is also listed as Smith’s attorney for a traffic violation in 2013, the documents show. judicial.
Murdaugh’s lawyer says he was depressed and suicidal
Additionally, allegations that Murdaugh embezzled funds from his Peters, Murdaugh, Parker, Eltzroth and Detrick (PMPED) law firm came alongside a self-initiated rehab, which Harpootlian says sent Murdaugh into “a massive depression”.
Murdaugh decided to end his life but believed his life insurance policy had a suicide exclusion, his lawyer said. Harpootlian said Murdaugh’s ploy “was an attempt on his part to do something to protect his child,” Buster, his eldest and only child alive.
Harpootlian said he and Griffin visited Murdaugh on Monday at an out-of-state drug rehabilitation center.
“We actually had the first conversation we have ever had with him where he was not on opioids or oxy. And as a result of that he clearly knew what he had done was wrong,” said Harpootlian.
Harpootlian has said he expects Murdaugh to eventually be charged in the conspiracy case, but his client hopes authorities will remain focused on solving the murder of his wife and son.
In a statement to CNN, Harpootlian and Griffin said Murdaugh is cooperating with authorities and continues to deny playing a role in the murder of his wife and son.
“On September 4, it became clear that Alex believed that ending his life was his only option. Today, he knows that is not true,” the attorneys said.
“Alex is cooperating fully with SLED in their investigations into his shooting, his opioid use and the search for the person (s) responsible for the murder of his wife and son.”
CNN’s Melissa Alonso, Angela Barajas, Caroline Kenny and Rebekah Riess contributed to this report.