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A South Carolina man accused last year of aiding Alex Murdaugh in his suicide-for-hire plot has been arrested again.
Ryan Alphin, executive affairs director for the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) confirmed to Oxygen.com that Curtis “Eddie” Smith, 61, had been arrested, but declined to provide any additional details including his charges or the allegations against him.
However, Charleston-based television station WCSC is reporting that Smith is facing four counts of money laundering, three counts of forgery and criminal conspiracy.
Smith was arrested Friday on behalf of SLED and taken to the Colleton County jail, according to jail records.
Alphin referred all questions about the case to the South Carolina Attorney General’s Office, who did not immediately respond to Oxygen.com’s request for comment.
A source close to the investigation told FITS News that the latest charges against Smith were linked to alleged financial crimes committed by Murdaugh, a South Carolina attorney who has been accused of stealing from his former law clients.
Murdaugh is facing 83 criminal charges for allegedly stealing $8.4 million from clients, his former law firm and associates.
Smith’s attorney, Jarrett Bouchette, confirmed his arrest last week, but told the news outlet he had yet to see the indictment against his client.
“I’m highly concerned with what appears to be strategic timing of the arrest to maximize his time in jail before the bond hearing. And the appearance of maximizing media attention,” Bouchette said.
FITS News reported in December that Smith had allegedly cashed more than $1.8 million in checks from Murdaugh between March 2015 and June 2021, although it wasn’t clear what he had done with the money.
The checks were written during the same time frame that Murdaugh is being accused of committing fraud against his clients, according to legal claims filed that same month in Hampton County by lawyers Eric Bland and Ronnie Richter.
The checks were allegedly cashed by Smith several times a week for years.
“Smith holds the answers to a lot of things regarding Alex Murdaugh,” Bland told the news outlet Sunday in regards to Smith’s latest arrest. “I’ve been wondering why it’s taken so long (to arrest him).”
He alleged that Smith had been part of Murdaugh’s scheme to launder money.
Smith first made headlines when he was arrested last year after authorities said Murdaugh had allegedly enlisted him to help carry out his own suicide, providing Smith with a gun and directing him to shoot him in the head over Labor Day weekend.
Investigators have said Murdaugh wanted his son Buster to be able to cash in on a $10 million life insurance police and believed his claim would be denied if the death was thought to be a suicide.
Murdaugh survived the Sept. 4 shooting and later called 911 claiming he had been shot by an unknown assailant while he had stopped to change his tire.
Smith has denied that he knew anything about Murdaugh’s plans and previously told The New York Post that on the day of the shooting he had gone to meet Murdaugh after getting a call from him asking for help. When he arrived, he said he saw Murdaugh had a gun.
“I run over and we wrestled a minute together, me trying to get the gun away from him,” Smith said at the time. “Then the gun kind of went off above his head and I got scared to death and I ran to my truck and took off.”
Both men were arrested that same month.
In a statement to Oxygen.com at the time, Murdaugh’s attorneys Dick Harpootlian and Jim Griffin said that Murdaugh had felt “ending his life was only option” at the time, adding that he had been fighting a decades-long addiction to pain killers.
“For the last 20 years, there have been many people feeding his addiction to opioids,” they said. “During that time, these individuals took advantage of his addiction and his ability to pay substantial funds for illegal drugs. One of those individuals took advantage of his mental illness and agreed to take Alex’s life, by shooting him in the head.”
A grand jury indicted Murdaugh in November for conspiracy, false claim for payment of $10,000 or more and filing a false report in connection to the alleged incident, according to the South Carolina Attorney General’s Office.
Smith was also indicted on charges of pointing and presenting a firearm, conspiracy, assisted suicide, assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature and false claim for payment of $10,000 or more.
The investigation into Murdaugh’s financial activities began after his wife Maggie and son Paul were found dead last June at the family’s Colleton County hunting compound.
The double homicide remains unsolved.
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