A South Carolina man who was accused of shooting prominent lawyer Alex Murdaugh, 53, in a staged suicide attempt claims he was set up and that the lawyer shot himself after his gun accidentally went off while he was waving it in the air.
Curtis Smith, 61, of Walterboro, South Carolina, who has been charged in the September 4 botched suicide plot, allegedly used to sell drugs to Murdaugh.
‘It was the craziest situation I ever been involved with. I was set up to be the fall guy,’ he told the New York Post. ‘I know what they’re trying to say about me and it ain’t true.’
Since the shooting, Murdaugh has admitted a 20-year opioid addiction, and has been checked into an out-of-state rehabilitation facility – without GPS monitoring – after being released on $20,000 bond while he faces charges for misappropriating millions from his legal firm.
The shooting came only months after Murdaugh’s son Paul and wife Maggie were gunned down and murdered in their hunting lodge in Islandton on June 7. No arrests have been made in that case.
Murdaugh admitted to his lawyers around September 13 that he hired Smith to kill him so his surviving son Buster could collect the $10million insurance policy.
But, Smith claimed the twisted story is completely false and claims that the Labor Day weekend shooting was accidental.
A South Carolina man who was accused of shooting prominent lawyer Alex Murdaugh, 53, in a staged suicide attempt claims he was set up. Curtis Smith, 61, of Walterboro, South Carolina, who has been charged in the September 4 botched suicide plot, allegedly used to sell drugs to Murdaugh
He told the New York Post that he didn’t conspire with Murdaugh about the assisted suicide attempt, but that he got a call from Murdaugh that Saturday afternoon.
‘I get a call from Alex that Saturday afternoon to come to where he was and I thought it was maybe to fix something,’ Smith told the New York Post.
Smith didn’t question it and got into his silver Chevy pickup and ‘went over there.’
He said when he got to the rural stretch of Old Salkehatchie Road, he found Murdaugh in his car. When the lawyer got out, he was waving around a gun.
Smith said he wrestled with him to get the gun before it went off and he ran.
‘The gun kind of went off above his head and I got scared to death and I ran to my truck and took off,’ he told the Post.
Smith, who was still in possession of Murdaugh’s gun, said he didn’t look back and didn’t know how badly the other man was injured. Murdaugh had no visible injury when he arrived at his bonding hearing on Wednesday.
Smith, who doesn’t have any legal representation yet, but hopes to find one ‘with a bone to pick’ toward the family, said: ‘I never did nothing. I’ve never heard anyone. It’s that simple.’
He also claimed he was ‘naïve’ to be caught up in the family’s drama.
Murdaugh’s lawyer also alleged that Smith was Alex’s longtime drug dealer, which he denies.
Murdaugh’s other son Paul (second to right) and his wife Maggie (middle) were gunned down and murdered in their hunting lodge in Islandton on June 7. He has one remaining son, Buster (left)
Controversy is not far from the family: Paul (pictured) was accused of driving a boat recklessly while drunk in 2019 and killing Mallory Beach, 19, (pictured). An investigation has also been launched into the family’s longtime housekeeper Gloria Satterfield’s accidental death after she apparently had a ‘trip and fall’ accident inside the family’s home
Despite being ‘set up,’ Smith admitted to the New York Post that he didn’t hold a grudge against Murdaugh, but advised him not to mess with him.
‘I wouldn’t advise him to try to set me up. I’d strongly advise against that,’ he told the Post.
Curtis has been charged with assisted suicide, assault and battery of a high aggravated nature, pointing and presenting a firearm, insurance fraud, and conspiracy to commit insurance fraud
The Murdaugh family has been wrapped up in controversy lately after their belated son Paul crashed a boat in 2019, killing a girl and the mysterious death of the family’s longtime housekeeper.
Paul Murdaugh, 22, was accused of driving a boat recklessly while drunk when it smashed into Archer’s Creek Bridge in Beaufort County in February 2019.
There were six friends on board, including Mallory Beach, 19, who died when she was thrown from the vessel. Her body was found on in the water by a fisherman a week later.
