Murdaugh thought his son wouldn't get the money if he died by suicide. So he schemed with a client to have himself killed.
A well-known lawyer in South Carolina, Alex Murdaugh, is accused of orchestrating his own murder so that his son would get an insurance payout.
A few months back, his wife and son were both killed on June 7. And Murdaugh denied having any involvement in their murders. Now, in the wake of half of his immediate family being killed, Murdaugh reportedly conspired with an old client of his so that his surviving son would get the insurance money.
Murdaugh was reportedly depressed and began scheming his own murder because he thought his son would not get any insurance money if he died by suicide. So he got in touch with his client, Curtis Edward Smith, 61, and came up with a plan to be shot at the hands of Smith.
"He called this guy [Mr Smith] who met him on the side of the road and agreed to shoot him in the head," defense attorney Dick Harpootlian told NBC, as quoted by BBC. "It was an attempt, on his part, to do something to protect his child."
Earlier in September, Murdaugh resigned from his law firm and was shot the very next day. On September 4, the prominent lawyer was found on the side of the road with a gunshot wound; however, the wound on his head was reportedly "superficial."
Initially, Murdaugh's lawyers claimed that an unidentified shooter shot him while he was out on the street changing a tyre. However, Murdaugh and his lawyers have changed their track and are now admitting that he conspired with Smith to execute the murder.
On Thursday, September 16, Murdaugh arrived at the Hampton County Law Enforcement Center and surrendered himself. The lawyer faces charges of insurance fraud, conspiracy to commit insurance fraud, and filing a false police report, according to CNN.
As for Smith, who also admitted his role in the insurance fraud scheme, he is also facing charges that include conspiracy to commit insurance fraud, assault and battery, assisted suicide, and possession of drugs.
In a hearing that took place on Thursday, Prosecutor Creighton Waters said Murdaugh is a danger to the community, according to NBC News. "While the charges here under the law are not violent the underlying facts are violent," said Waters.
On the other hand, defense attorney Harpootlian argued that Murdaugh was not a threat to society and blamed his actions on opioid addiction.
"This crime involved his attempt to have himself shot, so his son could collect insurance money. The only violence he's ever been involved in is this, which was to have himself executed," Harpootlian said. "So he's not a danger to the community. The only person he's a danger to is himself."
According to BBC, Murdaugh had decided to surrender so that his "fake crime" would not distract law enforcement agencies from finding the murderers behind his wife and son's deaths.
Following Thursday's hearing, Murdaugh was allowed to post a bond of $20,000 and needs to continue receiving drug addiction treatment.
Cover image: Police Handout