Curtis ‘Eddie’ Smith boasted to friends that cops ‘wouldn’t find anything’ when they searched his home and appeared untroubled despite being told he was a suspect in the shooting of Alex Murdaugh, DailyMail.com can reveal.
Smith, 61, was arrested on Tuesday and charged on multiple counts including conspiracy and assisted suicide for his role in the shooting after Murdaugh, 53, claimed to having staged the attack in a bid to secure a $10million life insurance windfall for his surviving son Richard Alexander ‘Buster,’ Murdaugh Jr, 25.
But, while neighbors expressed shock at this latest twist in the spiraling Murdaugh saga, one long-time acquaintance told DailyMail.com that Smith had been talking of his potential involvement in the crime when out in Walterboro last week.
According to Henry Vandermark, who has known the man he described as ‘straight-dealing’ and ‘friendly,’ for more than a decade, Smith was blasé when he told him that cops had visited his Walterboro home last week and informed him that he was a suspect in the bizarre roadside shooting.
Murdaugh shooting suspect Curtis Edward Smith, 61, is seen at his bond hearing Thursday morning at Hampton County Detention Center where his bail was set at $55,000
Smith appeared disheveled and disoriented in a beige prison jumpsuit as the judge broke down each of his charges
Alex’s son Paul and wife Maggie (together center) were shot dead on June 7. Now police say that Alex Murdaugh (far right) orchestrated a separate shooting to kill himself with the help of a hitman, as part of plot for his other son Buster (far left) to collect a $10million life insurance payout
He said: ‘He told me, “the police have been round and told me I’m a suspect [in the Alex Murdaugh shooting] and wanted to search my house.”
‘I said, “Go ahead, you won’t find anything”.’
Smith, 61, was arrested and charged on Tuesday on multiple counts including assisted suicide and conspiracy to commit insurance fraud in connection with Alex Murdaugh’s shooting
According to Vandermark, Smith didn’t seem at all worried or concerned about the development. ‘It didn’t seem to bother him at all,’ he said.
Despite Smith’s admission, Vandermark said that he ‘couldn’t believe it’ when he saw that his long-time acquaintance had been arrested Tuesday.
In fact, investigators had been closing in on the man whom Murdaugh allegedly hired to shoot him while the legal scion’s attorneys were still publicly peddling the tale of a random roadside ambush even offering more ‘facts’ given by their client in a bid to shore up his story.
Smith appeared disheveled and disoriented Thursday morning when he appeared for his bond hearing at Hampton County Detention Center.
The judge broke down each of Smith’s charges and set bail accordingly: on the charge of pointing a firearm at a person bond was set at $5,000; on the insurance and misrepresentation $10,000; on conspiracy, $5,000; on assisting a person committing suicide, $15,000 and on assault and battery bond was $20,000.
Smith signed his paperwork and said that he expected his bail bondsman to pay the $55,000 later this morning.
He had rocked to and fro in his seat throughout the hearing and as he made to leave muttered: ‘This is bogus. It’s all bogus.’
Asked by the judge if he had anything else to say he remained silent.
Alex Murdaugh is pictured in his mugshot after being charged with insurance fraud, conspiracy to commit insurance fraud and filing a false police report. His gunshot wound to the head is not visible in the photo
A few hours after Smith’s bond hearing Thursday, Alex Murdaugh was seen arriving at the Hampton County jail after surrendering to police on a charge of conspiracy to commit insurance fraud
The high-powered South Carolina attorney was dropped off at the facility in a silver SUV accompanied by a police escort just before noon. He was seen emerging from the passenger side in bright pink sneakers, gray pants and a light-colored shirt
Smith rocked to and fro in his seat throughout the hearing and as he made to leave muttered: ‘This is bogus. It’s all bogus’
Murdaugh was changing the tire on his car on this rural road in Hampton County when someone shot him from a passing car on September 4, according to his attorney
Just a few hours later, Alex Murdaugh was seen arriving at the Hampton County jail after surrendering to police on a charge of conspiracy to commit insurance fraud.
The high-powered South Carolina attorney was filmed being dropped off at the facility in a silver SUV accompanied by a police escort just before noon Thursday.
He emerged from the passenger side of the vehicle sporting bright pink sneakers, gray pants and a light-colored shirt.
He is expected to appear for a bond hearing in the case at 4pm at the Hampton County Magistrate Court.
Murdaugh is said to have called 911 from the side of Old Salkehatchie Road shortly after he was shot around 1pm on Saturday, September 4.
By the time law enforcement arrived, he was already being transported to hospital in Savannah suffering from what South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) has consistently described as a ‘superficial’ gunshot wound to the head.
