Murdaugh, Curtis Smith hit with new SC grand jury indictments
State (Columbia, SC)
Disgraced attorney Alex Murdaugh and accomplice Curtis Smith have been hit with new state grand jury indictments that include drug trafficking charges.
South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson on Tuesday morning announced Murdaugh and Curtis Smith, 62, have been indicted on two conspiracy counts that includes a narcotics count related to oxycodone. Smith was also indicted on four counts of money laundering, three counts of forgery, trafficking methamphetamine 10-28 grams, one count of unlawful possession of a schedule II controlled substance and marijuana possession.
At the Richland County courthouse Tuesday, Judge Clifton Newman set Smith’s bond at $250,000, with house arrest and ankle monitoring.
“These are serious crimes,” Newman said.
Tuesday’s bond hearing is the latest event in an ever-expanding series of criminal acts allegedly committed by Murdaugh, a once-respected lawyer from one of the state’s most eminent legal families, and several of his associate since 2010.
Murdaugh wrote Smith “hundreds of checks” from 2013 to 2021 worth a total of $2.4 million and then Smith used the proceeds to help Murdaugh conceal “a myriad of unlawful activities,” said the conspiracy indictment.
Smith, of Walterboro, was arrested Friday by the State Law Enforcement Division and being held in the Colleton County jail. Until Tuesday, the attorney general’s office and the State Law Enforcement Division remained mum on his charges.
Smith has had a long association with Murdaugh, who remains in the same jail to which Smith was brought Monday. Murdaugh, jailed on numerous financial fraud charges, has been unable to post a $7 million bond.
A former client of Murdaugh’s named in a December lawsuit, Smith is alleged to have gotten some $2 million over the years in money that Murdaugh stole from his law firm, clients and associates, according to the lawsuit.
Tuesday’s indictment elaborated on charges first raised in the December lawsuit, filed by attorneys Eric Bland and Ronnie Richter, to recoup money Murdaugh allegedly stole from the estate of his deceased housekeepere, Gloria Satterfield.
In September 2021, Smith was charged with conspiring to commit insurance fraud in aiding a suicide attempt by Murdaugh so Murdaugh’s son, Buster, could collect a $10 million life insurance payout. Murdaugh was charged with insurance fraud.
In that incident, Murdaugh gave Smith a gun and told Smith to shoot him in the head so Buster could get the insurance money, warrants said. But the plot didn’t work. Murdaugh claimed he had a head wound; Smith has claimed he backed out of the plot.
Days after the shooting, Murdaugh announced he was resigning from his family’s law firm and entering treatment for an opioid drug addiction. At the same time, his former law firm, Peters Murdaugh Parker Eltzroth Detrick, also accused Murdaugh of taking money from the firm.
Three months earlier, in June 2021, Murdaugh’s wife, Maggie, and youngest son, Paul, were fatally shot on the family’s 1,700-acre estate in Colleton County.
No charges have been brought in those killings. SLED continues to investigate, and Murdaugh has been named as a person of interest in the case.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.