With Netflix’s ‘Murdaugh Murders: A Southern Scandal’ delving deep into a tale of feasible corruption, possible addictions, and several deaths, we get a documentary series unlike any other. After all, it centers around legacy lawyer Richard Alexander “Alex” Murdaugh as he plummets from grace starting in the early 2020s, only for the name Curtis Edward Smith to soon come to light too. So now, if you just wish to learn more about the latter — with a particular focus on his background, his relation to Alex, as well as his current standing — we’ve got the details for you.
Who is Curtis Edward Smith?
It was in the late 1980s/early 1990s when Curtis (Cousin Eddie) first came across Alex, just for them to soon grow quite close as the former was not only a client but also an actual distant relative. “I knew his father — I’m half Murdaugh,” he candidly revealed in the original before adding he gradually began considering the latter a real brother and thus even did a few odd jobs for him over the years. This comprised the handyman/logging industry expert running some errands or doing manual labor like land clearing, drainage maintenance, etc., on his many estates across South Carolina.
As per the statements given by the disgraced attorney himself, he hired his relative and apparent-close friend to shoot him dead on September 4, 2021. Alex hoped that his actions would enable his only surviving son to collect $10 million from his life insurance policy, but it didn’t work. After all, since the bullet only grazed his head, Alex was able to call 911 and was consequently transported to the hospital. He was released within two days, though his lawyers now claim that his skull was fractured.
Alex came forward with these detailed statements sometime around September 13, leading to Curtis’ overnight arrest. As the alleged gunman, the latter was thus charged with assault and battery of a high aggravated nature, assisted suicide, pointing and presenting a firearm, insurance fraud, and conspiracy to commit insurance fraud. Curtis was also indicted on unrelated counts of methamphetamine and marijuana possession. Having said that, he has denied the criminal accusations against him, adding that Alex, who is going through a withdrawal phase after reportedly 20 years of opioid use, is setting him up to take the fall.
Curtis Edward Smith Awaits Trial for Fraud and Money Laundering
Curtis Edward Smith was released from jail on a $20,000 bond following a court hearing, where he was called Alex’s long-time drug dealer and shooter. However, the now 62-year-old has deemed these claims to be lies. According to an interview Curtis gave to The New York Post, he got a call from his cousin on that fateful day, asking him to come to the isolated Old Salkehatchie Road. Thinking that Alex might need help with something, he drove over as quickly as possible in his pickup truck, only to see the lawyer allegedly point a gun at himself. Curtis added that he ran and wrestled Alex for the firearm, but it quickly went off and grazed him.
It wasn’t an intentional offense like Alex suggested, Curtis said. “The gun kind of went off above his head and I got scared to death and I ran to my truck and took off,” he added. “I wound up with the gun. It was plain stupid, just plain stupid,” so he threw the weapon away. In another interview with Today, Curtis declared, “I didn’t shoot him. I’m innocent. If I’d have shot him, he’d be dead. He’s alive.” Curtis only feels betrayed owing to Alex’s alleged actions.
However, upon spending close to a year living in his stable home in Walterboro, South Carolina, with his rescue dogs, Curtis’ bond was revoked in August 2022. That’s because he had misrepresented his financial status and violated his house arrest 26 times, including for trips to Walmart as well as private residences. His defense attorney did try to argue that he “is a man of limited means,” which essentially forced him to drive for work and medical purposes, but the judge did not buy it.
In the end, Curtis, who’d been indicted on two counts of criminal conspiracy alongside Alex in June 2022, issued an apology in court for the financial lies. It had come to light he had received an alleged 435+ checks totaling $2.4 million from Alex between 2013-2021. Therefore, upon being paroled again in April 2023, he’s currently awaiting trial on charges of presenting a firearm, conspiracy, assisted suicide, false claim for payment, plus four counts of money laundering.