South Carolina Lawyer Accused of Trying to Stage Suicide Surrenders to Authorities

South Carolina Lawyer Accused of Trying to Stage Suicide Surrenders to Authorities South Carolina Lawyer Accused of Trying to Stage Suicide Surrenders to Authorities Alex Murdaugh. (Photo: Hampton County Detention Center)

By Theodore Bunker | Thursday, 16 September 2021 01:58 PM

Alex Murdaugh, a well-known attorney in South Carolina who is accused of attempting to stage his own suicide in an alleged insurance scam, has turned himself in to authorities, NBC News reports.

Murdaugh, 53, was shot in the head on September 4, just three months after his wife and adult son were killed in a double homicide that remains unsolved. According to his attorney, Murdaugh suffered from depression and hired a man to kill him under the belief that his life insurance had a clause that allowed his surviving son to collect his policy, which was worth $10 million, in the event of suicide.

He surrendered on Thursday at the Hampton County Law Enforcement Center, the location of the both sheriff’s office and the magistrate court. His bond hearing is set for 4 p.m., according to NBC. South Carolina Law Enforcement Division notes that he faces charges of insurance fraud, as well as conspiracy to commit insurance fraud and filing a false police report.

Only hours before he surrendered, a judge set bail at $55,000 for Curtis Edward Smith, the man accused of firing the shot in the alleged staged suicide attempt. He faces several charges, including conspiracy, insurance fraud, assault and battery, and assisting a person in a suicide.

“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,” SLED Chief Mark Keel said in a statement following the arrest. “The arrests in this case are only the first step in that process.”

Attorneys for Murdaugh told CBS News in a statement that “On September 4, it became clear Alex believed that ending his life was his only option. Today, he knows that's not true. For the last 20 years, there have been many people feeding his addiction to opioids. During that time, these individuals took advantage of his addiction and his ability to pay substantial funds for illegal drugs. One of those individuals took advantage of his mental illness and agreed to take Alex's life, by shooting him in the head. Fortunately, Alex was not killed by the gunshot wound.”

SLED is currently investigating the killings of Margaret and Paul Murdaugh, as well as the 2018 death of the family’s longtime housekeeper and nanny.