A cascading series of events has placed a prominent South Carolina lawyer in the middle of multiple state investigations and civil lawsuits after he was shot in what police now say was a botched insurance fraud scheme months after the murders of his wife and son.
Alex Murdaugh, a member of a well-known legal family in Hampton County that ran a local prosecutor’s office for more than 80 years, allegedly had a former client shoot him with hopes that his $10 million life insurance policy would be paid out to his surviving son.
Murdaugh survived the shooting and has been charged with insurance fraud, conspiracy to commit insurance fraud and filing a false police report. Curtis Edward Smith, Murdaugh’s former client, has since been charged with several felonies in connection with the scheme.
In June, Murdaugh’s wife and other son were fatally shot, and Murdaugh’s lawyers have since cast their client as a grieving father and husband who had struggled with an opioid addiction who also stole from his law firm.
The deaths of Murdaugh’s son and wife, Paul and Maggie Murdaugh, have also sparked state police to open an investigation into other deaths, including a 19-year-old killed in an alleged hit and run in 2015 and the death of a former Murdaugh family housekeeper.