Attorneys for Murdaugh have insisted that his injuries were far more serious, with lawyer Jim Griffin claiming that his client had ‘an entry and exit wound…fractured skull and minor brain bleed.’
Multiple casings were found on the scene near the Mercedes SUV being driven by Murdaugh that day and once owned by his wife, Maggie.
Last week Griffin stated that Murdaugh had told him that somebody in a blue truck had passed by and turned back as he tried to fix a flat tire by the side of the road.
According to neighbors, Smith, from Walterboro, seemed unbothered after learning he was a suspect in the case when cops visited his home last week. Pictured: Curtis Edward Smith’s home
Henry Vandermark, a friend of Smith, told DailyMail.com that the suspected hitman was blasé about the development and told cops ‘Go ahead, you won’t find anything’
Neighbors recalled seeing members of the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) were ‘crawling all over’ Smith’s property last week
On circling back, Murdaugh stated, the person rolled down their window and asked if he was having car trouble before opening fire.
Griffin also claimed that Murdaugh had worked with a SLED sketch artist to provide a sketch of the suspect, whom he did not admit to knowing, but the image was never released because investigators were not satisfied with it.
On Wednesday neighbors near Smith’s home in Walterboro, South Carolina told DailyMail.com that as Griffin made his claims members of the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) were ‘crawling all over the place.’
One who asked not to be named recalled: ‘There were cars all round there and members of SLED crawling all over the place last week.’
In fact, SLED executed multiple search warrants on Smith’s home on September 7, just three days after Murdaugh reported the roadside shooting.
And one day after Murdaugh, who has been accused of embezzling millions from his family law firm, issued a public statement in which he admitted to opioid addiction and said he was entering rehab.
One of Smith’s neighbors said: ‘It’s a total shock to wake up to a text saying, ‘Have you heard about your neighbor…?’ and then to learn this.
Smith was arrested Tuesday on charges of assisted suicide, assault and battery, pointing and presenting a firearm, insurance fraud and conspiracy to commit insurance fraud
The SLED executed multiple search warrants on Smith’s home on September 7, just three days after Murdaugh reported the roadside shooting, Pictured: SLED’s arrest warrant against Smith
Murdaugh is seen with his wife and son Paul, who were shot dead at the family hunting lodge on June 7. It was later revealed the elder Murdaugh faced investigation over misallocated funds
General view of the Moselle Hunting Lodge where Maggie and Paul Murdaugh were gunned down June 7. Their bodies were discovered by Murdaugh by the dog kennels
‘I had no idea he was into drugs and that sort of thing. I know he took something for his back which bothered him a long time, but I’d never have imagined he’d be involved in anything like this.’
Another told DailyMail.com that Smith was known by all as ‘Fast Eddie’ and was often seen driving around his large corner property on a golf buggy or hosting cookouts.
One visibly upset family member, who asked not to be named but confirmed that she was a relative, would say only that Smith’s arrest ‘was a massive shock.’
Fighting back tears she described Smith as ‘a sweet guy, a real sweet guy.’
Another neighbor said that, for the most part, Smith kept to himself and took pride in the vegetable garden he had planted at the back of his property.
Multiple cars, including a Mercedes convertible, and four jet skis were parked up by the spacious clapboard property that Smith once shared with his late mother, Emaline Murdaugh Smith.
Smith and Murdaugh are distant relatives though the men are understood to have first met when Murdaugh represented Smith in a minor traffic offense in 2013.
Earlier this week Alex Murdaugh’s lawyer, Dick Harpootlian (left), said he knows who killed the South Carolina legal scion’s wife and son earlier this year though he does expect his client to be arrested for embezzling funds from a law firm to fuel an addiction to painkillers. Murdaugh is seen right with his late wife, Maggie
Murdaugh only changed his story on Monday when he was visited by his attorneys Dick Harpootlian and Griffin at an out of state rehab center.
According to Harpootlian, it was the first time either of them had spoken to their client when he was not high on opioids, that he knew that what he had done was wrong and that he was in a ‘dark, dark place’ when he hatched the bizarre plot.
Murdaugh gave a statement to SLED admitting to the scheme, September 13.
According to Harpootlian he did not want to distract detectives investigating the murders of Maggie and Paul with the staged incident.
TIMELINE OF MURDAUGH FAMILY MURDERS, DEATHS, LAWSUITS AND ARRESTS
Cops investigating the double murder have also reopened the case into a 2015 hit-and-run of teen Stephen Smith
Murdaugh family housekeeper Gloria Sattlerfield dies
Mallory Beach, 19, died in February 2019
2015: Teenager Stephen Smith dies
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
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
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 releases a statement confirming his resignation from the firm and announcing he has entered rehab
Says ‘I’m resigning from my law firm and entering rehab after a long battle that has been exacerbated these murders.’