A South Carolina man accused of assisting attorney Alex Murdaugh with a failed suicide attempt to collect a $10 million life insurance policy has been re-arrested, authorities said.
Curtis Edwards Smith, 61, was taken into custody Friday, according to the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division. The charges include four counts of money laundering, three counts of forgery and criminal conspiracy, NBC affiliate WCBD-TV from Charleston reported. It is unclear whether the new charges are related to the Murdaugh case.
Smith was arrested earlier in September after investigators said Murdaugh gave him a gun and ordered Smith to kill him. Smith was charged with assisted suicide, assault and battery of a very serious nature, pointing and presenting a firearm, insurance fraud, conspiracy to commit insurance fraud and drug offences.
According to documents, Murdaugh admitted to police that the plan was for Smith to kill him so that Murdaugh’s son could collect a life insurance policy worth about $10 million. The Associated Press reported that Murdaugh had been Smith’s attorney in a speeding violation in 2013.
Murdaugh survived the September 4 shooting, which happened months after the unsolved murders of his wife, Margaret “Maggie” Murdaugh, and his other son, Paul. The couple were found dead at the family’s home in rural Islandton, South Carolina, about 100 miles west of Charleston.
Alex Murdaugh reported the deaths to 911 and told a dispatcher that he had returned home to find his wife and son on the ground and not breathing. Their deaths were ruled a double murder.
Richard Harpootlian, a lawyer for Murdaugh, said his client had nothing to do with the murders. Murdaugh has never been charged with the deaths.
Harpootlian previously said on NBC’s “TODAY” show that Murdaugh became depressed after death and started taking opioids. The attorney said Murdaugh believed there was a suicide clause in his insurance policy and enlisted a man to kill him during a “fake car breakdown.”
The trick was an “attempt on his part to do something to protect his child,” Harpootlian said. In a written statement, Harpootlian and Jim Griffin, another of Murdaugh’s attorneys, said their client “believed ending his life was his only option,” but now “know that’s not true.”