Murdaugh was later charged with three felony counts, including causing Beach’s death. He was awaiting trial when he and his mother, Maggie Murdaugh, 52, were found gunned down on their hunting estate in Islandton in June. Their murders remain a mystery.
The longtime housekeeper Gloria Satterfield’s children recently filed a lawsuit involving a huge insurance payout that was tied to the woman’s death.
Satterfield, 57, apparently had a ‘trip and fall accident’ inside the Murdaugh’s home, which killed her. The exact details of the fall remain unclear to this day.
Family murders, deaths, drug addictions, thefts and arrests: The riddles facing investigators who’ve now charged Alex Murdaugh
2015: Teenager Stephen Smith dies
Cops investigating the double murder have also reopened the case into a 2015 hit-and-run of teen Stephen Smith
Smith was found on the side of the road.
Police officially rule his death a hit-and-run but he had suffered blunt force trauma to the head
His mother has since shared her belief that she thinks he was killed in a hate-crime because he was gay
Case notes obtained by DailyMail.com revealed Paul’s older brother Buster was named multiple times in the investigation.
Police wanted to know more about his relationship with Stephen
Stephen’s mother said he had been having a ‘fling’.
In a deposition years later, one of Paul’s friends said the family had ‘covered’ other killings up.
He mentioned Smith’s death.
2018: Murdaugh family housekeeper Gloria Satterfield dies
Murdaugh family housekeeper Gloria Sattlerfield dies
Gloria died after ‘falling’ down the stairs in the family house
The family gave her family $500.000 in a wrongful death settlement but it’s unclear why her death was ruled to be their fault.
Alex Murdaugh was listed as the defendant in the lawsuit.
Satterfield was only 57 when she died.
She left behind a husband and children.
Her death was also mentioned in the deposition by Paul Murdaugh’s friend.
2019: Mallory Beach dies being thrown from boat driven by Paul Murdaugh
Mallory Beach, 19, died in February 2019
Paul was charged afterwards because he’d been drinking and was behaving ‘belligerently’ that night.
He had been released on bond.
Other kids were on the boat but were unharmed.
One testified that they were scared to speak about the Murdaugh family because they knew how to ‘cover things up’.
That boy named Stephen Smith and the housekeeper, and claimed Paul pushed her
June 7 2021: Paul and Maggie are murdered
The mom and son were found shot dead at the family home in Hampton, South Carolina.
Alex Murdaugh says he found them at the home.
The medical examiner said the pair had been dead for an hour at most when he discovered them.
Alex’s son Paul, 22, (left) and wife Maggie, 52, (right) were found dead from multiple gunshot wounds on June 7 at the family hunting lodge
Alex’s father Randolph Murdaugh III died ‘peacefully’ at home three days after Maggie and Paul were found shot dead
June 10 2021: Alex’s 81-year-old father Randolph Murdaugh III dies ‘naturally’ and ‘peacefully’ at home
September 3: Alex resigns from his law firm amid claims he misused funds
The firm has hired a forensic investigator to go through the accounts
September 4: Alex calls 911 claiming he’s been shot in the head in a drive-by.
He only had ‘surface’ wounds and was also able to call his brother
September 6: Alex resigns from his law firm
The South Carolina legal scion releases a statement confirming his resignation from the firm and announcing he has entered rehab
He said: ‘I’m resigning from my law firm and entering rehab after a long battle that has been exacerbated these murders.’
September 16: Alex turns himself into police over insurance fraud scheme
Murdaugh handed himself over to cops in connection to insurance fraud scheme where he arranged his own killing so that his surviving son could collect $10 million payout.
He faces charges of insurance fraud, conspiracy to commit insurance fraud and filing a false police report.
Sons of Alex Murdaugh’s housekeeper, who died in mysterious fall, say they are ‘scared’ after his release on $20k bail to drug rehab facility: ‘The Murdaugh family are not the types of folks you make waves against’
The sons of a housekeeper who mysteriously died after a fall while working at Alex Murdaugh’s home four years ago say they are ‘scared’ and ‘shell-shocked’ to learn he is out of jail on a $20,000 bond.
