The suspicious roadside shooting of embattled South Carolina lawyer Alex Murdaugh was all a setup, police said. He was never supposed to survive.
Murdaugh, 53, admitted to officials that he planned the shooting so his son could collect a life insurance payout of about $10 million, the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division announced late Tuesday.
On Sept. 4, the legal scion arranged to meet with Curtis Edward Smith, provided him with the gun that would be used in the shooting and specifically directed him to shoot him in the head, according to police.
Smith then followed Murdaugh to a rural road and shot the man as he stood next to his car. Smith drove off and dumped the gun.
The plan fell apart, though, when Murdaugh survived the shooting.
On Monday, Murdaugh confessed to the scheme, according to police, telling officers that he had planned the entire thing so his son, Buster, would get the life insurance money.
Smith, 61, has been 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.
Murdaugh has not yet been arrested or charged, but SLED said more charges are expected in the case.
The bizarre twist in the case is just the latest scandal to befall the Murdaugh family, which began when Alex’s wife, 52-year-old Maggie, and younger son Paul, 22, were found fatally shot on their Hampton County property in June.