Judge sets Alex Murdaugh’s bond at $20K for insurance fraud and other charges stemming from Sept. 4th shooting

HAMPTON COUNTY, S.C. (WCBD) – Alex Murdaugh arrived at the Hampton County jail Thursday morning via police escort where he was taken into custody on a charge of conspiracy to commit insurance fraud and other crimes.

Alex Murdaugh (Hampton County Detention Center booking photo)

The State Law Enforcement Division said Murdaugh orchestrated his own shooting on September 4th so that a beneficiary could collect a $10 million life insurance policy.

News 2 first reported Wednesday evening that Murdaugh would voluntarily turn himself in to law enforcement Thursday after a warrant was issued for his arrest.

According to SLED, Murdaugh gave 61-year-old Curtis Edward Smith the gun and directed Smith to shoot him.

SLED confirmed Murdaugh’s arrest just after noon Thursday in connection to the September 4th shooting. He is charged with insurance fraud, conspiracy to commit insurance fraud, and filing a false police report.

“I can assure you that SLED agents will continue working to bring justice to anyone involved with any criminal act associated with these ongoing investigations,” said SLED Chief Mark Keel. “The arrests in this case are only the first step in that process.”

Affidavits from SLED show Murdaugh provided Smith with a gun and directed him to “shoot him in the head” for the purpose of causing his own death.

Reports also state Smith followed Murdaugh to a section of Old Salkehatchie Road, where the shooting occurred, and fired a shot as Murdaugh stood in the roadway.

“After shooting Mr. Murdaugh in the head, Mr. Smith drove to an unknown location where he disposed of the firearm,” warrants said.

Murdaugh survived the shooting and was taken to a hospital in Savannah, Georgia for treatment.

Affidavits further confirm that Murdaugh admitted to deflating his own tire with a knife. He provided a statement to SLED on September 13th, and Smith admitted to being present during the shooting and disposing of the firearm the next day.

Murdaugh was granted a $20,000 personal recognizance bond Thursday afternoon and surrendered his passport to the State Law Enforcement Divison.

His attorneys say he will return to an out-of-state rehab facility where he is seeking treatment. He is not allowed to leave that facility or he will face jail time, according to the judge.

The investigation by SLED was requested by the Hampton County Sheriff’s Office. The case will be prosecuted by the Attorney General’s Office.

Smith appeared in a Hampton County bond court Thursday morning where he was granted a $55,000 bond.

He is 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.