Judge revokes bond for man accused of shooting disgraced lawyer Alex Murdaugh in an attempted insurance fraud scheme
By Amir Vera and Maria Cartaya, CNN
A South Carolina judge revoked bond Thursday for Curtis Edward Smith, the man accused of shooting disgraced attorney Alex Murdaugh in the head last year in an alleged insurance fraud scheme.
Smith, a former acquaintance and client of Murdaugh, faces a myriad of charges in relation to his involvement with the former attorney.
Judge Clifton Newman said Smith misrepresented his financial status and “willfully violated the house arrest conditions of his bond.”
He added: “Mr. Smith came to me from jail. His bond is revoked and he is put back in jail.”
Misleading the court about money was “the initial reason for the motion to revoke bond,” said the state prosecutor, adding that GPS tracking information showed Smith visited Walmart, private residences, and other locations “inconsistent with his house arrest.”
Defense attorneys argued that Smith “is a man of limited means,” and was driving for work-related and medical purposes.
Smith, who was in court, issued an apology, saying in part he was not trying to hide the money.
“I’ve had to take almost all that money just to bond myself out,” he said.
Smith faces multiple charges in connection to his relationship with Murdaugh
In June, Smith and Murdaugh were indicted in by a South Carolina State grand jury on two counts of criminal conspiracy.
According to the indictment, over the course of eight years, Murdaugh gave Smith “hundreds of checks with common understanding that Smith would convert the checks into cash,” with the proceeds going to Murdaugh’s “benefit with the intent of carrying on and concealing myriad unlawful activities.”
The charges against Murdaugh and Smith involved “approximately 437 checks totaling approximately $2.4 million that went from Murdaugh to Smith from October 7, 2013, through February 28, 2021,” according to a news release from South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson’s office.
Smith was also charged with four counts of money laundering over $100,000, forgery and “three other drug offenses, including allegedly trafficking over 10 grams of methamphetamine,” according to the news release.
On top of that, Smith is accused of shooting Murdaugh in an attempted insurance scam in September of 2021, according to South Carolina Law Enforcement Division. The agency charged Smith with assisted suicide, assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature, pointing and presenting a firearm, insurance fraud and conspiracy to commit insurance fraud.
Murdaugh, himself, faces more than 70 charges related to accusations of defrauding victims of nearly $8.5 million in different schemes.
In July, the South Carolina Supreme Court disbarred Murdaugh, the announcement came just before he pleaded not guilty to two counts of murder and two counts of possession of a weapon during a violent crime in connection to the deaths of his wife, Margaret “Maggie” Murdaugh, and their youngest son, Paul Murdaugh. Both were found shot to death on the family’s property in June 2021.
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Eric Levenson, Dakin Andone and Dianne Gallagher contributed to this report.