Accused Murdaugh conspirator Curtis Smith released from jail
LEXINGTON COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - The Lexington County Sheriff’s Department confirmed that the man accused of conspiring with former Lowcountry attorney Alex Murdaugh has been released from jail.
Curtis Eddie Smith was released from the Lexington County Detention Center Wednesday, two days after Judge Clifton Newman reinstated his bond, Capt. Adam Myrick confirmed.
Smith was charged with multiple crimes including four counts of money laundering, three counts of forgery, trafficking methamphetamine 10-28 grams, one count of unlawful possession of a schedule II narcotic and possession of marijuana and two counts of criminal conspiracy.
Newman originally set bond in June of last year, but revoked it in August after prosecutors accused Smith of violating his house arrest and misrepresenting how much money he had at a prior bond hearing.
Attorneys told the court at Monday’s hearing in Columbia that Smith had been behind bars for 235 days and had gained approximately 55 pounds while behind bars.
“My sugar’s off the chart, my blood pressure’s off the chart,” Smith said. He also said he has a titanium rod in his back and has not been able to seek treatment for pain for eight months.
Although Smith will now be on house arrest, he’s allowed to leave for church, medical appointments and a few other exceptions. Smith stressed that he needs to work to keep his health in order. Newman says any work-related travel must be approved by the court.
“I think it’s safe to say that he’s certainly had some medical struggles that has made it ongoing and difficult over the last several months that have only gotten worse,” Jarrett Bouchette, Smith’s attorney with The Floyd Law Firm, said. “So, I’ll just leave it at that.”
South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson said the criminal conspiracy charges allege 437 checks totaling approximately $2.4 million went from Murdaugh to Smith between 2013 and 2021. Murdaugh and Smith were also indicated in an alleged conspiracy to purchase and distribute Oxycodone.
The money laundering charges were in connection to the alleged disposition of the checks while the forgery charges alleged Smith forged the endorsements on some of the checks.
Smith still has to follow the same conditions as when the bond was originally set, such as remaining under house arrest, random drug testing and no contact with any co-defendants or witnesses, amongst others.
“I understand the significance of these cases as a tie-in with Alex Murdaugh,” Smith said. “And I totally understand the importance of the letter of my bond. If I get on my property, ain’t nobody gonna drag me off.”
Smith had been previously arrested and charged in connection with a shooting during Labor Day weekend of 2021, nearly three months after the deadly shootings of Maggie and Paul Murdaugh at the Murdaugh’s rural Colleton County hunting property.
A Hampton County Grand Jury indicted Smith and Murdaugh in what investigators called a failed suicide-for-hire scheme.
Smith was charged with pointing and presenting a firearm, conspiracy, assisted suicide, assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature and false claim for payment.
Investigators alleged Murdaugh, who was indicted for conspiracy, false claim for payment and filing a false police report in the shooting, provided Smith with a gun on Sept. 4, 2021, and directed Smith to shoot him in the head for the purpose of causing Murdaugh’s death and allowing for the payment of a stated “death benefit beneficiary.” Investigators say Murdaugh admitted to agents with the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division that the scheme was to help his surviving son collect a life insurance policy.
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