Murdaugh, who had been shot on September 4 in Hampton County, surrendered Thursday to face insurance fraud charges after police said he arranged to have himself shot in the head so that his son would get a $10 million life insurance payout.
The prominent South Carolina lawyer was freed on bail and was allowed to travel to an out-of-state rehabilitation facility – where he is being treated for opioid addiction – without GPS monitoring.
The man who allegedly shot him, Curtis Edward Smith, was a former client of Murdaugh.
Now, Ronnie Richter, an attorney representing Murdaugh’s late housekeeper Gloria Satterfield’s sons, Michael ‘Tony’ Satterfield and Brian Harriot, says they fear retribtuion from the powerful family, Fox News reports.
‘They’re shell-shocked. They’re glad that an investigation is finally going to take place, but they learned of the investigation the same time that you did,’ Richter said Friday.
The Murdaughs are a prominent legal family who have been prosecuting in South Carolina’s Low Country for three generations and at least 111 years.
‘It’s been a whirlwind for [the sons]. They [the Murdaugh’s] are not the kind of folks who are going to make waves, and the Murdaugh family are not the types of folks you make waves against in Hampton County,’ Richter added.
Gloria Satterfield, pictured, fell in Alex Murdaugh’s home while working as a housekeeper and died at a hospital weeks later on Feb. 26, 2018
On September 3, the 53-year-old had been fired for allegedly embezzling money from PMPED, the personal injury law firm his great grandfather founded in Hampton, South Carolina back in 1910.
Murdaugh’s wife Maggie and their son Paul, 22, were murdered in June. No arrests have been made in that case as of Saturday.
A day before Murdaugh turned himself in, Satterfield’s sons filed a lawsuit in Hampton County, the same day the South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) opened a criminal investigation into her February 2018 death.
‘Their mom died in 2018, and they were assured by Alex, by Corey, that they were being taken care of. They didn’t even learn of the $500,000 settlement until it was reported in the press earlier this year,’ Richter told Fox News.
‘They’ve been scared, betrayed. I think finally enough daylight has hit this that they’re finding their resolve to fight for the answers.’
The $505,000 settlement in question was supposed to be paid out by Murdaugh’s insurance company over the death of their mother. Richter said Friday morning that the amount is closer to $4 million.
Satterfield fell in Murdaugh’s home and died at a hospital weeks later on Feb. 26, 2018.
After her death, Murdaugh introduced Satterfield’s sons to his ‘good friend’ Corey Fleming after her funeral, so that Fleming could help the sons file legal claims against him for the wrongful death of their mother, according to their lawsuit.
At the time, the two sons were unaware that Fleming was Murdaugh’s college roommate as well as the godfather to his son, Paul.
Claims were brought against Murdaugh with the help of a banker friend, Chad Westendorf, who ‘stipulated that (Murdaugh) was at fault for the death of Gloria Satterfield,’ meaning his insurance company would paid $505,000 to settle the claims.
However, the two say that they ‘have not received the first dollar’ to date, the lawsuit states.
‘That settlement carved out the right to pursue other settlements from other insurance policies,’ Richter said.
‘And we have it on good information that other recoveries were made for which they also received no money. So we think that $500,000 is the tip of the iceberg.’
Their attorney told Fox News that Murdaugh, Westendorf and Fleming could have very well been paid out far more than the initial half million, as Murdaugh’s home ‘was insured by one or more carriers, including Lloyds of London,’ the outlet reports.
Meanwhile, Angie Topper, Hampton County’s coroner, personally asked SLED Chief Mark Keel to open an investigation into Satterfield’s death, citing the death certificates’ manner of death as ‘natural’ despite injuries inconsistent with those in a typical fall-type accident.
An autopsy on Satterfield’s body was never performed, according to Fox News.
‘What is part of our case is the not-knowing part. That the only person that reported what happened is Alex Murdaugh, and obviously he’s proven himself to be less than a reliable source of information,’ Richter said.
‘Then subsequently, there was no investigation – her death was described as of natural causes, and falling to your death at somebody’s house is not exactly what I would call a natural cause.’
‘I don’t know how or why a death resulting from a fall in a home was considered natural causes and not investigated at all.’