| 5.6°C Dublin

dial m for murdaugh US Police believe lawyer placed hit on himself so son could collect €8.5m insurance

Alex Murdaugh's wife and other son were found shot dead earlier this year

Close

Alex Murdaugh (R), with his wife Margaret and son Paul (L) who were both shot dead earlier in the year

Alex Murdaugh (R), with his wife Margaret and son Paul (L) who were both shot dead earlier in the year

Alex Murdaugh (R), with his wife Margaret and son Paul (L) who were both shot dead earlier in the year

Police in the US are investigating a prominent lawyer who they believe ordered a hit on himself so his son could collect a multi-million dollar life insurance payout.

In the bizarre case, the police’s accusations come after the lawyer’s wife, Margaret (52) and his other son Paul (22), who was facing charges after he allegedly caused the death of a woman while driving a boat while drunk, were shot dead in June.

The 19-year-old woman was not found until seven days after the boat Paul had been driving struck piling under a bridge, throwing the passengers into the water.

Alex Murdaugh himself survived being shot in the head in Hampton County, South Carolina, in September as, he claimed, he had been changing a tyre at the side of the road.

There is nothing to suggest Murdaugh was involved in the murder of his wife and son, but as yet nobody has been charged with the brutal killings.

Close

Curtis Smith is facing charges after Murdaugh hired him to shoot him in the head in a case of alleged assisted suicide

Curtis Smith is facing charges after Murdaugh hired him to shoot him in the head in a case of alleged assisted suicide

Curtis Smith is facing charges after Murdaugh hired him to shoot him in the head in a case of alleged assisted suicide

Police now believe Murdaugh had called a hitman, arranging for himself to be shot so that his remaining son could collect the insurance money, valued at $10m, (€8.5m).

The day before the shooting he had resigned from the law firm he worked for, where he is accused of misappropriating funds to feed an opioid addiction.

The man who shot him has since been arrested.

Curtis Smith stands charged with assisted suicide, possession of drugs and conspiracy to commit insurance fraud among other charges, and has since admitted he was involved in the conspiracy.

An attorney acting on behalf of Mr Murdaugh explained: “He (Murdaugh) called this guy who met him on the side of the road and agreed to shoot him in the head.

"It was an attempt, on his part, to do something to protect his child."

Sunday World Newsletter

Sign up for the latest news and updates

This field is required This field is required

As yet, Murdaugh has not been charged with anything in connection to arranging his own suicide-by-hitman, but charges are expected to be brought against him.

It has since emerged Murdaugh himself supplied the gun for Smith to use when killing him.

Murdaugh comes from a long line of family lawyers who have forged a reputation in South Carolina as being no-nonsense prosecutors.

The State newspaper said: "Year after year the family law firm in Hampton has won millions of dollars in civil lawsuits, relentlessly pursuing those at fault in fatal collisions.”

It is thought the family business has put thousands of people behind bars in the state, as well as sending more than a dozen people to death row.

Since the ‘fake hit’ incident, Murdaugh has said he “made a lot of decisions that I truly regret”.

Meanwhile, the investigation into the gun murders of Murdaugh’s wife and son Paul have led police to open an investigation into the hit-and-run killing a 19-year-old by the name of Stephen Smith in 2015 in the same county, however detectives have not revealed how the two cases are linked.

Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices


Top Videos





Privacy