Cousin Eddie who shot Alex Murdaugh in the head in botched hitman plot reacts to guilty verdict

Cousin Eddie who shot Alex Murdaugh in the head in botched hitman plot reacts to guilty verdict

The man who allegedly shot Alex Murdaugh in the head in his bizarre botched hitman plot has spoken out after the once-powerful legal figure was found guilty of killing his wife and son in the summer of 2021.

Curtis “Cousin Eddie” Smith – a former law firm client, distant cousin and alleged drug dealer of Murdaugh – released a statement through his attorney saying that Murdaugh’s murder conviction had exonerated him of the baseless suggestions he could have been involved in the slayings.

Prior to Murdaugh’s murder trial, the disgraced attorney’s legal team sought to raise questions as to whether Mr Smith may have some involvement in Maggie and Paul’s murders.

In October, the defence claimed that Mr Smith failed a lie detector test when asked where he was on the night of 7 June 2021.

During the murder trial, the defence failed to provide any evidence that Mr Smith – or anyone else – could have been responsible for the murders and the jury determined beyond reasonable doubt that Murdaugh murdered his family members.

“It should now be clear that our client had nothing to do with the tragic deaths of Maggie and Paul Murdaugh,” said the statement from Mr Smtih’s attorneys T. Jarrett Bouchette and Aimee Zmroczek to FITS News.

“For almost a year and a half, speculation, innuendo, half truths and outright falsehoods have permeated the public discussion of this case and our client however, neither the investigation conducted by law enforcement, which included extensive forensic and technological analysis, nor the testimony and evidence put forward by the defence team for Mr Murdaugh revealed any evidence that Mr Smith was in any way involved.”

The statement went on to slam the speculation about why Mr Smith was never called to testify for the prosecution after his name was on the witness list and his testimony was hotly-anticipated.

“The reason for not calling Mr Smith is quite simple: he had no knowledge of anything relating to those horrific deaths,” the statement read.

“Furthermore, despite months of filings and courtroom statements seeming to imply that Mr Smith was either the ‘real killer’ or knew who was, when the time came to present evidence, Mr Murdaugh’s defense team never attempted to call Mr Smith to testify despite the fact that he was available to do so,” it said.

“In fact, when the issue of his testimony being presented by the state was raised, it was strenuously objected to by the defense.

“Ultimately the jury determined that Mr Murdaugh was the sole party responsible for the deaths of his wife and son. As has happened so many times in this case, the initial representations by Mr Murdaugh have proven to be unsubstantiated.”

The statement added: “Mr Smith is a good and decent man who was, like so many others, manipulated and taken advantage of by Mr Murdaugh and we look forward to the opportunity to present his story at trial.”

Curtis Eddie Smith on left and the composite sketch of the man Alex Murdaugh falsely claimed shot him

(Colleton County Courthouse )

Mr Smith is facing a string of charges over the September 2021 “side of the road” incident as well as over a $2.4m drug smuggling ring connected to Murdaugh.

His name was first connected to the convicted killer back in September 2021 when Murdaugh was suddenly shot in the head along the side of a road in Hampton County.

The incident unfolded on 4 September 2021 – three months on from the double murders of Maggie and Paul and one day after Murdaugh was ousted from his law firm for stealing millions of dollars in funds.

Murdaugh called 911, claiming he was ambushed in a drive-by shooting while he was changing a tire on his vehicle.

He was taken to hospital where he was treated for what police called a “superficial gunshot wound to the head”.

For several days he kept up the lie, and even spent hours constructing an imaginary assailant with a police sketch artist.

But, Murdaugh’s story about the incident quickly unravelled.

One week later on 13 September, he confessed to law enforcement that he had orchestrated the whole saga, asking Mr Smith to shoot and kill him in an assisted suicide plot so that his surviving son Buster could get a $12m life insurance windfall.

Both he and Mr Smith were arrested and charged over the incident.

Jurors heard about the incident at the murder trial as prosecutors said it forms part of Murdaugh’s pattern of making himself a victim of a crime to get away with his own scandals.

Alex Murdaugh is sentenced to life in prison without parole for murders of wife and son


As well as his alleged co-conspirator in the botched hitman plot, Mr Smith is a former law firm client, distant cousin and allegedly drug dealer of Murdaugh.

He is also charged in connection to Murdaugh’s financial fraud schemes and is accused of helping him with a drug and $2.4m money laundering ring.

Mr Smith is now awaiting trial on a string of charges involving Murdaugh including assisted suicide, assault and battery of a highly aggravated nature, pointing and presenting a firearm, insurance fraud, and conspiracy to commit insurance fraud.

Murdaugh is now also facing around 100 charges over the multi-million-dollar fraud scheme and roadside shooting cases.

Whatever the outcome in those cases, he will now die behind bars after Judge Clifton Newman sentenced him to life in prison on Friday.

It’s now been 21 months since Maggie and Paul were gunned down on the family’s 1,700-acre estate back on 7 June 2021.

Paul was shot twice with a 12-gauge shotgun while he stood in the feed room of the dog kennels – the second shot to his head blowing his brain almost entirely out of his skull.

After killing Paul, prosecutors said Murdaugh then grabbed a .300 Blackout semiautomatic rifle and opened fire on Maggie as she tried to flee from her husband.

She was shot five times including twice in the head after she had fallen to her knees.

Murdaugh’s conviction marks the latest twist in the saga of the man who was once the powerful heir to a South Carolina legal dynasty.

His family had reigned over the local justice system for almost a century, with three generations of the family all serving as the solicitor in the 14th Judicial Circuit solicitor’s office.

Murdaugh continued with the family tradition working in the local prosecutor’s office and also at the law firm PMPED, which was founded by his grandfather.

Craziest courthouse moments from the Alex Murdaugh trial

The murders of Maggie and Paul shocked the Hampton County community but also brought to light a series of scandals surrounding Murdaugh.

As well as the boat crash case, the fraud scheme and the botched hitman plot, there are at least two other unexplained deaths with some tie to Murdaugh.

Days on from the murders, an investigation was reopened into the 2015 death of Stephen Smith, who was found dead in the middle of the road in Hampton County.

The openly gay 19-year-old had suffered blunt force trauma to the head and his death was officially ruled a hit-and-run. But the victim’s family have long doubted this version of events, with the Murdaugh name cropping up in several police tips and community rumours.

An investigation was also reopened into another mystery death connected to the Murdaugh family – that of their longtime housekeeper Gloria Satterfield.

She died in 2018 in a mystery trip and fall accident at the family home. Murdaugh then allegedly stole around $4m in a wrongful death settlement from her sons.

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