South Carolina lawyer Alex Murdaugh turned himself in on Thursday to face charges related to insurance fraud and other crimes after state police claim he tried to get himself killed so that his son would be able to claim $10 million in life insurance bonuses, but the gunman only grazed him.
In a statement, Murdaugh's defense attorney argued that his client was deeply depressed with worsening drug addiction when he discovered the bodies of his wife and son. The two victims were shot multiple times inside their home on June 7, which have remained unsolved.
Botched Suicide Attempt
Murdaugh, 53 years old, faces three felony charges, including insurance fraud, conspiracy to commit insurance fraud, and filing a false police report. He was transported to the Hampton County jail roughly five hours before his bond hearing. The suspect could get up to 20 years in prison if convicted of all charges, but there is no set minimum sentence for his crimes.
The lawyer's former client was arrested late Tuesday, facing an assisted suicide charge and police announced a sixth investigation into him and his family. The most recent analysis includes a housekeeper and nanny who died inside his home in 2018, NPR reported.
The suspect's bail was set at $20,000, and he told his lawyers on Monday about the details of his attempted suicide. "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 on Wednesday.
Murdaugh agreed to surrender his passport and waive any extradition as he is expected to undergo addiction treatment out of state. Prosecutor Creighton Waters considered the suspect a danger to the community, asking Hampton County Judge Tonja Alexander to raise the bail to $100,000.
Waters argued that while the charges under the law were not considered violent, he believed the case's underlying facts to be damaging. Harpootlian agreed to nearly all allegations made against Murdaugh, who cited opioid addiction for his actions, Yahoo News reported.
The man that Murdaugh hired to shoot him dead in the head was found to be 61-year-old Curtis Edward Smith, who had his bond hearing on Thursday. The judge at the hearing set the man's bail at $55,000. The suspect faces several charges, including assisted suicide and insurance fraud.
Murdaugh, the former legal expert who bought drugs, allegedly gave Smith a firearm and asked the man to shoot him in the head. On Sept. 4, the botched suicide attempt was conducted but only resulted in a grazed shot that injured Murdaugh instead of killing him.
The suspect's lawyers said he was in drug rehab for about ten days after his law firm fired him over missing money that totaled millions of dollars. SLED Chief Mark Keel said that the company was committed to working with authorities to bring justice to anyone involved in any criminal activity associated with the ongoing investigations, Fox News reported.